“Planet Dearth” is a series of illustrations I originally made for a narrative children’s book about climate change. I created the first four images together and then decided to add a fifth Utopian image to complete the series.
As an artist and educator, I struggle with how to best communicate the urgency of action on climate change. I find that we are bombarded with negative images about climate change, which feels both entirely appropriate and also breeds inaction. Therefore as artists we are faced with the challenge of communicating the urgency of climate change while also attempting to push viewers to consider their role as an active citizens.
As a visual thinker, I have dealt with human struggle partly by recalling a zoomed-out image of Earth from space in my mind.
When our Earthly problems feel too large to hold, I give myself a visual dose of perspective through remembering our size in the universe. This unconscious practice throughout my life has inspired these “Planet Dearth” images, which aim to make us consider how quickly we have transformed our planet and our current responsibility to transform into a sustainable home for the future of our species.
Edin Cook has been an active teaching artist for the last ten years. She has worked with an array of students through teaching in schools, nonprofits, and summer programs. Edin graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Bachelors in Fine Art with an Emphasis in Art Education. Her own art practice is focused on illustrating children’s books. Edin currently lives with her husband in Portland, OR and is interested in the intersection between visual art, education, climate change, and comedy.