People have always been our source of inspiration, dating back to when Professor Graeme Clark invented the first multi-channel cochlear implant more than four decades ago. So, when it came time to update our look recently – from our company logo to the colors and artworks that are featured in our offices around the world – we found inspiration in Sophie, someone who has experienced hearing loss firsthand.
Inspired though hearing loss
Sophie is an Australian illustrator who was faced with unexpected hearing loss after the removal of a brain tumor in 2017. Like many people with hearing loss, Sophie turned to her creative side to express her emotions and has captured her journey through a series of three powerful illustrations.
“I was very, very happy to take on these artworks as a way to explore my own personal journey through hearing loss – to think about the visual and narrative elements that can be woven into an abstract design,” says Sophie.
An established artist, Sophie uses the process of paper cutting, slashing, ripping, painting, inking and assembling to tell her story visually and share her emotional journey of losing and then regaining her hearing.
These illustrations have inspired Cochlear’s new look and logo, which will also come to life in artworks that will appear in our offices around the world.
Through this collaboration and our new look, we hope to reflect our ongoing commitment to helping people experience life’s opportunities through hearing and inspire our global Cochlear employees.
Sophie’s three illustrations and the story behind each one
The first illustration, Realising Loss, represents how Sophie felt when confronted with hearing loss and the realization that her life would never be the same. It also represents the grief she felt from abruptly losing something so integral to her and her personality.
Sophie used darker colors and violent, messy lines to depict the pain of going through the journey of seeing herself as a person with hearing loss.
In Confronting Emotion, Sophie explores what she feels it’s like living with hearing loss and the initial reaction of frustration: not being able to hear simple things like the TV or a friend’s joke in a group setting.
Compared with Realising Loss, the shapes in Confronting Emotion are softer and the colors are brighter. She says this reflects her eventual acclimation to hearing loss and learning to fill in the gaps of what your body can’t do. This represents acceptance of not getting the full picture anymore.
In the final illustration, Spreading Hope, Sophie conveys that there is a promise of hope through technological innovation.
The brighter colors, organic shapes and motifs, featuring plants and leaves, symbolize happiness, growth and new beginnings. For Sophie, this meant the promise of a brighter future through technology’s potential and ability to support people with hearing loss, every day.
Keep an eye out for Sophie’s artwork in communications from Cochlear, in brochures, videos and on social media.
Read more stories of Cochlear in the community>>