With my degree obtained, nice new house moved into and fifty thousand job applications sent off (fingers crossed…) I can officially start a new personal project, and here it is!
Lavish is a project continuing from a similar theme as The Ugly Bestiary. With a focus on unpopular animals around the world, but with less of the seriousness that was involved with the bestiary. Lavish will be a series of light hearted and ever so slightly surreal illustrations giving these beasts the royal, glamorous lifestyle they deserve. From crowns and jewels to velvet pillows and feasts fit for a king, I’ll be spoiling these beasts rotten.
To accompany the illustrations will be some marvellous reading material as well, provided by the younger – yet taller – version of me, my sister. A few short stories and little quips will be hidden amongst the visuals, giving these spoilt wee critters a bit of a back story as well as being able to look at their lovely faces.
The format of Lavish isn’t 100% decided yet, but it’s most likely going to be in the form of a zine. This way the printing and distribution cost is at a minimum so I can get the images out to as many people as I possibly can. I’d love to ideally be able to give it away for free, but in order to actually contribute to the cause it’s focusing on (see more about ugly animal conservation issues on The Ugly Bestiary page) I’ll be selling it for a very small price and giving a % to a charity I feel will help these less popular species of the world. As well as the financial aid I’ll hopefully be able to give to the to-be-chosen charity, I also hope to continue the original purpose of The Ugly Bestiary; challenging preconceptions and negative connotations behind animals which really don’t deserve it.
The whole thing, long before the Bestiary was even thought of, spanned from my love for spiders. Coming from the UK, there aren’t really any nasty spiders we need to worry about, so they never worried me. They can’t hurt me, they don’t want to, they catch the flies and wasps and are rather pretty! But everybody around me seems to hate them, some even squashing them for no reason other than not wanting to be around it. The frustration and, frankly, sadness I felt from people doing this around me eventually spanned out into thinking up the bestiary. From conducting more research and having the opportunity to think about the issues at length, I realised the much bigger problem. This irrational dislike based on the animals bad reputation or, more prominently, their appearance causes serious damage to the conservation and publicity surrounding certain animals. Big, fluffy, or iconic animals are put into the limelight without a second thought, leaving the scaly, spidery, smaller ones behind. This was all covered at length in the original Ugly Bestiary but I want to continue its message.
So far the visuals include pages and pages of thumbnails, lots of research (research = Pinterest boards…) and a potential front cover which you can see at the top of the page! The idea for the front cover came from a recent doodle I did the other day, another royal snake just a little bit more adorable (below).
Between job hunting and the odd commission, I’ll be developing the project every spare moment I get to keep my brain active, so stay tuned for lots of lovely visual updates as well as more write ups about its progression. 🙂