The Secret Story Draw is a great initiative dedicated to placing Black, Asian and Minority-Ethnic (BAME) illustrators and animators into some of the country’s best studios.

“The Case for Action” from the people behind The Secret Story Draw says it all.

Illustration and animation in the children’s media industry still has some way to go to truly offer meaningful employment opportunities for people of colour. The children we serve come from all walks of life and backgrounds, so the people who make and create the books and TV shows they love should too.

It’s not enough to show support, or become an ally; action is required. We need to come together to provide real opportunity for diverse talent to break through and shift the landscape of the industry with new stories, voices and creative talent.The Secret Story Draw’s ambition is to achieve this change in the creative sector for the benefit of all. By providing a pathway to real opportunities for a lasting career, just like the ones we have all derived so much joy from.”

As a way of working towards a solution to this, The Secret Story Draw created a competition where young illustrators and animators from BAME backgrounds read stories secretly written by well-known authors and create illustrations based on them.  Their entries are shortlisted by a panel of experts. Alongside receiving an award, the winners are given the opportunity of a 3 month paid placement within the industry.

The Secret Story Draw knew they wanted an award that was based around a pencil (which is in their logo) but they were not sure of the final design.  It was at this point, they engaged us.  Our idea was that rather than a full pencil, it would be great to create a cross-section of a pencil.  Each of the sides of the hexagon would be fabricated using a different colour and type of hardwood. The six woods would represent the 6 broad continents – North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.  The final fabricated piece would tell a story of inclusion and togetherness.  The central plaque (the lead of the pencil) would have the winners name etched onto it.

They loved the idea and so the design for the awards came to be.

We’ve made other awards over the years.  Have a look here to see the Creative Circle Awards – LINK