'A Polluted Definition'
Illustration series of 5, about evoking awareness about global pollution and its impact on animals' lives. 
Additional information:
This work is submitted to the World Illustration Awards, edition 2024.

The reason why I created this work is because I'm currently exploring ways to express my feelings & ideas as an illustrator, by trying different illustration tools, combining them & create new metaphors. It's a series of 5 illustrations in which I want to draw attention to the enormous pollution in the world and what it does to the animals on earth.
By taking a commonly known word as a basis, I replaced the current definition of the word for a new version of what it literally says and what it could be meaning in the future if we keep on polluting nature. For example:
‘Rubber duck’ is ‘a duck that got stuck in rubber garbage in the water’.
‘Birdview’ is ‘a birds vision without even seeing something because of being stuck in garbage.’
‘Starfish’ is ‘a star-shaped plastic glove in the sea because of fishes trying to get out’. 
‘Blackbird’ is ‘a seabird that got completely black because of being covered in crude oil’
‘Gummybear’ is ‘a bear that gets stuck on sticky waste in the woods’. 

The new meanings are illustrated animals and their suffering from traces of pollution. It is a wake-up call and a reference to the polluted world & throwaway-society we live in. At the same time the definitions of these 5 words are now literally polluted, too. That’s why it's called it 
‘A Polluted Definition’.
In short, I would like to show you the other side of the meaning, with which I want to make people aware of the current pollution problems, which can be a dark truth.
The design of the work is based on a dictionary design, but with an illustration to support the new (polluted) definition. I wanted to create a contrast between the words & their new meanings, by making it bright colored and almost making it feel like a children’s illustration. Like those letter cards we all learned from as kids. 
For me, the project has been an investigation into finding the right form of illustration & translation, to develop my style & learn to convey a message through image. The work is not commissioned, but if it had been it could perhaps have fit as an editorial illustration or awareness campaign.

This work was created with both digital and analogue techniques. The illustrations of 'the animals stuck in traces of pollution' are digitally made and with exactly those traces of waste I made analogue textures (traces) in the background. With paint and various liquids I literally stamped a rubber tire, broken cardboard, crumpled plastic, selfmade imitation crude oil & sticky stuff on paper to get the strong contrasting textures. So, the traces of pollution are visible in the animal illustration and in the in background, everywhere, like it is nowadays, unfortunately.
Back to Top