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If you have been wandering around Bethnal Green over the last few days, you may have come across these charming interactive street illustrations for the Museum of Childhood. Created by ad agency AMV, See The World Through The Eyes Of A Child, is the best use of illustration I have seen in quite some time.

AMV have been producing great illustration work with Museum of Childhood for years, starting back in 2008 with Paul Pateman and Mike Nicholson when they started it all off creating the first series of illustrations for the museum. The brilliant Sophie Hector, senior art buyer over at AMV and her lovely colleague Sarah Fox, a junior art buyer, produced the campaign. Sophie took some time out of her day to chat to us about the creation of this campaign.

In this digital age it makes a great change of pace to be able to commission a series of printed interactive street illustrations. Can you tell us a little bit about this lovely project ?
The V&A Museum of Childhood houses the V&A’s collection of childhood objects and is committed to great design, creativity and the local community. Our latest campaign aims to harness all three. Entitled See the world through a child’s eyes we scoured the borough of Tower Hamlets - where the museum is based, to find interesting and unusual objects and spaces, and channelled our child-like imagination to reinterpret them. Where you see a drain in the street, a child might see a fire engine; a fountain becomes a whale’s blow-hole; and a lamp post is transformed into a monkey bar. Vinyls were applied to the spaces and each of the twenty sites has been mapped on a campaign microsite. A traditional poster campaign, using photographs of these spaces will follow, running throughout the borough.

 

Our aim in producing this work is not just to showcase the museum but also to invite people to look again at the world around them. The creatives wanted to engage people to go to the Museum of Childhood and with no budget they had to try and encouraged people (mainly children) to look at their surroundings. They also had to consider getting footfall to the museum as well so they came up with this fantastic idea. It’s an ambient street art campaign that tests how imaginative a child’s mind can be.

A massive part of your job as an artbuyer is to source the right talent for a campaign. How did you go about the process of finding the right illustrators for this job ?
Sarah and I divided and conquered on this job and met and talked to agents/illustrators and tried to get into their way of thinking as though seeing the world through a child's eyes, however we did not want the illustration to be too childish so it was a challenge finding illustrators that would appeal to children, while not crossing that line. We were ultimately looking for a big variety. Each one had to have its own distinct feel.
How many illustrators in total did you work with on this job?
We worked with twelve illustrators in total. Martha Orzel who created the Girl with Kite illustration, Greg Abbott who created the Spaceman, Kate Sutton drew the Snake, Rob Flowers the Rocket & Skull illustations, Paul Pateman created the Robot, Serge Seidiltz drew Ostrich, Whale and Cloud, Mick Marston created the Crab, Andrew Rae drew the Bird, Sergio Mora the Fire Engine and AMV ourselves created Mouse, Monkey and Spider.
Once you sourced the illustrators how did you then brief them ?
The art directors had already found the locations so we showed these to the illustrators and discussed how they might interpret them. Some of the illustrators weren't based in London so some we briefed in person and others over the phone. It was very important to have them be part of the process and involved from the start.
How quickly did you have to produce this job ?
It was a quick turnaround but the process was fairly complex and required lots of man hours. Sarah, myself, and the art directors Diccon and Al sourced all the locations for the campaign and then liaised with the illustrators and recorded the whole process.
How did you guys apply the illustrations on the street ?
We worked with a printing company, Clicks, who printed them onto vinyls so they were like large plasters.
Having worked with illustrators for the last 15 years, what would your top tip for commissioning illustration be ?
My top tip for commissioning would be (this is in an ideal world) to meet them, understand how they like to work and then try to work alongside them but life does not always work like that!
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