Revised Project Proposal – Ugly Bestiary

After the reviews and critiques we’ve had, I’ve decided to rewrite my proposal to better suit the new ideas and directions I’ve discussed with people recently. Below is the revised version;


BA(Hons) Illustration Year 3: Learning Agreement

Learning Agreement: Project Proposal Form

Course & Unit number: Illustration BA7Name: Charli Vince
1. Project Proposal Title:The Ugly Bestiary
2. Project Proposal Content:For this project I intend to focus my efforts around the fact that the stranger, uglier animals of the world get very little attention in terms of conservation. Through discussing and extensive research into potential formats and paths to take BA7/8 down, I’ve decided on creating my imagery with the intention of them being put together in a bestiary.Visually, I’ll explore the animals themselves. With the aesthetics of the animals being the main focus, it only seems natural to maintain the audience’s attentions on the visual elements of the ‘ugly’ animals as well as, perhaps, juxtaposing this with the ‘cuter’ animals which generally get the funding and conservation.

It may well be worth exploring the statistics and numbers around the conservation of the animals as well, visualising these in an illustrative way to raise awareness of the situation(s).

I chose this project idea because I’ve felt strongly about the fact that the fluffy pandas and tigers of the world seem to reign over the crocodiles and fish, despite the latter needing just as much funding and aid as the former. I feel that I can fully engage with this project idea from a personal perspective and thus really see my work grow and built up into a successful final outcome.

3. Context and audience:The primary purpose of this project is to raise some degree of awareness about the uneven distribution of funding towards various species and how this is, nearly always, because of the visual appeal of the species in question. I’ll be conducting plenty of research into the actual statistics around this and I’ll use my findings to generate the right type of imagery for the right type of audience.The target audience will be those who have some degree of an interest in the natural world as well as an interest in the stranger elements of it. Not necessarily intended for people who want a book or images of ‘cute and fluffy’ creatures, it’ll be more of a curiosity end product with a niche subject matter but not so much of a niche audience. Anybody can find this sort of information interesting, however it’s the people that will see and fully agree with the idea I’m trying to communicate that I really want to strive to appeal to.

I’m hoping to be bringing to people’s attention the inequality in how and which species are protected, it’s something which isn’t getting nearly enough attention as it should and I’m hoping to be backing up those few existing organisations who support it as well as creating a unique approach for myself.

4. Research Sources:As previously mentioned, I’ve found a couple of societies/organisations that focus on the subject I’m looking at. The Ugly Animal Preservation Society and EDGE. These two have proven themselves to be invaluable sources of the information I needed as well as an insight into what is being done in terms of awareness raising and events for this cause.Nature books, animal anthologies and other sources of information on the animal world will also provide an ideal source of both reference material and information into the species themselves.

Norwich Museum, the Natural History Museum and Ulster Museum have also proven themselves to be an ideal opportunity to study and draw/generate imagery for the animals I’ll be looking into with first hand reference (as close as I can get to drawing the actual animals themselves).

5. Learning Methodology:I plan to begin visual work on this project by studying the animals in question. As mentioned in the ‘research’ section, I will be gathering reference material from various sources, hopefully this studying and experimentation with the visuals of the animals themselves will help me find a narrower path to take the project down.I’ll also be looking into existing illustrative work based around this subject matter and if that’s a bit scarce, I can look into scientific illustrators and naturalists who take note of their findings visually and see where that takes me.

Often I find myself getting too into the literal drawing of the subject a bit too much, I’m going to be putting extra focus on avoiding slipping into this habit for BA7, hopefully generating some more organic ideas earlier on in the project, leaving myself enough time to experiment thoroughly and explore different routes a bit more.

Previously I’ve had issues with working outside the sketchbook (as in I was reluctant to). I can visualise working in a larger scale being a useful exercise for this particular subject matter so maybe this will help me push myself out of the comfort zone of a sketchbook and more onto larger, less conventional materials and techniques.

6. Work for Assessment:By conducting this project, I will hopefully gain some insight into what is required to fully engage an audience with an important cause and in a unique and illustrative way. I’ve previously seen many campaigns and events with either incredibly successfully or incredibly not so successful visuals to advertise and inform but have yet to try it myself. I’m hoping to learn a great deal about what is required in terms of balancing the serious and the appealing in order to get a message across but catching the audience’s attention in the first place while still maintaining an entertaining and visually striking end product.In terms of what I hope to submit, there will be a series of either individual illustrations intended for presentation in a bestiary book or a range of page spreads ready for the actual book itself. A final book format won’t be possible within the constraints of this short project but it’s definitely a possibility for BA8 and is something I’m seriously considering.
7. Schedule of Work: Week commencing 21st Oct: Research and extensive image collecting. Detailed blogging and reflective journal entries to keep track of ideas and research findings. Initial sketches in sketchbook, mind maps, lists.28th Oct: Experimenting with materials and techniques. Thumbnails. Practicing with and exploring styles of illustration that could be suited for outcomes. Continued reflection on blog.

4th Nov: Extensive thumbnails. Looking into type and composition. Continue to look back at existing examples of bestiaries, old and new, to make sure I’m staying on track. Experiment outside the sketchbook. Large/small scale work.

11th Nov: Finalise composition and style thumbnails and ideas. Should by now have a fully realised idea of what the illustrations should hope to accomplish. Type and material should be nearly ready. Begin/finish development of final images

18th Nov (FINAL WEEK): Complete final images/illustrations. Leave lots of time to print and present work. Maintain blog. Present/arrange portfolio ready for submission.

8. Resource requirements:–       Library-       Internet

–       Journals/magazines

–       Museums (primarily Castle Museum for ease for access)

–       Any relevant exhibitions or presentations I can attend


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