Thursday, 26 May 2011


After waiting months and months and months, this week I finally received copies of some books I wrote and/or illustrated last year. They're for a Korean publisher who I've worked for before; they've come out quite well. "Bunny's T-Shirt" pictured below was the one I wrote and illustrated, the others are just my text. It was the first time I used my Wacom on a professional job, so I was a bit unsure of myself, but it looks surprisingly OK. It's all collaged together as I usually do, but only using swatches of scanned gouache paint to give it a textured, hand painted feel without the hassle of actually hand painting it. 








The funniest thing about this job was that I did a sample spread in colour for them and painted Bunny brown, as you probably would. The company got back to me to tell me that they wanted Bunny to be pink, which was fair enough. They then told me that they thought Bunny was too big in relation to Tiger and that it would be more realistic if she were smaller. It took quite a lot of tongue biting to refrain from mentioning that as Bunny is pink, making her a realistic size seemed rather moot.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

WIP: Naughty Piggies

Finally, something I can show! This is a character from a sample spread I'm putting together for my new agent.

naughty piggy

What's really shocking is that it's drawn with a REAL PENCIL on REAL PAPER. Whoa!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Mini Mania

I was feeling in a right old grump on Sunday, so, to cheer myself up, I took Hubbo down to Madeira Drive to perv on some auto porn:









Friday, 13 May 2011

A Room of One's Own

The last few weeks have been another crazy rush of scribble, scribble, paint, Wacom, click, colour, magic wand, scan, scribble, flatten, FTP, invoice, scribble, rinse and repeat. My last deadline was this Monday just gone, which I was a few days ahead of schedule for (smug face), so, happily, this past week I've had a bit more room to breathe, although I have just sent in a quick rough for an apron design. AN APRON, people! How cool is that?! You know how I luvs me aprons. I LOVE my job; it really does seem crazy sometimes that I get paid to do it. (Lucky face).

So, I thought in the absence of any work I'm allowed to show, I'd put up a few pictures of my new (well, newish now, I suppose) studio space. And very nice it is, too, to actually have a space instead of a corner of another room. Technically, my studio is the "dining room", but why stick a table you're maybe going to use once a day in room that could be used all the time? So here we are:


My desk is up against the chimney breast with an alcove on either side. The alcove on the left houses my fave £3 junk shop table which itself holds my printer, amp, one speaker, milk jug collection, radio and totally awesome retro owl-shaped Avon face cream jar. Above are a few embroidery hoops with some of my fave blue and orange fabrics stretched over. In the alcove on the right is a tall, paper lamp, and you can just see that I have three of my "granny china" plates up on the wall beside it. The map above my desk is a patchwork of two old maps of Cornwall I got in the Oxfam bookshop last year for 50p each. They're from 1960, so it's fascinating to see all the old railways that are no longer there. If only they were *sigh*.


This side of the room has my green shelf unit holding boring-official-business-type-stuff and painting/printing materials, and my sewing table with red shelf and sewing gubbins above. I keep the top of the green shelf as clear as possible as that is the only access out to our little roof terrace. As you can see, on this particular day I had already shimmied out of the window to hang up some washing out there. This Sunday, I planted, and replanted, a few herbs and veggies out there; I must take photos of their progress.


The other side of the room houses our folding table which I can get out if I need a larger surface to splosh some paint about on, or cut some paper on, or whatever creative gubbins I might be up to at the time. At the moment we are still using this table to eat, but the plan is to get a small square, or maybe even circular, table to have in the living room. Until then, we eat dinner here, too. (Unless we're feeling lazy or watching Doctor Who, in which case it's on trays on our laps in the living room.) Behind that large piece of paper is a wall heater, but as it's FAR too warm to have that on at the moment, I didn't think having the paper there would do much harm.

The fourth wall, which I didn't photograph as it's really rather boring, is the stairs up to the bedroom and the Boy Room.

So there you are, that's my creative space. This is where the magic happens, as very sad people say. If you fancy checking out other creative work spaces, there's a fab blog called On My Desk. I'm not sure that it is updated very often any more, but taking a nose through the archives is a fun way to waste 10 minutes (*cough* an hour) or so.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Rivers of London

I've just finished reading (well, listening to) Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch. I have to say, it's the best piece of fiction I've read all year. Just brilliant. Go and bag yourself a copy if you can, especially if you like humour, crime, fantasy, myth, legend, London, cynisism, magic, folk tales and, above all, a ripping good yarn.

Great cover, too; will have to find out who it's by if I can get hold of a hard copy of the book.

I didn't realise until I'd finished it, but Rivers of London was one of Simon Mayo's Radio 2 Book Club books back in January. (I'm quite a big Drive Time fan, I will turn off all audiobooks to listen between 5-7pm each day, but I must've been so wrapped up in my first set of roughs that I fell behind.) Anyhoo, Ben Aaronovitch was interviewed about his book, which you can listen to through the magic of the internet here. There's a sequel out already, Moon Over Soho, and another to be published later this year called Whispers Under Ground. I would go grab Moon Over Soho right away, but I so enjoyed the way Kobna Holdbrook-Smith narrated Rivers of London that I think I'll wait for the audiobook to appear, hopefully soon. The series even has its own website here.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

One Page Potters

Did you know that yesterday was Free Comic Book Day? Did you also know that you can read all sorts of amazing, intelligent and artistically brilliant comics on the old interwebs for free all the time? It's true. Just take a Google.

So, in celebration of FCD, I was just pottering (ho!) about on Twitter/the internetz generally yesterday, having a look at some Sequential Art (if you want the Fancy Pants term, and what is illustration, anyway, if not a sequence of pictures telling a story? Sorry, I digress), and came across a link to these fantastic and simply hilarious one-sheet Harry Potter comics by the very talented Lucy Knisley. This one is Order of the Phoenix, follow the link above to see books 1-4, too:

So far Lucy has only covered books 1-5; I can't wait for 6 and 7. I think I will have to buy the whole set of prints once they're finished and up in her shop. I particularly like the funny little captions ("A hem-hem, *child abuse*), and Snape's body language up there when he realises he has to give Harry Occlumency lessons is just genius. Check 'em out.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011


On Saturday, Husband and I emptied out our storage unit in Portslade (which means all that stuff is now sitting in our living room waiting for a new home. Ho hum), and decided on a whim to swing by Emmaus on our way home to hunt for a few bargains and to check out their recently refurbished "Revive" cafe. This is what we found:








How. Blinking. Awesome. Precisely my aesthetic. (Also explains why I can't find all the usual stuff I love as it's all been nabbed to furnish this room!) It used to be just half this size, but they've knocked through to the room behind. Good job, too, as this place is PACKED on a Saturday lunchtime. And it's no wonder as the food is yum, yum, yum and incredibly good value. Husband had a Ploughman's with literally half a bag of salad, loads of lovely pickles and half a block of cheese, plus baguette, for a fiver. Bargain.

I do love those painted lampstands. I'm not sure we have room for another lamp, but I might try to persuade Husband that painting our wooden hatstand bright yellow is a Very Good Idea.....

Do go check out Emmaus if you can. I meant to blog about it waaaay back last summer when we first went, but forgot to do so. (Or was that on purpose? I would love to keep this place to myself, but it's just too nice.)