Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Jackie Magpie interview

Check out the front page of Jackie Magpie today! There's a fab interview with little me all about my illustration work, my articles for Ten Paces and Draw, my sketchbooks and some advice for illustrators!  Have a read, send it around and leave a comment! Hope you enjoy it : )

p.s. I'm off on holiday very soon to sunny, sunny Crete. So, yes, that does mean a break from the internet (which is quite a good thing I think) - so I'll speak to you again when I get home!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Lovely ladies

I’ve been sketching lovely ladies today! Just quick, colourful, digital sketches. What do you think of them? Who’s your favourite?!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Wild, Wild West.

How good is this Cowgirl themed scrap of fabric I bought from a little shop recently? Very cool I say - I just have to think about what on earth I can make with it! Any suggestions anyone?

Luckily this scrap came with the details on the white border, so I looked 'em up and found out it's by Alexander Henry's 'From the hip' collection.  So if any of you want some cowgirl fabric for yourselves, that's the place to go.

The Wild West theme has been running feverishly through my head recently.  Last week I finally got around to watching 'True Grit' (the 2010 Coen Brother's version) and I loved it.  I felt compelled to create an illustration inspired by it, and decided an ace snapshot of the spirited character Mattie Ross racing through the trees would work well - maybe one day I'll attempt to draw Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin, but until then I'll let their gruff, highly moustached faces be. It's not finished yet but you can see some process shots and sneak peeks below. I have to say, I'm more than a little bit proud of that horse!  They're certainly not the easiest things to draw, but I'm getting there.

There's an awful lot of background rendering to do and I'm playing with at least twelve million different composition ideas - but Mattie and her horse are more or less done now! Although saying that there will probably be some more tweaking later (there always is!).  I'll make sure I give you an update when it's done.  

Until then, stay in touch lovelies, tell me what you think!

Thursday, 13 September 2012


Hurray! Today is Roald Dahl day!

 I'm sure most of us grew up reading his stories and jumping into the worlds he created (with a bit of help from Quentin Blake!), it's good to celebrate that childhood sense of magic and adventure, and remember to hold on to it through the mundane patches of grown-up life!

I wanted to share this illustration I did last year for Roald Dahl day.  It was inspired by his quote 'Those who don't believe in magic will never find it' - which I love. 

So today make some time to read magical stories, or go exploring! Have an adventure and forget about work/money/chores for a while.  Just go out and look at things as if you'd never seen them before.  I'll be out there! Well, after a bit of drawing... :-)

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Whilst I'm here

It was one of those nights last night.  One of those self-doubt-fuelled inspiration deserts.  We all get them from time to time.  In these circumstances the best plan, I find, is to just grab a sketchbook and draw until something you feel good about drops onto the page.  
So I feverishly grasped my brush pen in my clammy, little hand and let the drawings fly.
Eventually this character popped up, and the snippet of conversation with her.
Everyone will probably think she looks like me, but she's not me - and my mum's not like that.  So suspend disbelief and just go with it for now.  It'd be good for this to develop into a proper story, maybe even a comic or graphic novel of sorts - some dots appeared and now I need to connect them.  I think people (including myself!) often forget that I'm not just a children's illustrator - I love working for grown-ups too and hopefully with a little more time I'll develop this and really get some older audience narrative work going.
Let me know what you think of these, got any potential?

Speak soon! 

Monday, 10 September 2012

Simple & Pure - We don't need.

Yeah it's a silly one (we all need one of those from time to time).  I picked this record up for one euro at a weird little shop in Amsterdam - as a present for my brother.  It's just one of those finds that makes the rest of your life a challenge to top - their faces, the title, their pose, the sticker, the Dutch scrawling - everything is just...perfect.  I was lacking inspiration and feeling a little stylistically down-trodden tonight so I did a quick sketch of the record cover.  It was sitting right on my desk (I haven't seen my brother in a while, don't worry it'll get to him one day) and I always find it's best to grab some inspiration from around you when you're in a drawing rut. So there we go.

I've yet to listen to the record...I'll let you know if it's good.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Creative Tips & Resources

Just a quick note - 

If you haven't seen these before and you're stepping out into the world of creative freelancing - they could very well be useful!
I've been writing (almost) monthly articles about Creative Tips & Resources for your fight through the freelance jungle over at Ten Paces and Draw. So far I've covered how to get your portfolio looking gorgeous (and professional!), using brushes & textures in digital illustration and 'Getting started, getting seen' - with plenty more topics on the way!

Now, I promise it's not just all ramblings from me in there! I've been in touch with some amazingly talented illustrators, industry professionals and all round fountains of knowledge who have given their insights, advice and processes to help you along your way (think the likes of Kali Ciesemier, Tigerprint, Advocate Art, Fig Taylor of the AOI etc etc etc)

Each article has a plethora (yes that's right, a plethora!) of useful links and pointers to fantastic creative freelancer resources from all across the digital plain. 

So get on over and broaden your freelancing artillery - it's a tough world out there!

Tell your friends!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Back to School

Just a quick illustration for all those back to schoolies this week! Do your little ones love going back to school or do you have to drag them out of bed in the morning?!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Fallen Flowers homeware

What's this heap of pretty you say? Well! It's a 'Fallen flowers' surface pattern that I finished yesterday, and has now hit the digital shelves of Ohh Deer as a gorgeous cushion (and soon hopefully notebooks/other nice things).  Hurray!
I've had a bit of radio silence in terms of producing work for Ohh Deer (I'm one of the first bunch of illustrators to get involved) - I've just been drowning in a swampy mush of book work.  Well, that makes it sound a lot worse than it has actually been - it's been good, but yeah, I've not had much time to work on anything else. 

Anyway, if you fancy prettying up your livingroom/bedroom/conservatory/shed/mountain shack/prison cell/studio/boat then get on over to this link -
and get yourself one now.  Ohh Deer ship worldwide too, so don't let that stop you : )
Tell your mum!

P.s. My Sylvester and the New Year book is going to print today! EEE!