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Penn Balint's portfolio for Bright Little Labs

Hi! Thanks so much for checking this out. Below, you'll find a piece of illustration for my pitched idea, 'Bugbear', then some past illustration work and an artist bio. :)

“Bugbear’s favourite berry is raspberries.
Bugbear likes big hugs and people who are nice.
Bugbear’s biggest wish is to learn how to whistle.
But all everyone wants to know about bugbear is what animal they are.”

Bugbear is an inclusive role model representing people who do not fit into the gender binary, which is an increasingly important field to have positively represented in a rising climate of transphobia. 


The concept of  being two animals at once encourages critical thinking skills, as it's not something that would have been taught to kids as being possible. The empathy they feel for Bugbear will encourage them to question and interrogate other concepts and attitudes which they have been handed down.


In making 'Bugbear' not tackle gender conversations directly, it allows for the children to get lost in the story without feeling like they are being preached at, while also setting them up for being able to think for themselves in more directly edifying conversations further down the line.


I’m Penn Balint (they/he), a multimedia artist and writer/director. Originally from Hungary, I'm currently settled in Devon and creating as part of a new art collective, The Yoko Situation.


My visual artistic practice goes back 6 years and includes an oil painting that was shown in the guardian, illustrations printed in Varsity magazine and commissioned by theatre companies such as Documental Theatre, Wandering Tiger, and 2D animation for Dartmoor National Park.


I have also been heavily involved with theatre since 2017, when I assistant directed, set and costume designed two shows for professional theatre company Wandering Tiger. Over the last five years, I have worked on 30 theatrical and film productions at the University of Cambridge in a variety of roles. I directed ‘No One Needs to Know’ at the Howard Theatre, which won the Marlowe Other Prize in 2020, ‘Attrition’ at the National Student Drama Festival in 2021, and wrote and directed ‘Moles’ which was commissioned and performed at the ADC Theatre.

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