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Mascot Design Competition Winner Announced

Gary Seath 1 month ago

Forces Life Young People Support

Mascot Design Competition Winner Announced

We are delighted to announce that Isla Fraser, aged 13, from Elgin, has won our charity Mascot Design Competition.

 

The competition was launched to enhance our youthful identity on our website, social media, resources, publications, and much more.

We received over seventy entries from across Scotland, judged by a panel comprising charity CEO, Trustees, and beneficiaries.

Having co-produced the charity’s vibrant rebrand, creative control was back in the hands of young people to use whatever creative medium worked for them.

The creative brief was simple – to help friends, educators, and professionals from non-armed forces community backgrounds to understand their identity as a forces child better.

Having won the competition, we recently caught up with Isla and her mum, Lucy, to find out more about the creative spark, process, and wider reflections.

Isla has come up with a stunning Highland Cow design (pictured below), so we asked her to tell us more about the concept’s creative spark.

“Highland cows are a classic, easily recognisable Scottish animal, they are also large, strong, and hardy while also being kind and approachable.

Their personality is a good choice for a mascot, especially one that is going to represent the armed forces to younger children, being altogether a protective and steadfast figure.

With the clothes, originally he was going to have bright cartoonish eyes and no helmet, but after sketching him a few times with scruffy hair, it developed into a helmet.

My favourite part is either the neat buttoned-up shirt, which was recoloured to represent the Forces Children Scotland colour scheme, or the horns poking through the helmet.

My first design was a cow, but I also considered a bluebird to symbolise the RAF and also a living version of the unicorn from Scottish heraldry.”

Having covered the creative spark behind her design, we then asked Isla about the creative process of turning an idea into a bold, colourful design entry.

“I sketched the cow with pencils then when I had the design nailed down I used paint pens to complete his design on paper. It took a couple of days to draw, a whole day dedicated to trying to get the camo correct!

Then I recoloured his clothes into Forces Children Scotland’s colour scheme, and physically layered the new clothing over the original design after scanning the first design! We considered altering the design using a tablet and app but I am more comfortable with pen and paper.”

 

Having had a little time for the news to sink in, we asked Isla about her reflections on winning the competition.

“When I entered the competition I didn’t mind whether I won or not, I just liked the idea of a company thinking “that’s not half bad”, but now that I have won I think I’d be sad if I didn’t and I’m happy that my design is going to represent forces children.

While I felt fantastic upon winning, I also felt concerned that younger children might be discouraged. I would say that you should never compare your artwork to others and experiment with materials and styles.”

Isla is from a family with a proud military background. Her dad presently serves in the Army in the Highlands, and her great grandfather, a native Highlander, served in the Royal Engineers.

Having asked children and young people from armed forces communities to design a mascot to help others understand what it’s like to be a forces child, we asked Isla’s mum, Lucy, about the positives and challenges.

“We have been an army family since 2016, my husband was based in Tidworth, Wiltshire.

We moved to Scotland at the start of the year, which was quite a change but one we welcomed as my husband has family ties to the Highlands, his grandfather was a Highlander in the Royal Engineers –  and also because of the natural beauty of the mountains and coasts.

There are many positives for forces families, a very proactive community – including youth clubs, events and opportunities for children, and also housing/financial security despite the challenges.

The challenges differ for each family, depending on job roles and locations, but I’d say many children may struggle with moving schools and moving away from family and friends as well as parents’ deployment.

But overall, my experience is of families who are very proud of being part of the armed forces community.”

 

Lucy continues to describe the huge sense of family pride in Isla’s creativity.

“Isla is very creative and we are always so amazed by her ideas – she is always writing stories and world-building with complex characters and histories and this comes to life in her illustrations.

We have a very artistic family, and we always encourage the children to express themselves through art, so when I saw the competition shared on social media, I knew this was right up Isla’s street. Isla’s grandparents are extremely proud and see this as a forerunner of future successes and we agree.”

Forces Children Scotland’s Education and Learning Worker, Judith Blair, said:

‘We’ve been so impressed with the great ideas that forces children from across Scotland have submitted as part of our Mascot Competition!

The entries that children from serving, veteran, and reservist families sent in really demonstrated their creativity – from vibrant colours to some great original designs, the submissions really brought to life what it means to grow up in a forces family in Scotland.

All the entries were winners in our eyes, but we sadly had to pick one to be the new Forces Children Scotland mascot. Our judging panel felt the winning entry had a unique Scottish flavour, and we were blown away by the attention to detail in Isla’s design.

We’d like to thank all those forces children who submitted an entry and we hope you all enjoy our new mascot.”

 

 

 

Regarding the next steps, we will work closely with Isla and her family in the coming months to digitise her design, and we look forward to announcing the launch of our brand-new mascot later in the year.

A huge well done to Isla from everyone involved at Forces Children Scotland.