Always a tricky one, this. Creativity, for me, requires a sense of calm and control, and although I have done some excellent and intriguing artwork in the past based on high-octane situations and an extreme or peculiar set of circumstances, where I am now with the logbooks needs much more balance and harmony so that I can focus on building my little business. As is the case for many artists, I’m not a naturally commercially-oriented person, and the world of promoting one’s wares as a self-published author/illustrator with an incredibly niche product can be demoralising and baffling at times.
I am deeply motivated by the biodiversity crisis, although this can be a double-edged sword as it’s easy to get caught in the pendulum swing of feeling honoured at the chance of using my words and pictures to influence people’s perceptions, then plunging in to a gloom when competing with the myriad of fluffy toys or cheap imported crap that so many wildlife charities seem to rely upon for revenue.
Working on the Greenwich Peninsula project has been a breath of fresh air in this respect, as there is no precedent, and I feel the unique aspect of the logbook itself is being recognised as an innovative way to create awareness for the local birdlife, and raise funds for the local Ecology Park. As a large developer, I’m sure there can be criticism laid at Knight Dragon’s door but I’m impressed that the people I am working with totally ‘get’ the concept of the logbooks:
- They are a way of using art to promote awareness of our existing bird populations
- Being a logbook, they encourage repeat observations
- There is no app or online equivalent – you need to actually write stuff down
- They are designed for people who would never normally buy a ‘bird book’
- They stand up to scrutiny from experienced ornithologists
- Printed here in the south east by an eco-friendly printer
- The blend of chosen birds champions our common [currently!] species
- The text supports the conservation of natural habitat: no mention of feeders
Sometimes it’s good to remind myself of why I’m doing this, and what I have achieved since the inception of the logbooks back in April 2021, which really isn’t that long ago.
By the way, do you like the new look website banner? If you have the Adobe suite, I thoroughly recommend Adobe Express!