Essential reading for new writers and illustrators

February 23, 2017

If I had got £1 for each time I have recommended these titles to people I would be a wealthy woman. They are for the newbie writer and illustrator an absolute must to buy and read. Scour their pages for crafty ideas to generate work and squeeze out every possible potential to make money. Without these books it would have been so much harder to find out all the information I needed to freelance.

Plus when you do land the job from heaven and you dance round the room like a loon it is vital to have a book on contracts. Oh bore of bores, the idea of reading a contract and trying to understand lawyer speak…..urgh! I would rather poke my eyes out with mouldy stick, BUT it has saved my bacon plenty of times. I even used it once to semi write a contract with a foreign publisher. They probably thought that I was some weird monster lawyer/illustrator hybrid.

The Writer’s and Artists Yearbook by A&C Black – general publishing

The Children’s Writer’s and Artists Yearbook by A&C Black – for children’s book market. This an essential buy if you want to be a picture book illustrator.

The Artists’ Yearbook by Thames and Hudson – more for fine artists.

The Illustrator’s Guide to Law and Business Practise by Simon Stern – law, contracts, publishing deals. Can be purchased from the Association of illustrators. Also very useful for writers to as they will contend with the same law and publishing deals.

www.theaoi.com

Little Hedgehog book no 11

June 7, 2016

It has been recently confirmed that I will start work on the next Little Hedgehog book number 11 in the series. I have no information on what the story is about yet. Christina is currently working on the story. Its highly likely that it will be another Christmas themed book as it sells well at that time of year. Though I hope there will be plenty of opportunity to add in lots of colour.

I have written my own story about a little mouse not wanting her hair washed. I have done lots of sketches and art samples for it and getting close to running out of excuses of not sending it off to my publisher. Its that scary moment when it gets judged by the pro’s. Though even if my writing style misses the mark they might nevertheless like the character enough to commission another writer to mould it into shape. Its all about getting work in any form

Here is some Missy Mouse sketches.

Tiffy the mouse takes a bath

April 27, 2016

I had gone through my sketch book and came across some bedtime/bathtime ideas which I thought were crying out to be turned into finished art. Putting the character in a teacup I simply could not resist, especially as it emphasises how small the mouse is. Messy newly scrubbed hair in all directions, I hope would add a bit of humour too. I have rough story idea to go with it, but lord knows if its any good. A few more sketches, scenes and poses and maybe my publisher might be convinced. Though as I am untested as an author I am sure the editor’s red marker will come out pretty quick. 

I will come back to it at a later date as to see if it stand the test of time.

Earlswood Infant School Redhill

March 9, 2016

Last thursday (3rd of March) I had the pleasure of doing an art event in 4 sessions at Earlswood Infant School in Redhill. Somehow I did not get lost despite Reigate and Redhill possessing the worst T junctions on the planet. When I arrived I quickly sussed out the ‘Characters’ of the class. There is always one kid that is particularly memorable. This time a young chap called Dylan so of course I had to read the book ‘Oh Dylan’ about a duckling. Another young lad was determined to get a husky drawing. One class I even managed to get them all to howl like wolves! By the end of the day several hundred drawing of mice, wolves and birds were strewn about the class. Some talented wee artists there! The last class were probably the most excited as I drew most of them a picture each. The Fairies, dragons and wolves were the most popular. Never drawn so fast!

I have attached the fairy Miss Vespa that the kids seemed to like most. A high speed flying champ that is a wasp-ish.

William Cobbett Primary School event

March 2, 2016

Today I had the pleasure to meet Fox class at William Cobbett Primary School, Weybourne Farnham. They were a fabulous class of well behaved yet very entertaining children. Lots of oooos and arrgghhs over various fluffy animals and they seemed to be pleased with the how to colour a dragon demo. I am looking forward to receiving scans of their artwork too. A young lad wanted me to draw a car wash! That has to go down as my current favourite bizarre request.

Photo’s to follow soon.

School Visit

February 25, 2016

I am looking forward to visiting Earlswood infant school next week in Redhill. Its going to be a mammoth four classes in four 1 hour sessions drawing with the kids. School visits are usually so much fun as the kids are hilarious. They have asked me to do character studies so the kids can have a go creating their own. So the day before I will find some black and white images of mine suitable for the kids to colour in. Then set out some examples for them to copy or inspire, dragons for the boys and fairies for the girls with a smattering of fluffy animals. I will take along some of my books and read one of them, then do a colour art demonstration. I also usually take along some original art and sketches too for them to oggle at. Plus some basic art supplies. I just hope I don’t get lost or stuck in traffic!

Slug racing

February 24, 2016

I have been chewing over how fairies can be done in a way that is not the typical romantic, pretty or gentle variety which has done over and over. Why can they not be funny? What would a fairie do for fun on their day off from collecting moon beams? A day at the races of course, yep slug racing!

Venturing into Blogland

February 11, 2016

This is the first of many blogs talking about the wonderful world of book illustration for children. I will cover the various issues that I as an illustrator (and other illustrators I know) encounter or worry about, whether it be the terror of the blank page or if a contract is fair. Not only that updates about what I am working on, new publications and other morsels. 

In addition to show and tell on my scribblings of the furry and feathered variety. Which I will invite you all to comment on.

This first image is from my sketch book where I was chewing over the idea of an insect tea shop and what would be on the menu.