Monday 7 November 2011

The Flyaway Blanket book giveaway competition!

Hello sweetpeas.
I hope you're well.

I'm  running a competition at the moment to win a signed copy of my new picture book 'The Flyaway Blanket'.

All you have to do is follow this link to my website ->
and click when you find the flyaway blanket to be in the draw!

The winner will be selected randomly at 5pm (GMT) on Tuesday 15th November (The release date of the book).
There's only one copy available to get your mits on so make sure you enter!

The book was written by Alan Peterkin and published by Mangination Press/The American Psychological Association.
It's a sweet story about a child's favourite blanket and includes a 'note to parents'.  Age 4-8 years.

'Pidgen’s cheerful artwork [in The Flyaway Blanket] is reassuring, with a bright palette, loose, sweeping lines, and plenty of attention on mother-child tenderness, human and animal alike.' - Publishers Weekly '11

I will also be adding in a mini-competition later in the week so keep checking in!

-Emmeline x

Please note: You must be following me on Twitter to be eligible to win.  The one winner will receive the handsigned paperback edition of the book. Only one entry per person. Shipping is available worldwide.

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Bringing back some atmosphere.

Good Afternoon chaps!

Recently, with a slab of spare time on my hands, I've been working on personal portfolio work and delving back into the world of atmospheric work with deep, rich, yummy colours.

I've always loved working like this, but recently all my commissions have been for cheerful, bright illustrations and unfortunately I've ended up having to veer away from this other side of my work.
Don't get me wrong, I love working in vivid colours with cute characters - but I never want to be penned in to one style.

Anyway, since Halloween was on the horizon, I decided to roll with the theme and created this pretty witchy girl and her cat.

 This piece, unusually for me, is entirely digital.  I didn't really plan it, there wasn't even a preliminary just...happened.  But I must say I'm really pleased with it.

It was featured on these blogs/websites on Halloween-

and it's also available as a print on Society6 (which has free shipping 'till Sunday)

Next up!
An illustration that I've literally just finished.  Again, it's super-atmospheric with deliciously deep colours.
I wanted to illustrate something with a hint of romance and magic, as well as interaction and connection between characters.

And finally, not very atmospheric...but for a good cause none the less.
This illustration is for the Think Act Vote anthology, a book based on the futures people of the country are hoping for.  The book, which will be published next year, is going to be presented to the prime minister and other political big shots!
The future I illustrated was written by Lucy Shea.

I've also been emailed by the lovely Sombras Blancas about me and my work.  The interview's even been translated into Spanish!
Have a read here

Hope you're all well! Drop me an email if you fancy a chat or want some work done

Monday 31 October 2011

Manchester and Salford Illustrated

Hello everyone!

I had a busy and brave few days last week!

Last Thursday (the twenty-seventh day of October to be exact) I was involved in the Manchester and Salford Illustrated / Wood Street Mission charity exhibition.  

The main premise of the exhibition was for illustrators to create a piece based on the phrase 'What does Manchester mean to you?'. 
I, sadly, missed the deadline for this but good old Jez from Riot Clean Up Manchester phoned them up and asked if they'd like one of the Riot Clean Up screen prints that didn't sell in my previous charity auction. (More info on that here)

They, kindly, said yes and the print was put up in the exhibition as a slightly aside thing, but with all the money raised from the sale of it going to Wood Street Mission charity.  

There were pieces of work in the MASI exhibition was incredibly gorgeous like this print below by Robert Shadbolt.

Some of the prints had fantastic stories behind them, in particular Emma Reynold's piece which was inspired by a busker she met in Burger King writing what she thought was a letter.  She offered him a stamp and he told her that infact he was writing a sci-fi novel!

There were lots of lovely people milling around, a ton of sparkly cupcakes and many glasses of wine!

Towards the end of the evening one of the organisers Steve, made a speech about my print and the reasoning behind it, which made me rather bashful, but hey - I managed to speak loud enough when I was asked questions about it with everyone listening!

Straight after the speech the print was sold for a respectable £50, adding to the £2000 raised for Wood Street Mission that night.  Apparently there'd been a lot of interest in it throughout the night!
The lovely lady who bought the print came up to me after the speech and asked me more about the print and it's back-story.  She was thrilled to have got it as it was the last one available.  She said 'We came in and as soon as I saw it I knew that was the one I wanted' (vague quote).

It was really flattering and it's fantastic that the print could go on and help out another Manchester based charity aside from the roughly £1k we raised for Leap Confronting Conflict and Reclaim Project Manchester with the original screenprint auction.

The exhibition's on from the 27th of October - 10th November so if you're in Manchester pop down to 52 Princess Street and have a nosey.

In other news...

Last Tuesday I went to the first Draw North West illustrators meet up event in Manchester organised by @thatmadden .
I didn't know anyone there (well, a few people through twitter but not real life) so I felt very brave biting the biscuit like that and meeting everyone.
It was fantastic to meet lots of very lovely and very talented illustrators, a few of which were in the MASI exhibition too!
If you're in the North West I highly recommend you come along next month :-)

That's all for now peas.

Emmeline x

Friday 21 October 2011


Hello lovelies.
I'm feeling a bit blue today but I wanted to come and say hello anyway.

Yesterday I finished off a lovely paper doll illustration for PetalPetal/VintageChildModern, a handmade clothing  company for children.  The game will be shipped out with each order so the children can play!
Brianne from VCM absolutely loved the illustration, saying that me illustrating her designs somehow fulfilled her childhood dream of illustrating her stories - naw.

You should take a minute to go and look at the gorgeous clothes on the website - they really make me wish I could fit into them! 

I've not had very much work on recently, which although it's hard on the pennies, it does mean I have some time to work on children's book idea's of my own.  I've started a top secret project of a children's book teehee :-) I've written the manuscript, storyboarded, character designed and started a dummy book - so it is all coming together and I'm quite excited.  Here's a sneak peek of some of the main characters-

I'm sure you all know about my chidlren's book 'The Flyaway Blanket' coming out in less than a month now (15th November) but, did you know that it was given a good review in Publishers Weekly?!
Here's what they said about me and my artwork - 

 'Pidgen’s cheerful artwork is reassuring, with a bright palette, loose, sweeping lines, and plenty of attention on mother-child tenderness, human and animal alike.'

A fantastic testimonial hehe! I'm still incredibly nervous about the book going out though.

Did you see my new website? I spent so many days and nights trying to work out how to code it all, and of course everything went wrong, then got fixed, then went wrong, then got fixed.
It's all much simpler for me to update now, which is good as the old way was such a pain that I wouldn't add new work to my online portfolio for months at a time! 
D'you like it? I'm rather proud that I managed to do it all myself :-)

In other news, I recently ran a competition on Twitter to win one of my new prints - which the lovely @Mellybeeblog won for her collection.  I also won a Twitter competition ran by YouMeTheRoyalWe and will soon be the proud owner of a gooorgeous (signed) world map by Oliver Jeffers! Hurray!

You can buy my newest print (and my sticker sets) in my shop!

Have a really good rest of your day, and don't forget to come and say hello.
Your friend, Emmeline x

Thursday 15 September 2011

A new wave of inspiration.

Good Morning sweetpeas and dandelions! 
I hope you're all enjoying our imminent lull into Autumn.

You might have noticed I've had a bit of a switcheroo with the blog with a new title and more open lay out. 
 I think maybe I was a little inspired by Blogger's overhaul and fancied a change myself!

With all the commotion of the print auction now over (official amount we've raised to be announced, it's a good old pile though!) and a trip down to the rugged Cornwall coastline to be with my family; I've been getting back into some intense illustrating.

This lovely lady is Chang'e who I was inspired to draw by The Chinese Moon Festival (or Mid-Autumn Festival) at the start of this week.  The legend of Chang'e and the Moon is quite a sad tale as most legends always seem to be. 

The legend goes that Chang'e was married to the courageous Hou Yi who, amongst other things, saved the world by shooting down (with his perfect archery skills) nine of the ten suns around the earth.  The Queen Mother of the West gave him an elixir of immortality as a reward for his heroic undertaking but warned him not to drink it without preparing with a prayer and fasting for a year. 
Whilst Hou Yi was out one day doing something adventurous his sneaky apprentice Peng Meng found out about the elixir and forced Chang'e to give it to him.  Knowing she could not defeat Peng Meng, Chang'e swallowed the elixir and suddenly felt herself floating up to the moon.

With deep love to her husband, Chang'e chose to be an immortal on the moon, closest to the earth; so she could see her husband every day.

Obviously everyone was very upset about this, but word spread and people put out offerings of her favourite food for Chang'e on tables under the night sky, to pray for her good fortune and safety.

This has become one of my favourite illustrations of late,  I love drawing mystical mountains and lovely, slightly melancholic ladies.

On a more cheerful note!
A few days ago it was Roald Dahl day!  I know the majority of us will have spent countless hours in our childhood (and beyond!) making friends and being scared by the dynamic and captivating characters he created.
There's nothing like one of his worlds.

So in honour of him, I created this illustration based on one of his quotes:
 'Those who don't believe in magic will never find it'

I like to imagine this little girl is the sister of the 'Tales of Adventure' boy.  

I've been in a very magical mood recently as I've been reading The Hobbit! After spending four days in Middle Earth I feel ready for an adventure.  I have an appointment next Tuesday to go and fight a dragon, so remind me to skip on the hairspray that morning.

Now go! Go and have a beautiful day in whatever part of the world you're in.

Emmeline x

Wednesday 31 August 2011

Foxgloves and running out of time

There's only one day left of bidding on the charity auction now!

You can still get your mits on one of these yummy looking limited edition screenprints and be helping out a good cause at the same time!  BID HERE!

Thank you so much to everyone who's bid and helped promote the auction so far, you're all brilliant and if I could I'd send you all presents. Yup.

In new news! 

I drew a pretty fox wearing foxgloves for socks after the Laura Ashley twitter posted a tweet saying about an old folks tale as to why foxgloves are named as such is because foxes used to slip them on their feet so they could sneak around silently.  Naughty foxies.

But a very inspiring tale indeed.

This has turned out to be one of my favourite illustrations I've done in a while, and it's up on Society 6 as a print now too if you like it as much as me!

I'll have a very tasty (actually tasty looking enough to make you hungry) illustration up and a floral bag design I've done for Serco to show you soon! :-)

Noticed how everything I've illustrated recently is orange and pink? Interesting.

I'm sleepy now! 
Goodnight blogreading lovelies.

Remember to bid ;-)

Monday 22 August 2011

Riot Clean Up illustration auction. Prints and Press.


How are you? Haven't spoken to you in ages.

Yeah I'm okay too, I only just dragged myself out of bed though so I'm a little bit of a sleepyhead.

Yeah, classic Monday feeling.

Oh really? That's great.

I've got some cool news too.



In short.
I illustrated a poster responding to the riot clean up efforts, it got jaw-droppingly successful on Twitter, I contacted RiotCleanUpManc and suggested we get the illustration printed up and auctioned for charities.  

This happened.
Now 75 beautiful A2 screen-prints of the illustration have been printed by Savwo (50 auctioned, 25 donated to people that have helped out with the riot clean up)  the money for the screenprints donated by Pop, Bubble, Rock, Jez Myers from RiotCleanUpManchester has done lots of press and organising, and 100% of the money raised from the auction ( on now! ) will be going to Reclaim and Leap Confronting Conflict young people's charities.


Copyright Emmeline Pidgen 2011

In long:

Like many I was shocked to see the scenes of violence and rioting on the streets that dominated our media. But in the midst of the destruction what stood out to me were images of local communities of all ages and backgrounds working together to restore their neighbourhoods. It showed real strength of purpose and hope for a better future.

I felt inspired by the positive attitude of the riot clean ups and tried to capture these feelings as a personal expression through illustration. I posted the artwork on Twitter to share it with my followers and friends, receiving an overwhelming response of over 19,000 views in two days.

As a result of the interest, I got in touch with Riot Clean Up Manchester. I suggested the idea that the illustration could be made into prints to be auctioned in support of the community and charities. They were extremely encouraging and so far we've had fantastic support with a number of local businesses donating their time, money and goods to get things going with the printing.

I felt it was important the money raised from the sale of the posters should go to young people's charities.
Leap Confronting Conflict are a fantastic charity working with young people nationwide to aid understanding of the causes and consequences of youth conflict; whilst sharing skills in handling and transforming it, preventing escalation into violence.

I hope the poster can help spread that feeling of positivity, encouragement, hope and community spirit that can be applicable not only to the riot clean up, but globally.

Photo by Christopher Bethell

So far there's been a lot of press about the auction/illustration (some of them here) 

Manchester Confidential -
The Mirror-
Manchester City Council-

I've even appeared on the radio (Allfm) on Saturday to talk about it (bit the bullet and buried my shyness for that one!).
I really hope people dig deep to support this and we raise a lot of money for the charities.

You can bid here! 

Spread the word!

Monday 8 August 2011


Freshly served up for your eye palletes today - the first look at the fully printed children's book I've illustrated! 'The Flyaway Blanket' is officially published on 15th November 2011, by Magination Press - part of the American Psychological Association.

It was quite a long, bumpy road for a first picture book commission - but I think it looks great.
There's always that feeling of 'ohh it doesn't look as good as the real thing!' but I'll have to put those perfectionistic feelings away in a drawer somewhere and accept that printed illustrations never look exactly the same....still looks great though!

You can pre-order it now from the Magination Press website or Amazon (softcover or hardcover)


In other news!

I hurt my wrist from going a bit over the top with work - hours and hours of using a wacom tablet/ drawing/ painting is not good for little wrists.  I took a few days off and enjoyed the sunshine, forests and cities - saw the new Ghibli film Arrietty at the cinema - it was so beautiful, it's a shame the english dub was a bit annoying!  I usually opt for the subtitled version but there was no choice in the matter this time.

Since my wrist's been feeling better I've been working hard on character designs.  Partly for fun, partly to show off the different expressions and poses of characters I can draw, and partly for a brand new children's book I'm writing and illustrating!

I've also been working on some drawings of a feisty warrior lady - but they're not quite ready to show you yet!
I hope you're all having a great start to the week.
Don't be shy, let me know what you think of my work :-)

Wednesday 27 July 2011

Kids having fun and being grumpy

This is the first of many character design sheets I'm working on.  Lots of dynamic, emotion-full children.
Let me know who you (or your kids!) like the best and who you'd like to see in a story!

In other news, I'm working on a new book! It's about a cat called Jasper and what a giant beast he is.

Wednesday 6 July 2011

Let's make some little boxes!

Howdy partners! This blog post is a little different from my other recent ones, I'm going to show you how to make some lovely little paper boxes out of old greetings cards! 
Come closer dear student and I'll show you the way.

These are the sort of things you'll need (look below) - A square greetings card (OR one cut to square shape!), some scissors - and, if you want to be a lot more precise than I've been a ruler and pencil can come in handy. Coloured scarf surface optional.

Step 1! 
Snip snip snip the cards in half, put the back pieces to one side for now, they can have a little snooze in the sun while we pay attention to the front pieces. 

Step 2!

Fold each of the front pieces in half diagonally.  Looks like a tasty card sandwich now.

Step 3! 

Open the pieces back out and repeat step two the other way so that you end up with a cross shaped fold in the middle of each piece.

Step 4!

Now, look at that supercool folded line that's now down the middle of the card - well, the parallel corners really like hanging out with that line - so fold them inwards to touch it.

Step 5!

Fold the sides of the card inwards so that the outer parallel edges touches the middle fold line too.

Unfold! Unfold! Unfold!

Step 6!

Turn the card around and repeat the previous steps with the unfolded sides going in to touch the other middle line.

Step 7!

Remember this? Yeah of course you do, you're great. Fold the outer edges in to snuggle next to the middle fold line.

Unfold! Unfold! Unfold!

You should have a grid-like pattern of creases now - yeah? Cool.
Okay time for a cup of tea or some other delicious beverage. 

Step 8!

Right, have a look at that grid pattern - can you make out the smallest square shape?
Well grab yo' scissors and cut vertically along folded lines to each corner of that square - four cuts.  (if it's easier use your pencil and ruler to draw out the lines and square shape :-) )

Step 9!

Fold along the outer crease on both of the triangle sections and meet the corners at the middle fold line (similar to a step before, but now you have the cut parts)

Step 10! 

Fold up the two sides to make 'walls' (the soon to be sides of your box top!)

Step 11!

Bend in the side tabs that have been created (don't worry if they don't stay in place very well!)

Step 12!

Grab the wings of the box and fold them up and over the tabs - pushing the triangle parts in to form the bottom and inside wall of the box.

Waheey! You have one damn fine lookin' box lid right there. Give yourself some pats on the backs.

Step 13!

Grab your snoozing card backs and repeat all the steps up until now.  It helps to make the folds a little bit tighter than the lid to make sure it fits together well.


That's what they're all shouting! They love you! You truly are the king of paper boxes - well done, well done indeed.  You have learnt well young grasshopper, go now and make paper boxes - for it is your destiny.

Tip: Obviously the bigger the card you use, the bigger the box.  If you have some huge sheets of card around you can try using that to make a hat box, cake box, or mouse house.  Using average sized greetings cards make a box around 5cm square - a good size to hold your trinkets or a nice bed for your tiny porcelain cat.

Emmeline Pidgen - Over and out.