National Museum Wales asked me to create exhibition illustrations for their family-friendly Wriggle! event. They are designed to engage younger children and aid education and interpretation of the exhibition.

exhibition illustrations interpretation education

inking of Science Worm, replete with white coat and magnifying glass

Exhibition illustrations: the process

I’ll share a longer post about the actual creation of the illustrations on the opening of the exhibition – watch this space!

Suffice it to say that the curators at the museum gave me an excellent, well-thought through brief where they described their worm character, how old it was, what it liked to do and the impression they wanted it to give.

I came up with four different worm characters and we edited until we had one that worked. They then gave me the six poses they wanted the worm to be drawn as – superworm, scientist worm, old worm, swimming worm, awesome worm (on a skateboard, of course) and digging worm. I managed to create an image of a cartoon worm, with no limbs, digging with a garden spade. I am rather chuffed about that.

Once the worms were drawn in pencil, I inked them up using a Japanese brush pen. They needed to be fairly big, so they were created on A3 paper. They were then scanned, and then cleaned up and coloured in Photoshop.

Because the exhibition illustrations were to be huge, I then took the coloured-up worms into Illustrator. I live-traced them into highly-detailed vector images, meaning that they can now be used as big as the Museum needs them with no deterioration of quality.

The worms will appear on mugs and t-shirts and billboards across Cardiff. The exhibition will run from the 18th June to the 30th September 2016 and will be at National Museum Cardiff in Cathays Park in the city centre. I can’t wait to see it!

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