Just lately I have been writing new stories and polishing up old ones which is something I love to do every once in a while. I often find that I’ll have an idea for the beginning of a story which gets scribbled down somewhere and forgotten about. Later I come back to it and have new thoughts which lead it in different directions. After much of this back and forth it might one day get finished! Other times stories arrive all at once and fully formed and you wonder where they came from. Here is a new image from an old idea which I have recently been tinkering with – the monster is a friendly one even though it is large and does have quite sharp teeth. Biscuits and hot chocolate anyone?
Wishypoofs and Hiccups is book 9 in the series Zoey and Sassafras written by Asia Citro. The first of these books came out in 2017 which feels simultaneously like quite a long time and only five minutes ago! The books are such fun and I love illustrating them. Asia has a way of coming up with the most brilliant magical creatures for me to draw. This story is all about a “wishypoof” which is a creature who was originally based on a floating seedhead, one of those ones with long floaty arms. She is one of my favourites.
Recently I held an raffle to raise money for the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal and the prize was the original front cover I made for this book. Here it is above, soon to be in the hands of its new owner 🙂
Here are my entries for the Wraptious competition – it’s so much fun to have free rein to make pictures to go on cushions! As ever I have opted to go for animals – penguins, tigers, alligators and cats, all the kind of things I’d like to have living on my sofa 🙂
I have been a bit quiet on the posting front for a while but I’m back now with a detail from a book I’m working on at the moment. It’s still early days so I won’t say very much other than… it’s about cats! Who would have thought? Here is a little sneak-peak of my lovely green 70s kitchen!
Yes, exactly! This is a gorgeous little book bursting at the seams with cats of all shapes and sizes and I am very proud to say I illustrated it! Be More Cat reveals to the reader deep catish wisdom and benefits from the closely observed eccentricities of its author Alison Davies’ various feline muses. Alison has an expanding family of cats, two of which, Honey and Minnie were a great inspiration in creating this book – you can read more about this amazing pair on Alison’s blog. Be More Cat is published by Quadrille Publishing and is out in shops now – if you would like a little more cat love in your life then look it up!
This week I received a parcel full of beautiful hardback and paperback copies of the next book in the Zoey and Sassafras series by Asia Citro. All three previous books in the series are science-based but with a liberal scattering of magical critters and Caterflies and Ice is no exception. Caterflies are extremely cute individuals; furry and green with a passion for catnip, but they have a big problem and so do their catnip plants – too much snow! I loved illustrating this story not only because it was such fun drawing all the little beasties but also because I love drawing snow scenes and this book is entirely set in snow! Happy me… Caterflies are unleashed in America on the 21st November and in the UK on the 7th December – hurrah!
I was sifting through paintings the other day to take to The Curiosity Gallery in St Ives who stock my artwork, and I uncovered this little pattern tile. Since it had not seen the light of day since I made it some time last year, I thought it was high time I finished it! So one short burst of activity later I had added some black ink to what was originally just a watercolour image, scanned it and tried out repeating the tile. I was highly delighted to discover that it works quite well as a pattern! I love trying to figure out pattern tiles by hand, it’s such fun and gives you a great sense of achievement when you find it all fits together nicely. Here is my (still a bit rough around the edges) finished pattern.
Last year I had a funny dream about a cat who was a superhero and when I woke up I just had to draw it. I came across this piece when looking through some portfolio work and remembered that I had actually finished it and coloured it in photoshop. I wanted it to look atmospheric and a bit old fashioned hence the very limited coloured palette. Anyhow, its never since seen the light of day so I thought I’d post it here. Below are some snaps of work in progress and above the finished image.
It’s Inktober again! I haven’t done a great deal of drawing lately as I have had a bit of a disruptive time moving house, so the start of October and the Inktober initiative comes at just the right time to galvanise me and get me inking again. Here is the drawing I did for day one, the prompt was “swift” so I took it literally and drew a swift… They are my favourite birds though so I think it’s allowed!
I had a lovely surprise in the post – my new book from Oxford University Press! Earlier this year I illustrated a book for OUP’s Story Sparks series called Tomorrow Never Comes. It is an excellent little story by Joanna Nadin about a girl called Mabel who is deeply bored. Although she has lots of ideas for fun things to do, her family is always fobbing her off with the line maybe tomorrow. Mabel is really quite patient, but she can’t wait forever… so she decides to take matters into her own hands with somewhat chaotic results!