“I'm especially fond of the Tasmanian devil,” admits Jody Hewgill Faculty of Design Instructor at the Ontario College Of Art And Design (OCAD) and creator of the U.S. Department of State's 2010 Earth Day poster. “I've been enamoured with this little critter ever since seeing the animated incarnation on Bugs Bunny.”
While it seems strange that a cartoon character might inspire one of the year's most important, powerful images, the Torontonian's connection with childhood hilarity and global dilemmas is actually quite obvious. This troubled species—cancerous tumours threaten their existence—is one of many endangered faunae and florae Hewgill has represented on the poster, a creation that is as profound as it is beautiful.
Yet despite being commissioned for many prestigious works from a plethora of notable international clients in her 22 years as a professional, the decorated artist is shockingly humble.
“I'm terrible at promoting my work, and even worse at promoting myself in Canada,” Hewgill concedes. “I have worked for several Canadian magazines; done a few Canadian book covers… (but) I'm most interested in assignments that are both creatively challenging and are personally meaningful. I couldn't work on an assignment that I didn't believe in.”
As for the Earth Day poster, it was a massive undertaking from commission to completion. After countless weeks of researching the world's ecosystems and settling on a prominent image (selecting the Iberian Lynx because of its lack of representation and endangered status), Hewgill was clearly immersed in/inspired by Earth's biodiversity.
“My sole ambition for this piece was to create an image that will resonate with people, something that is interesting enough for someone to spend a few minutes looking at the piece and reflecting on the wonder and fragility of our planet.”
To purchase a copy of the poster visit jodyhewgill.com.