The Process

Step 1: Application Call

After the official launch of the project in January 2016, we put out an application call for illustrators through a number of different networks.

wanted logo

There was an amazing response and we received a total of 49 applications from 16 different countries.


Step 2: The one-page ‘pitch’

Following an evaluation process conducted by all the scientists, 10 applicants were selected to then submit a one-page ‘pitch’. Applicants were provided with material specific to permafrost research and were required to design their cartoon using this material.

The quality of the cartoons we received was amazing, making it very difficult to select the final two artists. However, after a rigorous evaluation process we were able to agree on the final two who were….. Heta Nääs from Helsinki Finland and Noémie Ross from Montreal Canada! Check out their winning pitches in their profiles.

Step 3: Collaboration with the artists

Heta and Noémie were provided with a broad range of scientific content to help shape their cartoons, but ultimately they were given complete freedom to interpret the content however they chose. Examples of the topics included were:

  • What is permafrost?
  • Implications of permafrost change
  • Field work in permafrost regions

Working with the artists at this stage was an iterative process with many meetings to exchange ideas. Heta was able to attend the International Conference on Permafrost in Potsdam (Germany) in 2016. She met with the science group to go over her cartoons in detail and to engage with Northern people attending the conference.

Step 4: Distribute cartoons!

The final cartoons are now available on this website under the Download tab and have been presented at a number of conferences worldwide. We are currently in the process of printing the cartoons for distribution in schools and libraries. All of the material is available under the creative commons licence (CC) and is publicly available.

The next step is to translate these cartoons from English into many more languages including, but not limited to, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, German, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Japanese and Russian, just to name a few.