SAVE OUR SPECIES
In a quest to create an engaging and fun product with a tiny carbon footprint, I designed a menagerie of make-them-yourelf paper animals that could be printed locally onto 100% post consumer waste paper and stored and shipped with minimal cost/energy use. I liked the idea that eventually they would bio-degrade completely and figured that they provided an appealing alternative to other children's gifts on the market, espeically as there was a making element to them, which would also help children refine their fine motor skills. This was especially important to me as there is growing evidence that these skills are becomming delayed due to increased time spent on screens.
In 2012 I was approached by the World Wildlife Fund to create a special set of critically endangered animals, along with fact sheets about what needs to be done to help them. This marked a turning point for me, as it suddenly seemed impossible to talk about wild animals without drawing attention to the fact that so many wild species are either in decline or vulnerable.
The paper animals were a commercial success, with large stores in the UK placing orders, as well as many international distributors. They won childrens product of the year at a major trade show. The animals came to the attention of publishers Button Books and in 2014/15 I concevived, co-authored and illustrated a series of 6 books, which were really just love letters to the natural world, with the aim of helping ignite this love in young children. I was very mindful of situating the animals in their natural habitats, and the books came with the 3D element for children to make into a scene. The books have now been translated into 8 languages and have now been adapted as board books for very young children.