Research & Knowledge Communication // Professional Category Winner
African Governance Architecture
Commissioned by Philip C. Jahn for African Union
Florian Bayer is a German illustrator living in Berlin. Since 2007 he has been working in the fields of editorial illustration and advertising for a variety of clients such as Die Zeit, Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin, Guardian, Wallpaper, L’Oréal and Olympus. In the last seven years he gave illustration lectures and workshops at universities and institutions.
GIZ, the "German Corporation for International Cooperation" provided me with a great amount of freedom while working on “African Governance Architecture”. I enjoyed the complexity of the subject: How should National governments and regional communities of all countries in the African Union support safeguarding human rights and democratic governance?
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When it comes to implementing the support of safeguarding human rights and democratic governance in African governments, they often fail to fulfil their undertakings. To overcome those difficulties, GIZ developed a series of campaign material to be used internally as well as externally; to inform press, politicians and decision makers as well as to train election observers on site.
I am drawing on a Wacom Cintiq Companion in Adobe Photoshop CS6 with homemade brush tools and the ones by Kyle T. Webster.
The GIZ provided me with a big archive of photos from training workshops held for election observers all over the whole continent. Unfortunately they could not offer an on location research for myself, but I tried hard to get as much information and reference material as possible to create the feeling of a real daily life atmosphere.
The complexity of the topic required long research including many conversations with people from the GIZ and people from and in Africa. I ended up with a huge pile of topics, sceneries, pieces of information and pictures; therefore it needed a lot of sketches and mind maps to distill the four main motifs. The next step was sketching the compositions which were a mixture of collage and comic layouts. After the main motifs had been developed I started the inking and colouring.
To combine that many required topics and complex pieces of information in four atmospheric images was quite challenging.
I locked myself up in a small wooden cabin on a mountain in the Austrian Alps without phone nor internet access to draw the main drafts for the project.
The time frame for this project was quite open. Something you are usually dreaming of made it also difficult to stay focused over such a long time of inking with lots of distractions through other jobs.
4 collage images, 26 stand-alone images, 50 drafts, 292 reference pictures.