Sumatran Orangutan Society - T-shirt design

Going..going..gone? t-shirt

This blog entry should really have the subtitle, Kicking-off a Career in Illustration. The easy part of illustrating, is illustrating, the hard part is getting the work. Volunteering is not only good for gaining experience as a professional and coming across as such, it also helps by contributing to great causes. I first made contact with SOS (Sumatran Orangutan Society) a few years back. I heard they were looking for an illustrator who could come up with a few pictures for a colouring book. After talking to the charity via phone and email, the few pictures became a lot of pictures, which then became The Orangutan Book, which in turn started my illustration career off very nicely.

Orangutans make their nests high up in the trees, from The Orangutan Book

There is widespread naivety about the plight of the orangutans within Sumatra. The farmers see them as pests, the big businesses want their habitat for lucrative palm oil plantations and the illegal capturing of babies for use as pets (most unsuitable ones) is rife. I had to distill and communicate each individual problem the charity had identified into an activity book, but we also had to make the project fun. 
When the Sumatran version was finished and printed they were handed out for free to schoolchildren in the hope that the conservation message would come across. And if the book was enjoyed it might just find its way home and be seen by their parents.
After the book came out I seemed to get bigger and better projects to work on. When SOS were offered the opportunity to become charity sponsors in the London Elephant Parade, I was the artist they turned to. Harapan soon spring-boarded my opportunities in another direction and I am now painting my third elephant - this time for Singapore.
This is the first t-shirt design I have undertaken. The Sumatran Orangutan Society put out the competition to design one a few months back and for old times sake, I decided to enter. 

Original design that went to a popular vote

The t-shirt can be purchased from the SOS website

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