TELLING A THOUSAND WORDS
November 22nd, 2019
Backgrounds in both the arts and sciences weave together the #KeenMarine team, resulting in a multidisciplinary haven of effective and beautiful comms. Policy Projects Manager Sara Mynott explains that #TeamPolicy – whose splashes of creativity makes their political communications more enlightening and engaging – is no exception, and reveals some exciting details about an upcoming project.
Balancing the technical with the creative is at the heart of Mindfully Wired’s working ways and life in the Science and Policy Team is no exception. Granted, the majority of our work entails digesting reams of complex, mind-boggling text into something that is shorter, sweeter and free from unnecessary detail. I love nothing more than feasting on a plethora of policy documents, scientific reports and a multitude of other materials to find the perfect, pared down recipe to share information with others.
Crisp and engaging writing is the mainstay of my week, but – every now and then – one of my days contains an extra-special treat. Something totally and unashamedly imaginative.
Earlier this year #TeamPolicy set out to Leigh-on-Sea, a small fishing port on the Essex coast, to find out what the town’s residents value most about the area. With every survey, the answer became clearer and we were left in no doubt that their personal connections to fishing and its long history rank highly. From childhood memories of salted sea fare to the times the community has come together over the years – including the 1940 evacuation of soldiers at Dunkirk – personal relationships with the port shone clear.
We often complement our work with rich, high-quality photos, but it was clear this project needed something extra-special. What better way to convey a personal connection than with something as free and expressive as hand-drawn artwork?
It’s no secret that art is an incredible means of sharing a message. For centuries we’ve been using imagery to communicate with others – to evoke feeling, open minds and invite questions. It’s no different today. That old adage ‘a picture tells a thousand words’ still stands.
This week I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside with the wonderful Sarah Dowling to develop materials that engage others in the with the rich heritage and history of Leigh-on-Sea. After a series of animated exchanges Sarah set out to create a set of illustrations that capture the town’s character – and its seafood. Just looking at them makes you hungry! It has been an absolute joy to be part of the process and work like this has grown to be one of my favourite parts of my role here at MWC.
Growing up, it was always a decision to make: you either do art, or do science. While my subject choices were firmly in the science camp, a thread of something creative was an essential ingredient – elaborate field sketches, designing reports well beyond the brief and finding unusual, illustrative ways to convey research findings – beyond your typical bar chart.
Here at MWC arts and sciences are closely intertwined. We’re always mixing gorgeous images with carefully crafted narratives to bring facts to life (let me refer you to some of our incredible projects: Albatross Stories, a ‘socumentary’ or social media documentary, uses digital storytelling to raise awareness of declining albatross populations; Seafood Cornwall, our newest project, is promoting and celebrating sustainable Cornish seafood through stories, videos, and art. As for Sarah’s latest illustrations – you’ll have to wait. 😉