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Emiel Durbal

Emiel Durbal


image with artdirection



Emiel is a Graphic Designer from London who, since a young age, has embraced creativity and design with a passion for the natural world. He currently volunteers at the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, using his talents to help spread awareness around the plight of bees.

image with artdirection


image with artdirection


We asked Emiel a few questions about his life and his passion, to see how he has made change in small-big ways.

Initially, what prompted you to drive change?

Growing up and realising that the world isn’t as perfect as I thought. And understanding that something I had a passion for could be used to improve the lives of others.

What has been the most rewarding moment of your journey so far?

There have been a number of rewarding moments in my life but I think some of the most important and most memorable were from my childhood. I have always been inspired by the natural world, spending hours foraging in the wilderness as a child. This prompted me to better understand biodiversity and why we should work to protect it. Designing and embracing creativity is something I have always had a passion for from a young age. I began by teaching myself how to use Adobe Photoshop CS5 through hours’ worth of YouTube videos. Then, I eventually established my own client base and started producing work for businesses and individuals, both nationally and internationally. Understanding that I could use this passion in a way that could better the lives of others was the turning point that led me to design for change.

What change-maker/s do you look up to and why?

David Attenborough and Steve Irwin were the two that first introduced me to wildlife conservation from a young age. My mother grew up watching Attenborough’s early work, first watching Life on Earth (1979) when she was young. She raised me the same way, and I am grateful for that. The older I got and the more interested in the natural world I became, I started to acknowledge the importance of Attenborough’s work and how his documentaries have helped showcase nature in a way that we are obliged to preserve it. Steve Irwin’s vast contribution to charities and conservation programs makes him one of the most influential characters in wildlife conservation, and someone I have always looked up to. Seeing Bindi and Robert carrying their father’s legacy with the same passion Steve had is a really beautiful thing.

If you could save one species at the click of your fingers, what would it be?

There are around 20,000 known species of bees but I think every single one is important. Understanding the importance of bees and their contribution to a balanced ecosystem and global food production. 70% of the world’s agriculture depends exclusively on bees. Habitat loss, toxic pesticides, climate change, parasites and diseases are all responsible for the decline in global populations, and we must acknowledge the importance of these creatures before it’s too late.

Why is it important for brands/companies to become more responsible?

Environmentalism as a marketing factor has really grown in the past few decades and the growing consciousness about climate change is empowering consumers to demand more. I believe brands and corporations have a huge influence on society, as they carefully study human behaviour and social trends in order to gain consumer trust. It’s amazing to see that sustainable branding and corporate social responsibility is starting to become an expectation within today’s society. Those who put the needs of the planet before their profit margin should be admired.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing you would want to have with you?

A paddle boat.

What are some small changes people can make in their everyday lives to help save (specifically, in your field)?

Every single one of us has a responsibility to care for our environment, not work against it. We are all aware of the many issues regarding climate change and although we need to urge governments and influential bodies to take action, we do need to make changes in our own lives. This includes trying to live more sustainably and taking the environment into consideration when going about our daily lives. Design is one of the most important tools to drive change and the power of design not only draws attention to, but helps enact change in response to a problem. Using your platform for the greater good is something I strongly believe in regardless of how many people you can reach, there will always be someone to take your torch and run with it.