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Posted 10.06.19

DEGREE SHOWS - Sir David Attenborough congratulates student Heléna Doré

By Phillip Buchan

Illustrator and designer Heléna Doré has been congratulated for her "beautifully conceived and executed" illustrations by Sir David Attenborough.

For the Degree Shows 2019, BA (Hons) Illustration student Heléna has created ‘My Forest’, a children's book based around deforestation, and an illustrated book cover for Sir David Attenborough's 40th-anniversary edition of ‘Life on Earth’, celebrating 40 species discovered or declared extinct between 1979 and 2019.

Sir David Attenborough wrote to Heléna to let her know that her illustrations for 'Life on Earth' were "elegant and beautiful", with "particularly inspired" end pages, stating that "the images of the individual animals are delightful".

‘My Forest’ is a children's book based around the deforestation of bamboo forests and the negative impact that this has on pandas and other endemic species in the area. Made from 100% recycled and recyclable materials, Heléna illustrated, wrote and hand-bound ‘My Forest’ using traditional Chinese binding techniques, with some bamboo illustrations contributed by friends and family to represent the need for collaboration to push for positive environmental change.

Illustrated using a standard Bic biro pen, Heléna’s ‘Life on Earth’ included illustrations of 19 living species that had been discovered and named after Sir David Attenborough in the last 40 years, alongside 20 species that have been declared extinct by the IUCN between 1979 and 2019.

Heléna said: "I'm an illustrator and designer working with traditional materials to create a variety of illustrative outcomes including book covers, narratives, home and giftware. My main source of inspiration is nature, which when paired with subtle symbolic details, allows me to convey important powerful messages about the environment; giving my work purpose and engaging thought within the viewer."

Last year Heléna won 3rd place out of 2,100 entries in the Children’s Cover Award category of Penguin Random House UK’s 2018 Student Design Award.

Renowned book designer Tom Sanderson, who worked on the cover for Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust volume one: La Belle Sauvage, said that Heléna’s winning Noughts & Crosses cover for Penguin Random House UK, was “beautifully executed”, with “lovely hand-lettering”.

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