Before Covid-19 became the focus of attention across the world there was another story that even a pandemic will not take away from us. The consequences of human impact on the environment is one that took precedence across many news media outlets, but it was also a focal point for many artists and designers.
It was also a focal point of some of my designs. Illustrations and graphics tended to be based on the subject, many for product designs.
I will admit that some of the focus on climate change was based on the ‘popular culture’ ideals with the intention being trying to create designs which in some way captured the populate trends as climate change had become the in thing of the day.
However, it was also something which merely brought me back to a subject which I had always followed. Environmental concerns and assisting campaigns had always been at the forefront of my work. From assisting environmental groups in the late nineties to having protested in the early nineties my record for an interest in environmental issues transcends beyond a commercial interest as it might seem in my latest works.
Having been introduced to the Gaia theory in the early 90’s it had always stuck with me that we, the humans, are the cancer of the earth, and Mother Earth will eventually try to eliminate us because it will react.
Some people are mystified as to why seven years ago I decided not to own a vehicle any longer. It actually goes beyond not wanting to own a vehicle as I tend not to like using public transport either in as much as I can and walking is my main mode of travel. Recycling might not be like some do where they put in a few plastics here and there in the bins or distribute their batteries. I tend to use scrap papers and re-use, keep pieces of wood and re-use if I can and try not to accumulate plastic bags. It came to a point that in my household we have found it difficult to find plastic bags at times when we do need them.
And every so often I’m looking at new ideas on how things can change or things which could be done.
The latest designs have really been a desire to want to do something.
With print-on-demand it was a chance to put a message across and not have to print large stock which might never sell. Yet knowing someone might have seen the message being delivered.
You could say that is the purpose of my illustrations and designs. Not whether they will sell but a brief attempt at creating awareness.
The funny side of it all is that now the pandemic has arrived and the focus has gone from climate change to covid-19 I have grown even stronger in my believe and wish to actually do something rap about it.
The pandemic has sometimes made me wonder if this is mother nature’s reaction to everything we have done. A virus we have never seen before which hits at the one thing which we are damaging ourselves, our respiratory system, and the one thing that would help us is cleaner air and seas because it will provide healthier environments to overcome any illness.
Seeing the clearer ambiance, skies and seas, and listening to the silence of nature where machine noise hasn’t existed has made it all the more evident that there is a real purpose to decades long of campaigning and battling. It is not the end of humanity to have a cleaner earth. It might, however, be the end of the way our civilisation behaves and might need a major global shift in attitudes and social interactions. Yet it’s not a change which we cannot adapt to. We are more than capable of redefining our existence and redefining our activities.
I don’t know what others have learnt from this global pandemic’s enforced lockdown but I do know what I have learnt. My kids do not mind the changes, if anything the youngest one has already reacted against the return of machine noise and cars on the roads, so it’s not a better future I will be giving them by trying to keep what we have been doing for decades. It might actually be the worst thing we could be providing them as a legacy. Instead if we changed we might be providing a legacy which is forever, one which they can literally build on without looking over their shoulders concerned that the future could spell the end of humanity if we do continue our trend to destroy, pollute and damage our environment when we have no substitute for it.
Covid-19 has not erased the problems we face with climate change.