Megan Budd has worked with primary educators and journalism students to create a more honest reflection of society in illustration for children.
The children’s book industry is currently undergoing change, with pressure to look outside itself and to be an honest reflection of modern society. Successful children’s books combine engaging illustration alongside a captivating story, many also include a moral lesson, which can positively influence a child’s learning. Working alongside Sheffield Hallam Journalism students Budd has designed characters that represent the diversity of modern society including characters from different backgrounds, characters with disabilities and family groups that do not follow the typical nuclear model.
Workshops and collaboration are a key part of Budd’s practice – she has worked with primary educators to provide clip art to be used in the classroom that include a broad representation of children, and with the elderly and those suffering from dementia to find ways to use art and design to improve diminishing communication skills through a means of reminiscence therapy and the improvement of fine motor skills.
Throughout her degree Budd took on a couple of small commissions working with local charities and projects in the Sheffield community and surrounding areas. In the final few months of her studies she became a small business owner and opened an Etsy store selling her prints and greeting cards. She is now employed by Sheffield Hallam University in a business engagement where she uses her creative skills to advocate for the organisation.