The Great Barrier Reef is the largest ecosystem in the world: and it's dying.
It's easy to ignore a problem if it doesn't effect our daily lives. However, the decline of the Great Barrier Reef and its inhabitants cannot be disregarded. Over the past 30 years over half of the reef has died, which effects over 1,600 species of fish and a variety of endangered marine life. This project was an exciting opprotunity to shed some light on how we can make a difference in the reef's rehabilitation.
Why a little girl?
I wanted to steer away from a traditional infographic, and go down a more illustrative, narrative path. By personifying the Great Barrier Reef as a little girl, the threats to the reef feel more personal. Viewers can better visualize and empathize what it would feel like going through these harmful conditions.
Before even beginning the conceptualization process I began researching the Great Barrier Reef. I had read an article recently informing me on the reef's untimely death, and it's morbid tone insinuated that there was nothing we could do to save it. After further researching I found that the future of the reef is dismal, but not completely dark. The objective for my narrative became to inform people about the reef, it's top threats, and things we can do to help save it. I didn't want to point fingers or attack the viewer, but my goal was to leave the viewer with friendly tips on ways everyone can help.
If you've ever gone swimming in the open ocean, the thought "The ocean is home to all of nature's darkest abominations, I really hope a big mysterious fish doesn't appear out of nowhere and eat me whole." might have crossed your mind once or twice. Well, in the Great Barrier Reef that is no longer a problem. Due to overfishing and crude fishing methods, such as spears and stun guns, the fish (and large mysterious creatures of the sea) population has decreased by over half in the past 30 years.
Whoever said the real estate business was suffering, they were not talking about Australia's coast line development. Being one of the 7 wonders of the world, its no surprise the Australia's Great Barrier Reef is flooded with tourists, and all tourists need somewhere to stay. With the increase in development along Australia's coast, there has been an increase in land-based run-off and littering.
Over the past 3 decades over 93% of the Great Barrier Reef has been effected by the increase in water temperatures. While this might make the water's nicer to dive in, this causes the algae living inside the coral to be expelled: leaving the coral white like bone. While coral can recover from this acidification, the rate of recovery is slower than the rate the water temperature is rising.
Once I had my main objectives and a solid concept, I began sketching my narrative.
My illustrations are bright, colorful and friendly to keep the narrative approachable to people of all ages. Nothing says "recyle more" than a little kid you know telling you to stop throwing a can at a little girl. I added elements of humor to an otherwise dark and morbid topic to try emulate a light and educational mood throughout my motion and sound design.
Thanks for checking this out!