19 August 2014

Go bananas!

Good news...(okay, so this might not be news to everyone - and to many people this may be very old news, but)...I am illustrating a picture book! 

I am over the moon to have been asked to work on Never Bite a Tiger on the Nose (sound advice) by the brilliant Lynne Rickards. The book is all about healthy eating and features some very hungry children and their cheeky animal friends. 

Today my desk looked a bit like this:

And at times like this:

Things have started to get colourful:

Lynne has written a lovely rhyming story, hopefully I can do it justice and help bring her characters to life. The finished book will be distributed to 3 year olds across Scotland as part of Scottish Book Trust's Bookbug scheme in March 2015. So it's back to work for me - tonight I think I'll work on some monkeys and bananas. Mmmm bananas. This book is making me hungry.

18 August 2014

Mastering the art!

Today I write from a deserted ECA studio...which hopefully means that the Masters students are relaxing/celebrating. Their degree show is up and running and it is a belter. I popped in this afternoon and WOW.

POW! Yasmine's colourful space

Thought provoking and bold (not to mention beautiful) work by Maria Stoian

Laura's picture books are unbelievably engaging, her characters are charming and stories hilarious  

There are many more talented illustrators to see, as well as great work across the other disciplines taught at ECA. Show runs all week  and the last day is Sunday 24th August so go and visit while you can!

4 August 2014

Pop in to the pop up!

Edinburgh Festival is GO! There is a lot happening and I am definitely not involved in enough of these things. I am, however, proud to say my prints are on display and up for sale at the Saltmarket pop-up shop and gallery at RBS in St Andrew Square all week. I went in today and it is brill.

Gallery visitors getting the low down on some of the artists

My prints sitting alongside work by some very talented folk

There is some lovely jewellery, cushions and treats by Kezikoko and prints by illustrators and designers including Alexander JacksonSo if you are passing, why not pop in to the pop up?

2 August 2014

London Calling

Today I'm taking a day off. This should be very easy. I am on the sofa, it is raining and I have plenty of snacks. However, it turns out that I can't stop thinking about the two books I am working on this month. Which is probably a good thing. So here I am, blogging again (at last) because if I am not drawing tigers or elephants or bumble bees I will write about drawing tigers, elephants and bumblebees.

Recently I went to London and it was brilliant. I went to Carlton Kids HQ and spent a day working in house on the colouring book they have commissioned me to illustrate. By 'working' I mean 'reading children's books and chatting to lovely people' (see above photos for examples of books and lovely people - the latter of these is Editor Anna Brett). The office was like a treasure trove of goodies, and as much as I love freelancing I did have the odd pang of envy as I was given the tour and a fancy desk to work at and went out for yummy lunch in bustling sunny LondonDay two of my trip took me to Tate Modern to meet with the incredibly talented and lovely Paula Burgess, the Art Director I am working with on a picture book for Scottish Book Trust. A picture book I am very excited about. So all in all, my first trip to London 'on business' was very grown up and important and I felt like I was playing at being someone who is grown up and important. (I think I might even have almost pulled it off!)

Board for Archerfield Walled Garden (frame made by my wee brother)

Menu board for The Pleasance Dome Cafe

To avoid becoming a complete recluse and to get my brain thinking about other things than picture books and colouring in pages I have been decorating chalkboards. Typography is fast becoming something I am very interested in and as I am aware this is a very  complex and precise craft I fully intend to start learning how this sort of thing is done properly...in the meantime I have been having a go at my own hand lettering for clients in the run up to the Edinburgh Festival. Which is now under way and I love it. So as much as London was sparkly and enticing I came home to beautiful vibrant Edinburgh in full festival swing...good choice.