About illustration, pattern and the love of doing arty things

the month of monsters

It’s October and that means it’s almost Halloween and THAT means I’m allowed to draw monsters as much I like – brilliant! Here’s the first one.

mushroom season

It’s cold in the air and damp on the ground and in the forests and the fields the mushrooms are beginning to appear. I’m looking forward to finding my first chanterelles and penny buns, but meantime I thought I’d celebrate the season of the mushroom with a few fungus-inspired patterns – these ones are anything but edible…





Maisie travels the world

I’m delighted to find myself in possession of some of the co-edition copies of the first three Maisie Hitchins stories. It seems that intrepid Maisie has now travelled to France, Poland, Indonesia and America! I love to see the differences between the books, the Amercian edition for example uses a little scroll for the series title “The Mysteries of Maisie Hitchins” and underneath its dust jacket the book is a perfect reproduction of the notebook that Maisie carries everywhere with her – what a lovely detail. Thanks so much to Emily at Stripes Publishing for rounding these up for me!

The Case of the Stolen Sixpence in American and Indonesian editions.
The Case of the Stolen Sixpence in American and Indonesian editions.
The Case of the Phantom Cat in American and French editions.
The Case of the Phantom Cat in American and French editions.
The Case of the Vanishing Emerald in Polish and French editions.
The Case of the Vanishing Emerald in Polish and Indonesian editions.
American hardback copy of The Case of the Phantom Cat
American hardback copy of The Case of the Phantom Cat
Phantom Cat interior - American edition
Phantom Cat interior – American edition
Maisie book stack
Maisie book stack

back to school

For me and studio pal Nicola Killen much of this summer has been spent preparing for Art Club and figuring out the exercises we wanted the children to do. This meant a lot of playing with materials and mark-making, I felt like I’d gone back to my student days where experimentation was the norm. It was great! Here are some of the results of using tissue and coloured pencil for collage week and monoprint for printing week.




Art Club – 3D

On Tuesday Nicola Killen and I held our fourth and final Art Club and the theme this time was doll’s house rooms from shoe boxes. We had a wonderful array of bits and bobs for the children get creative with and at the end of the session we put all their rooms together to make a mansion of a doll’s house! Huge thanks to all those who helped us gather the supplies for this session – both Nicola’s and my parents, Perry and Ian as well as Jones the Bootmakers for supplying all the boxes. Special thanks go to my Dad who lovingly sawed up and sanded all the blocks of wood that were used to make the tiny furniture. We would also like to thank the wonderful Anne, Pippa, David and Richard from Cambridgeshire libraries for making Art Club happen!













experiments in screen printing…

I’ve always wanted to have a go at screen printing but somehow never got around to it – that is until I was given a screen printing kit for my birthday! I found the whole process quite tricky and highly messy but loads of fun. I’m not sure I did an awfully good job from a technical point of view but I still like the result. My friend Emily’s cat Maya served as the muse for this print – thanks Maya!

Art Club – collage

For me and fellow children’s book illustrator Nicola Killen, this month is all about Art Club. We are collaborating with Rock Road Library to hold a series of art workshops for children and yesterday was one of my favourites – collage day! The children worked with multi-coloured, glittery and hand-painted papers to create some beautiful and imaginative images. Inspiration came from toys, flowers and other random objects as well as an imaginary book cover for the final piece. Many thanks go to the wonderful Anne Worthington who has been a great help to us with Art Club. Have a look below to see some of the children’s fantastic collages!









Bear and Cat

Here’s a little something I just did just for fun.  I’m not sure how these two became friends, I guess they just are…


Print and Pattern!

I am over the moon to find that my work has been featured on both Print and Pattern and the Make it in Design blog today! Earlier in the year I submitted work for the “student showcase” after graduating from Rachael Taylor’s e-course The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design and they chose to show my rainy sky pattern alongside the beautiful patterns created by some of my fellow students! I’m thrilled to bits and it just makes me want to make more patterns – in fact here are some below…



floating monsters

open studios 2015 – the last weekend!

Last weekend was the first weekend of Open Studios for us here at Derby Road and we had a wonderful time chatting with all our visitors! We had a bit of a catastrophe before we put our work on the walls as crazy weather in Cambridge on Thursday night caused a flood in our studio. Friday morning was a scene of soggy devastation at Derby Road but after a long day cleaning up, Nicola, Ian, Neil and I managed to set it all straight and even got it looking rather lovely! If you are in Cambridge on Saturday 25th or Sunday 26th July then come along and see what we’ve done with the place – we are open from 11-6pm both days. We look forward to seeing you!








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