The making of a biodiversity hero — Bizzy Flo!

Susie Shaw

Published: 25th January 2018

The making of a biodiversity hero — Bizzy Flo! Blog Article

Flo, a white tailed bumblebee, is the new star of the “Don’t Mow, Let it Grow” project, featuring in her very own animation educating young people on protecting biodiversity.

I am an illustrator and graphic designer from Fourteen Forty specialising in watercolour illustration and animation.
Storyboarding was my initial process where I visualised scenes, scribbled down character ideas and allowed my imagination to interpret the script.
My next stage was scanning my hand painted illustrations into Photoshop to arrange and edit. I chose watercolour as the texture highlights the unique and handmade quality of the project. The style resonates to my main audience being children as there is an innocence and raw quality to the production.

I considered facial movements and flying patterns and created loops of motion called GIFs that were brought onto the complex programme – After Effects.

I wanted to educate the children by giving lots of facts and information but in an effortlessly fun way. I sustained interest by taking the viewer on a story allowing Flo’s journey to offer a sense of anticipation.

“Here are my sketchbooks showing the flow of ideas from head to paper. I wanted my style to be playfully imperfect.”

Flo started as an idea drawn in a sketchbook and soon her personality began to take form once colour was added by the beautiful soft medium of watercolours. She was the starting point of the entire production so everything flowed from this wise, friendly and confident little bee.

Character concepts were drawn up to represent a variety of species. I loved creating personalities and played to each insects’ stereotype; a quirky hover-fly, an elegant butterfly and a wise bee.

The project expanded and learning resource materials were created to allow children with more information about the project to bring home.

Below is Flo’s Biodiversity Corridor journey through areas of diverse and rich biodiversity. It is a helpful guide showing children the importance of nature and wildlife.

Overall the process has taught me vastly about protecting the environment and how we can make a change. To see the project develop from start to finish was an exciting achievement and one I am very proud of.