The creative team at Epiphany were recently offered the opportunity to take part in Make Believe, a Leeds-based creative fundraising initiative. Make Believe challenged 10 creative agencies to create a bespoke piece of artwork based on a quote from classic children’s literature. The results will appear on a collection of limited edition merchandise, and all profits will go to the charity Cash For Kids to help disadvantaged children across the city at Christmas time.
Walking into Narnia
Each agency was assigned a random quote for the brief. Ours was this extract from C.S. Lewis' The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe:
"Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight, At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more, When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death, And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again."
CS Lewis - The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe 1950
Aside from the main challenge of visually representing the quote, the team really wanted to find an inclusive way to allow everyone to work together and create something in unison. We all believed this was a great cause, an exciting challenge and something different to get our teeth into.
We were keen to get away from our desks and create something tactile. The quote seemed to lend itself to a physical creation and we wanted to push ourselves beyond our comfort zone and get our hands dirty. We were mindful of creating something unique that also had a broad commercial appeal so it would ultimately work well on the merchandise and help to raise plenty of money for Cash For Kids.
Our quote was very much about the release from the perpetual winter that the habitants of Narnia have been forced to endure. The arrival of Aslan signifies an escape from their suffering, which manifests itself in the arrival of spring.
And so, with this story in mind we decided to create our own physical version of Aslan.
The decision was made very early on to create Aslan entirely from natural elements which gave us our first challenge: sourcing the materials. Flowers were bought, leaves gathered, twigs collected... we literally searched high and low wherever we could for materials.
Throughout the process, we were a little apprehensive as to whether the idea would work and look like it did in our minds. We were excited, but nervous as the deadline grew nearer.
The trial run
Materials collected, we had a trial run of assembling our Aslan. We wanted to make sure that our vision could be realised and the only way to do this was to throw ourselves right in at the deep end.
Initially things came together quite fluidly, we were all able to work on our creation collectively and adapt to the challenges as they arose. The trial run took us to a point where we all felt a little more comfortable and confident... quite a few of the team definitely slept better that evening.
Bringing the lion to life
Our final version of Aslan was built in unison but on different canvases. Each team member worked on a separate layer of detail. This wasn’t something we initially wanted to do but even with our nimble fingers it was proving difficult to layer all the materials on top of each other - gravity was against us!
Once all the separate layers had been physically constructed we turned to trusty Photoshop to assemble Aslan. We tried to keep editing to an absolute minimum to retain as much of the tactile feel as possible.
You can see our full creation at the Make Believe launch night in Victoria Gate Shopping Centre on Thursday 30th November from 6pm or follow us on social @hello_epiphany.
You can purchase merchandise from all 10 agencies here, from Friday 1st December
The full list of agencies/creatives involved in the Make Believe project are:
- Something More
- Thompson Brand Partners
- Lee Goater
- Rabbit Hole
- TwentySix Digital