This Fresh From The Field tackles the difficult topics of bullying and peer-pressure with thoughtful, distinctly Aotearoa design full of joy, kindness and delight to inspire empathy and deepen understanding. The design and visuals for Muddy Moa are a collaborative effort between Ryan Romanes Studio, Joe Carrington, and Rascality Studio
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New Zealand has one of the world’s worst records for bullying in schools. Muddy Moa aims to combat this by producing theatre shows that introduce the subject of bullying and peer pressure in a light and palatable way so that children recognise these issues with empathy, while also helping to open the conversation for adults to broach these tricky topics with a positive reference base. We were tasked with the challenge of realising the Muddy Moa character and identity in a fun and playful approach that would appeal to children up to ages of 10, parents and school teachers.
The ‘Muddy Moa’ name was inspired by the Moa species, a now-extinct flightless bird endemic to New Zealand. We worked with Joe Carrington, to visualise the Muddy Moa character – set amongst a colourful prehistoric landscape, surrounded in lush flora and fauna native to New Zealand. Key illustrations were complemented by a series of spot illustrations to aid in communicating the foundation’s mantra; a message of positivity and bravery through theatre – a message not to give up.
The Muddy Moa message has been brought to life with the help of Rascality Studios who developed the custom website, showcasing current and past shows, and provides key information about the foundation as well as ways the community can show support.
“Creating the illustrated assets for Muddy Moa was definitely a collaborative approach. A warm colour palette from Ryan set up the hero illustration as a relatable and warm depiction of Aotearoa’s native flora and fauna. The amazing mission statement of Muddy Moa struck a chord with me, and I felt a strong urge to reference my hero Murray Ball in my own style – whose work is a constant inspiration for children of many generations. My hopes are this work can aid Muddy Moa in creating a similar legacy.”