I wanted to explore other artists who have used characters within their work. I love this simple, understated stlyle, it proves how powerful such simple designs can be.



Beginning to Put the Characters into Situe

I have started to put the more completed and finished characters into different situations. I have explored the different 'to do's' and activities that I might use within the final book and I intend on continuing my exploration until I build a vast 'bank' of activities, guides and tasks that are worthy of including in the final piece.

Making bird cakes with Evie : )

I have encouraged my niece to join me in doing the activities I might choose to incorporate within the final book. I want to continue to use her as my model, so that I will have visuals to work from when putting the characters into different positions etc.

Boy Characters

After sitting with my two year old niece and going through my sketchbook, (thought this might be a useful task to guage what elements of an image interest children at this age) I realised that she said all of the little girl characters were her favourite - not the boys! So I thought perhaps a lot of children feel like this, that the characters which best represent them are the ones they tend to 'relate' to best. For this reason I have come to the conclusion that I need to incorporate a boy character and a girl character into the book - so that it appeals to both sexes.

Developing the boy character:

Sketchbook Pages and Character Development

Throughout my last project I found starting off by identifying and perfecting my characters was a helpful foundation for the rest of my work.

I will try and sort these out on Photoshop...if I can work out how  : / and replace them with some less scruffy versions.

More Researching

I found an article in The Times titled, 'How to Let Your Kids Off the Leash', it discussed a lot of the concerns I have about Nature Deficit Disorder. The text also introduced me to some new ideas that I am now willing to explore.

I want to ensure that I gain a really thorough knowledge of Nature Deficit Disorder and the topics which surround it. This will hopefully help to create a well-informed final piece which successfully achieves it's purpose. During this project I want to expand the breadth of my research, not only relying on secondary resources, but more direct primary resources too. By doing so I hope to generate some more innovative, complex and unusual ideas to help develop my work.

The article in The Times introduced me to a lot of new names in the world of child psychology, child development and nature experts. I contacted Professor Tanya Byron to try and gather more detailed information for my project, I was advised to contact leading childhood 'thinker'  Tim Gill. Tim gave answered all of my questions so thoroughly, he was so helpful! I gained a much better insight into those aspects of the subject that I am concerned with covering in my project.

Tanya and Tim were so kind to offer me so much help, here are their websites:



Starting Point for EMP - Nature Deficit Disorder

 (The National Trust Magazine, January 2011)

There is a major concern amongst researchers, naturalists and child pyschologists (to name just a few) surrounding, what has been coined, 'Nature Defecit Disorder'. Research has revealed that in todays world children gain less contact with nature than ever before. Obviously, this has a physical affect upon children; there is undoubtedly a correlation between the growing rate of obese children and their diminishing contact with the outdoors. Researchers have also been studying how nature (or a lack of it) affects the emotional and pyschological state of the child.

I have always had a strong connection with nature, wildlife and the outdoors. Nature is something that has played and continues to play a large role in my life, so the articles on 'Nature Deficit Disorder' have interested me hugely. To think of children today not being able to enjoy our world in the way that I have is quite depressing!

This all got me thinking how I might so my little bit to try and prevent children from becoming even more distant from nature. All my research so far and previous projects make me feel that like a children's 'guide book' for nature or gardening would be the most natural, satisfying and enjoyable route for me to take. I am excited to see how the project is going to evolve and change!