Thursday, 29 January 2015

Brave Arthur and Co

Hello all!

Yes, I'll admit it. I'm a terrible blogger. BUT! This time it's been for a good reason. I've just finished working on 4 books that I wrote as well as illustrated!

It started with Brave Arthur...

His story was picked up by a publisher the very first time it was shown at Frankfurt book fair last year. And they also commissioned me to write and illustrate 3 more! All about helping children with self-confidence and feeling valued. They're short-ish books but with a nice story and message. I absolutely loved working on them and it was scary and also a little freeing working without a brief.

I worked alongside Collabrate (who helped me develop Arthur) and they put the books together into an amazing package which the publisher is really happy with. Arthur and friends are on their way to Bologna in a few months to be shown to the rest of the world. And I can't stop grinning!

Other than that amazing news, I'm working on 2 lovely books for a big publisher and another novelty, sound book with my Russian publisher. Also, looks like Collins may be sending more maths briefs my way too. 2015 has started off with a big bang and the rest of the year has a lot to live up to!

I'm throwing around a few ideas for new stories so watch this space. Until next time folks!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A catch up and a giveaway! - Now closed

Wow, it's been a while hasn't it?! Things have been fairly busy since my last post. I've illustrated 2 books for an American publisher, finished working on several maths books, illustrated 6 colouring books (2 due out next month), illustrated some books for a Russian publisher (currently working on the second one), worked on my own book and Dinosaur Safari publishing with S&S is out on the 23rd. Phew!

And now.....a GIVEAWAY!

As a thank you to all the lovely people who are so supportive of my work I've decided to do a bit of a giveaway. There will be 4 winners. That's right, 4! This giveaway is for UK entrants only.

The first winner will receive all 4 of the colouring books (44 pages each) I illustrated for Wilko earlier in the year. 

The second winner will receive copies of the books I illustrated for Scholastic USA. These are early reader books (16 pages each).

The third winner will receive a copy of On the Playground. 

And the fourth winner will receive a copy of We Love to Share.

And that's it! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below. Winners will be picked using a random name generator on Monday the 6th. Good luck!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

A New Year and new projects

Hello! Hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year. I had Christmas off and some time over New Year to rest and relax but have mostly I've been working on lots of lovely things.

One of them is a new book with a top publisher and something I've been working on for months now. This was mentioned in my last post and got the go ahead after it was shown at the book fair in Frankfurt last year. It's been a very challenging project but I'm sure will be all worth it in the end! The style is different for me but it's always fun to do something a bit different.

The other project I've been working on is Busy Ant Maths for Collins Education (a division of HarperCollins UK). This has kept me extremely busy working on several briefs a week. Drawing lots of different things and lots of kids too!

The first years are due to be published soon (eek) and I'm waiting on the next years to start.

I've also been asked to sample for a project which I would love to be involved in. It's definitely right up my street and with a publisher I'd love to work with. So keep everything crossed for me!

If I have time I might even work on my chapter book idea in time for the book fair in March. So this year has started out quite good for me so far. Looking forward to what the rest of 2014 will bring.

Thursday, 10 October 2013


Hello! It's been a little while hasn't it?

There's been a lot going on in my personal life which means I've had to take a small amount of time off. Mostly taking a step back from my chapter book so it isn't going to the book fair in Frankfurt. Fingers crossed for Bologna next year.

However, I have been working on a exciting new project with a big publisher. This is the sample I was asked to do.

It's a different style for me and a new way of working but I've been enjoying myself. It's been a challenging project but great to see it all together. I was sent a photo of the mock up which looks amazing if I do say so myself! Everything crossed it goes down well at Frankfurt and I get to work on it some more.

I've also been commissioned directly from a HUGE publisher which is something I'm pretty excited about. If all goes well it should take me to April next year. The first brief came through yesterday and the deadline is tomorrow for roughs so it's a busy day ahead.

And here's something just for fun.

No news on the publishing of my picture book yet but I did receive some complimentary copies. I'm super happy with them and can't wait until it's released into the world.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The exciting, the samples and the disappointments

Hello! It's been a little while since my last post. But fear not, I haven't disappeared just been working on a few things. My last post covered a project I was working on that fell through, and since then another project I was yet to start fell through as well.

So as you can imagine that left me feeling pretty deflated. I'm just starting out and yet have already had my share of disappointments! The important thing is to try and pull yourself back from it and not take it too personally (easier said than done I know). Everything in this business takes time, a project coming up, sampling, waiting for feedback, waiting to hear whether you've gotten the job, waiting to start the project, waiting, waiting, waiting.....there is A LOT of this. More than I realised. And even when you've done work for a project and you've gotten the job there are no guarantees (see previous post).

So it's VERY important to remind yourself why you do what you do. It's important to keep working on your portfolio, get yourself out there, Love what you do, put in the hard work and don't give up. 

Anyhoo, enough of that! So the things I've actually been working on, well I've been working alongside my agents and LaB to write my very own chapter book (eek!).  I'm having fun with it and enjoying bouncing ideas off the lovely people at LaB. There isn't much to share just yet, a few sketches and ideas but nothing I can show. But it's all very exciting!

Other than that, some possible projects have come up (one straight after the others falling through) that I've been sampling for. One looks very much up my street and is boys orientated. Here are a few character samples. Fingers crossed they like them!

And the second one, which is very different for me is stories from the Bible. Here's a little sneak at that one.

These are only possible projects so I'm keeping everything crossed :)

And the most exciting news yet! My picture book is being published this month! I can't wait to receive a copy of it. As soon as I do, I will be sure to share a few sneaky peeks. I'm also thinking of sharing some of its process which will include some very rough roughs. Which I hope you'll enjoy. Here's to the next few months!

Saturday, 15 June 2013


The project I've been working on for the past few months has took a different direction so it's not going ahead with me as the illustrator. I'm disappointed (more than you know) but in this industry these things happen. It doesn't normally take quite as long as that but the project has been very drawn out. Anyway, since I'm no longer apart of the project, I can show the work I did for it. The project was for a couple of girly activity books.

A project or brief always starts out with roughs...

This isn't even my first rough for the first cover (lots of tweaks were made). My roughs are very rough usually. This one was to be all about fairies, mermaids and princesses.

And the rough for the second cover, which was to be about ballerinas, pop stars, ice skaters and all things girls like to do.

After the initial roughs I made more changes and did more roughs until it was agreed I could go to colour. And here are the coloured versions:

As you can see there is a lot more going on in this version! I added in a lot more characters and details of things 'to spot'. Also remembering to leave enough space for text.

Same goes with this one. Although it looks a lot more crowded as none of the characters are flying.

I had a lot of fun with this project and it was very challenging in parts. Having to draw lots of characters and also drawing small was a definite challenge for me. It's not something I usually do. And the fact it's very girly! I was very much out of my comfort zone a lot of the time. And although it didn't work out, I'm glad to have been involved. And you never know, something similar might just be on the horizon :)