Welcome to my new blog; where you'll be able to follow my journey being part of The Lightbox Gallery's, new children's book retrospective, Escape To Wonderland. 7 Aug-2 Jan '11. Please feel free to leave comments and ask questions. Prints of my work will be made available. And you can also book me for workshops and talks.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Order George and Ghost NOW!

Apparently reports are in that the first copy of 'George and Ghost' has landed. My lovely friend, Nick, got his in the post this morning. Very exciting indeed.

I love the idea that my little twosome might be ending up on people's front door mats all over the country... I think George especially is quite a shy character, so if he appears on yours, do be nice!

Monday, October 11, 2010

A hard day's training

Those of you who are regular readers of my non-lightbox blog will know that several times a year, I get my sketchbook out on a train and attempt to be Lynne Chapman. So, far, no success!

Lynne's RIDICULOUSLY good at being a proper, grown-up artist. She doesn't only carry a sketch book at all times, but she actually uses it- to great effect. This is something I should do far more often. I tend to only remember sketch pads for train journeys, but there's something very unique about train journeys that inspires me, and I usually end up storyboarding new book ideas and doodling odd characters rather than actually sketching.

Anyway, I went by train to a very exciting meeting with Sarah and Marilyn from The Lightbox, to discuss the possibility of doing another project with them. This would be HUGELY thrilling. I would get to work long term with Woking schools on an area I love- children's books! I would get to show kids how books were made, show them how work came together in real time, and help them to create work too. What could be better?! However, it was quite nerve-wracking attempting to pitch something like this as I've never done anything like it, and I really want it to work out. I have plenty of ideas about what I'd like to do if I get the opportunity; loads of lovely workshops and competitions etc. for a start! However forming this mush of a plan into a coherant enough state to tell other people about was tricky. Therefore, after the meeting my brain was quite drained of potential half-stories and characters. On the train, on the way back, I decided to take outside influence for once.

So, here's the chap who was sat opposite me in the carriage. He was the most terrible fidget. I think it was because he was trying to read a hardback, and it looked horribly heavy. He kept swapping the book from one hand to another. I was tempted to ask the person next to him to hold it for him! Bad, bad, model!

I shall let you know how I get on with things at The Lightbox, and in the mean time; go book your place on my George and Ghost events, and pre-order the book! Yay!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

George and Ghost Spooky Halloween Book Launch at The Lightbox

Yay, it's that time already! Time to send a new book out into the world. And I'd like YOU to come and celebrate with me.

The launch party will take place 30th October, just in time for many exciting ghostly goings-on. Workshops will take place at 1pm and 3pm. Details and booking to be found here

Both events are FREE and will include;

- gruesome games - Ghost-busting fun for all the family.

- dreadful drawing - Come create ghouls with me.

- 'George and Ghost' book-telling and signing

And more!


Remember, the last events booked up early so book your tickets now!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ready, steady, Go... Go.... I said, GO!

I've been merrily bumbling about with this new book. Despite the fact I'm writing it, and theoretically have control of the thing, I seem to be having more problems being decisive than with the others. Perhaps it's BECAUSE I'm writing it, I'm having the difficulties.

It's been a very 'stoppy-starty' project, which hasn't helped focus my thoughts- I started working with my Pooshnoozle character whilst on my MA, but a veritable plethora of obstacles have meant it's only been recently that I've started working on it again seriously.

On one hand, I know the book will be a far more well-rounded project now than it would have been had I gone straight into working on it from my course. I think I understand picture books better now, and I think the story is more solid. On the other hand, I've built up my expectations of it and freaked myself out a little. I thought working with an outside author was stressful- you're always worried as to whether you're living up to their expectations. However I forgot what a terrible meanie I can be to work for! I beat myself up daily!

I don't expect the pieces here will look anything like the finished book- at least I hope not, since they're sort of all over the place... They're more an initial train of thought, really; A starting point. You can see the main thing I'm trying to solve is background versus foreground.

My natural instinct is to always create a mega detailed piece of work. With Ollie and Pooshnoozle, it's very important though that the characters aren't competed with too much. The story is very character-centric, and the emotional interaction between the two is the priority. BUT, I do want bits of intense detail... afterall, that's what I love drawing. Balancing the two issues perfectly is going to take some more work, I think.

Regardless of how successful (or unsuccessful) these pieces are, how much I mentally slap myself upside the head, and how far I've got to go, I'm loving every minute of these types of problem. It's quite rarely that I can allow myself the time to properly work through something, and I'm really, really up for this! Afterall, this is the most exciting stage of a project. It is pretty terrifying, but the possibilities as to what this book could be are completely open to me; even more so than with 'Lively Elizabeth', and 'George and Ghost' because it is completely mine... Cripes!