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Using Cartoons to Communicate about Crofting

23 January 2020
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The thing about a cartoon is, you can do whatever you want” Matt Groening

As advisors we often encourage crofters to collaborate.

In the same way, we should follow our own advice and collaborate with other professionals when it will improve the quality of the final product. Such collaborations can bring many skills from various sectors together, and it’s fun!

For a recent project on muirburn, we collaborated with cartoonists, muirburn experts, government conservationists, video editors and translators with the aim of developing an excellent product that would effectively communicate with our target audience.

In this article, I will focus on the collaboration with the cartoonist, Chris, a local artist who has a regular feature in the local newspaper. My drawing skills are so poor, I was advised not to take standard grade art (!), so it is great when Chris can bring my ideas to life. I enjoyed writing the voiceover script, working with muirburn experts and conservationists to ensure the content was accurate. Recording the voiceover was fairly painless and, in contrast to the videos we often make, there was no concern about my hairstyle!

Last year we made videos on the subject of muirburn using Chris’ cartoons:

Getting to Know the Muirburn Code



Muirburn on Common Grazings


These videos were then developed to be a bilingual resource as they were both translated into Gaelic and then one of my colleagues in Uist performed the voiceover.


Falasgair air Fearann Ionaltraidh (Muirburn on Common Grazings)


A’ Cur Èòlas air a’ Chòd Falasgair (Getting to Know the Muirburn Code)


Cartoons used to spark discussion

This year we have a road-show on Common Grazings Dilemmas. The teams delivering these meetings at SAC Consulting Portree and SAC Consulting Balivanich brain-stormed issues facing committees and how to present them in cartoon form. Chris worked his magic again…

Dilemma – What is the correct process of changing Grazing Regulations

The next meetings are in Skye on the 22nd of Janaury and 30th of January in Uist where the cartoons act as a introduction for discussion on the dilemma and various solutions.

Common Grazing Discussion Group Skye – Common Grazing Dilemmas

Common Grazings Dilemmas – Uist

After the road-show, the cartoonised dilemmas and various solutions will be available on the FAS website so attendees can re-visit and common graziers who could not attend the meeting can also participate.

SAC Consulting has a lot of great messages to share, in 2020 why not have some fun and innovate to find the best medium to do that. The possibilities are endless!

Janette Sutherland
SAC Consulting Portree

Cartoon of common grazing shreholders looking at a large stone tablet with 'Grazing Regulations' written on it.

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