The Brief…

  • select a Ted talk 
  • Create a response body of work that emphasises on exploring Illustration as a ‘research method’, ‘public engagement’ and a form of  ‘communication’. 
  • Include : metaphors, analogies, humour, empathy and beauty


  • 5 finished pieces of work
  • A body of research 
  • My own 10 min Ted talk 



My Ted talk

How sugar affects the brain

For this project my chosen Ted talk is about the exploration of sugar intake and the affects on the brain. After hitting a brick wall about how I was to approach this project, I have decided to aim my work at young children and teenagers. I wish to help my audience to become aware of sugar and the damaging affects it has. I found my Ted talk on YouTube, this subject interested me and I believe that the people around me and myself are not aware as much as we should be when it comes to consuming sugars. 

The Ted talk itself isn’t a usual presentation with a speaker on a stage with a micro phone, instead this Ted talk is a video with detailed moving illustrations and diagrams. The person speaking through out the video is a lady called Nicole Avena, it’s narrated by an artist called Michelle Snow. I particularly was taken by the illustrations, chosen colour palette and overall composition of the video. I wish to represent this through my work and extent/develope this video as a piece or pieces. 

Link to video – please watch!
Scroll down and see some snap shots of the video. 

“What is sugar?”


They as questions such as…


They explain what the Cerebral Cortex does 


And the function of our stomach and gut…


It also explains what Dophamine is, which in short is the currency of our reward system. 

What happens to your Dophamine levels when you eat healthy foods…


And when you eat sugary foods…


This project excites me quite a lot. Can’t wait to sink my teeth into it!!! 🙂

Velazquez las meninas 

The painting known as Las Meninas was painted in 1656 by a Spanish artist called Diego Veláquez. The painting is a staged arrangement of famous figures during the 1950s. These people were Margaret Theresa of Spain, Phillip IV go Spain, Mariana of Austria and Maribarbola. As well as a dog, artist, maids and servants.



Picasso’s interpretations…







My turn


My interpretations…











Summer Project – Biography  

Inspiring me this summer is a lady called Mabel Stark. She was the first female lion tamer during the 1920s. Although there was a limited amount of information I was able to piece together a few rough pin points and events that occurred through out her life.
Her real name was… Mary Haynie aka Mable Stark aka Cat Woman 


Early Years 

  • Raised on a farm 
  • Orphaned at 17
  • Lived with relatives 

20s to 40s

  • Joined the circus in 1911
  • Adopted a tiger 
  • Liked to tell stories
  • She married a man known as ‘cat man’
  • She worked at jungle land 
  • The biggest point in the careers was facing 18 lions in the ring 
  • She was unfortunately mauled by a lion whilst returning her act. Thankfully her husband fired blank bullets and scared the lion 
  • Became a nurse
  • Friends think she was a dancer 
  • There were also a few years where Mable was off the radar and her friends and family didn’t know what she was doing or where she was
  • She travelled to Louisville 
  • Wrote a book called “Hold that tiger”
  • Lived and performed in Japan 

Idea No.1



My first idea consisted of a two meter high, interactive circus tent shaped book. To represent the pages, the tent would have sections, of which would have showcased individual points during Mabel’s life. Although I thoroughly enjoyed planning this project, my summer holiday wouldn’t have been a holiday. So I downgraded or simplified my idea and created a book. The picture below is also planning and thoughts about the construction of the tent. Maybe one day I will carry out this project. 

Idea No.2

My second idea was a narrowed down timeline of main events and points in her life. I picked 11 bits of information and illustrated what I thought what represent them. 

Order of my book 

  1. Raised on the farm 
  2. Lived with relatives and orphaned at 17
  3. Travelled to Louisville
  4. Became a nurse 
  5. Unknown years 
  6. Joined circus 
  7. 18 cats 
  8. Married cat man 
  9. Mauled by a lion 
  10. Adopted a big cat 
  11. Committed suicide   

Below is an example of an illustration 

Background texture – thick grainy paper, washed with water, ink sprayed with a pippette. 


What a great summer it has been…