Thursday, 11 May 2017

Ginger Green Playdate Queen News!

Hi Chaps,

I have an announcement about Ginger Green Playdate Queen, the series of books I'm illustrating for Hardie Grant Egmont in Australia.
(For more info about the series, see the Ginger Green page on the Hardie website )
(And they're written by Kim Kane, do follow her on twitter here )
They're a fab set of books, and seem to be doing pretty well - working on book 9 and I think seven are out in the shops now.

BUT, the announcement is that, not only is Ginger Green going to be available in Australia, as it has been, but now also in the UK and US! Which is rather exciting.

I've worked on a few series of books in Australia, 'Billie B Brown', 'The Tinklers Three' and 'Penelope Perfect', which are all fab books which I heartily recommend, so it'll be great to have one of them available over here too.

Maybe soon, when talking to people, and they ask what I've illustrated, and I reply 'Ginger Green', rather than the usual blank look, and slightly dazed expression, people might actually know what I'm talking about :)

It's due out in the Autumn, so keep your eyes open, more detail soon :)

Monday, 20 March 2017

London Book Fair

Hi Chaps,

It was the London Book Fair (or LBF17 for those in the know) last week, and I popped along for a look around on Wedmesday.
I didn't see any seminars this year, but as always it was very interesting and inspiring seeing all the new books on the publishers stands.
Walker Books is always a good stand to look round, they've got the usual fab stuff coming up, as with Scholastic.
And I particularly enjoyed looking round the Nosy Crow stand, with new Hubble Bubble books on the way, and I also managed to have a chat with one of the people there, who gave me a few minutes in between meetings.
A highlight, though was the Little Tiger stand, where I got to say hello, and also see an advance copy of their 'Journeys' book I was one of the illustrators for.
Its under their 360degrees imprint, and it looks great. Lovely design and production values.
Here's a snap of the lovely cover

And here's my name in lovely big lettering on the very stylishly designed title page :)
It's a very interesting book. I recommend it.
For instance, did you know that Amundsen, the first man to the South Pole was successful on that expedition due to his expertise with dogs, which he learned while doing the North East passage?
And that there was also a Japanese expedition to the South Pole?
Here is a photo of the South Pole spread.

I'm going to keep an eye out for this one in the shops :)

Friday, 28 October 2016


Hi Chaps,

I've been recently working on a book that requires some crowd scenes, and groups of people. Sometimes I do find I can be tempted to let the figures in a crowd or group become a bit non-specific, characterless, loose, drones, who all look the same, due to the repetition of filling the space.
Rather than making them all being individual characters.
And the difference is the enjoyment in doing the illustration.
Whatever the picture, if I can find something in it that fires my interest/inspiration, and gets me engrossed, then I enjoy doing it more, and therefore it comes out better.
So, my first task when doing an illustration, along with working out the composition, is finding the route to being inspired.
So with these recent crowd scenes I'm working on, I blocked out the composition reasonably quickly, and then had a nice relax with my sketchbook and enjoyed myself trying to think up different characters to populate the crowds.
And here they are.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

My Shop Updated

Hi Chaps,

I have updated the shop on my website, where you can buy prints of work.
It's all a bit clearer and smoother now with a 'shop' page which has thumbnails on it.

Due to a lack of ability to create my own shop with payment process etc, I though the best approach would be to leave that to others.
Therefore, the thumbnails link through to a purchasing page which is actually on the sites Society6 or Etsy :) So all the payment and deliver processing is done by them.
You can get prints, framed prints and greetings cards from the images on Society6.
And for the Etsy images you can get a digital download to organise your own printing and framing at your leisure, as you see fit :)

Here are some of the pictures available.

Do have a wee look.
There's a link to my website on the right, or you can go directly to the shop page here

Friday, 1 July 2016

New Series, Ginger Green is out

Hi Chaps,

Every play date is different, but Ginger Green rules them all!
The first four of 'Ginger Green Playdate Queen' are now available.
Published in Australia by Hardie Grant Egmont, the books are 'New Friend', 'Fancy Friend', 'Crazy Friend' and 'Next Door Friend'.

They are written by Kim Kane and I can highly recommend them for early readers.
The text is simple, nicely aimed at the target age group, but I would also say that it is deceptively simple, conveying a good amount of depth and emotion in the stories, which have lots going on.

They are published in Australia only at the moment, but you may be able to get international delivery from some of the sites selling them, so have a look around, they're worth a go :)

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Small Blue Readings

Hi chaps,

Well, I've my two reading spots of my book 'Small Blue' now.One in a shop, as in my previous post, and one in a library.
The way I decided to play the events was to do the readings first, and then draw sketches of characters from it, (usually pirates or witches).
It was fun and went down well.
Kids do seem to be fascinated by seeing a drawing actually appear out of nothing in front of them.

The shop reading was more freeform, with people drifting in and out, which had its own charm.
I ended up doing lots of individual readings to families there, while at the library there was more of a formal start and finish, and the reading had to be more of a performance.

I've been asked back by the library for another spot closer to Christmas, so I'll see if I can do even better with my patter for that. Any suggestions from anyone for tips and tricks would be much appreciated :)

I'll maybe try and employ my badges a bit more, and incidentally, more on those later.

All my equipment is set up for readings now though -
A3 sketchpad - check
Sharpies - check
Badges to give away - check

All ready for the next reading :)

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Author Event at Waterstones Carlisle

Hi Chaps,

Well, I had a great time at Waterstones in Carlisle last Saturday doing my author event for 'Small Blue and the Deep Dark Night'.
Lots of reading it to kids (and their parents) and doing drawings for them (the kids), usually of pirates. It fit in nicely on Halloween as it's sort of about scary things, and I ended up being there for about an hour and a half all in all.

It was excellently set up by the shop, especially thanks to Wendy in the children's department, with a window display, excellent chalkboard sign, and a lovely 'reading chair' and table.

I can recommend the children's section, if you want the good stuff, they've got it there :)

I'm looking forward to doing more readings, my next is at Twickenham Library at 3.45 on 10th November, in one of their regular story time slots.
There shall be reading, sketching, colouring sheets and copies of the book to sign and sell there too :)