Illustrations by Jody Woodhouse

Working with the lovely team at Caring for Carers was an absolute delight and I truly enjoyed every step of the process when creating the illustrations for their new website.

After being contacted by the team who introduced me to the company and their goals for the illustrations, I was eager to begin sketching up rough designs for the characters, which would be demonstrating some of the services Caring for Carers offer.

With the new website being a service where family carers could find reliable, trustworthy carers and sitters for their loved ones, we discussed an aim for the drawings to give people the confidence that their loved ones would be in good hands so carers could take a much needed break. For me, this meant that characterisation would be key, while I also wanted to use a softer colour palette and looser style, which would better reflect the aims.

I showed the team some of my initial drawings when visiting their offices, which also gave me a clearer understanding of the intentions for the website and much of the work they do. We were able to discuss some of the stylistic elements of the illustrations while the team chose some of their favourites and we agreed that it was vital a friendly vibe was created, reflective of the joy their services bring to many peoples lives! Some of the new hobbies and opportunities that arise when using the service such as visiting the gym, gardening and many more were discussed between us, and would be utilised within the illustrations to suggest opportunities to carers. When forming the ‘carer’ characters, while they would not be providing any medical or ‘personal’ care, they would be acting as a friend and that needed to come across clearly within the illustrations. I left my visit to their offices feeling assured of how I needed to progress over the next few weeks with the work, and felt confident my own illustrative style fit within the needs of their new website style.

Using the 10 sections of the website and scenarios they provided as a basis, I developed my first round of rough illustrations which I forwarded onto the team. I started extremely simple, just to show character placement before adding any colour using the colour palette provided. We were then able to establish early on any faults, and I could demonstrate my own character style, which shows many of the people to be plump in appearance with rounded qualities, such as within the noses.

Each illustration required plenty of research in regards to the characterisation. I wanted it to be clear who the sitter was and who would be the person being cared for & through mind mapping images of older people, I was able to pinpoint relevant features, hairstyles and clothing styles for each.

The second round of roughs was when colour was added, and as previously mentioned, for me I wanted it so be extremely soft, so using painterly techniques it gave them a smoothness that I was really happy with.

With the team happy with how the colours were progressing, the next few rounds of roughs required minute details, and the add-on of two new scenarios. Such changes included alterations in clothing, to better reflect the carers role along with ensuring some pieces fitted within the website format. For example, altering the Map image so it slotted better within the screen and rotating it would prove to be a better fit, and it was through constant communication with the Design team that we had a clear understanding of what was required. I also spent many hours perfecting the colours so nothing appeared too washed out but still possessed the painterly feel that the team were fond of.

Creating the artwork for the new website enabled me to utilitize my abilities when working with a limited colour palette and within character design. Being given a huge amount of creative freedom and independence when working to a brief was extremely fun, and I felt able to express my own interpretation of characterisation while being encouraged by the lovely team at Caring for Carers.

For any further information on this project and many more, please feel free to check out my Creative Pool Profile: