Tuesday 10 December 2013

Pick Wick Magazine - Issue #1 feature

Last week I was honoured to feature in the very first issue of the completely gorgeous Pick Wick magazine.

There's a great little interview with me about my childhood and how it's influenced the way I work in illustration today.  Aside from a bit of an editing-whoopsie with the surname typo (actually happens quite a lot..) it's a really lovely feature with insightful questions and a double page spread of my Wren and The Bear illustration.  

My favourite question was definitely 'Funniest childhood memory?', I was a bit of an imaginative (odd?) child:
'I remember every April Fool's day I would run in to my Mum and Dad's bedroom and shout "MUM! DAD! THERE'S A DRAGON IN THE GARDEN!" of course they played along checking outside, and I sure thought I was quite the trickster!'

There are a couple of other really fantastic illustrators featured as well - the super talented Genie Espinosa and fellow Enchanted Forest exhibitor Emma Block (yup, also very talented!).  The magazine is in fact edited by the lovely Sara Cullen too (I have some of her prints on my walls). Talent everywhere!

Liverpool based Pick Wick showcases all kinds of creative practice from artists to furniture designers and reports on music, fashion, art and events.  Definitely pick up a copy if you can, I for one can't wait to get my mits on their future issues! www.facebook.com/pickwickmagazine @PickWickMag

Tuesday 26 November 2013

£10 off limited ed Wild Ride screenprints

You can now get a huge £10 off these limited edition Wild Ride screenprints with code WILDRIDE10 in my shop!  This offer is only on until Christmas, so get your orders in before they're all snapped up (well, hopefully!).  www.emmelineillustration.mysupadupa.com

Sunday 17 November 2013

News! The Lavender Blue Dress picture book

I'm pleased to announce I'll be illustrating a brand new picture book penned by Aidan Moffat and published by Cargo Publishing!

"The Lavender Blue Dress" will be out for Christmas 2014.  Take a look at this great article in The Scotsman today all about it!

There's some great quotes in there about the book (and a few from me!) 

“Aidan has crafted a sweet and heartwarming tale that shows why he’s one of the best lyricists working today, while Emmeline’s award-winning illustrations really bring the words to life. I really hope when parents read this to their children at bedtime that they are as excited by it as the kids."

I'll keep you updated as the producution rumbles along! Keep your eyes peeled for news.

Monday 11 November 2013

Spotted at the V&A

Look what I spotted in the V&A giftshop this weekend...my 'I love getting lost with you' cards from Ohh Deer! If you want to bag one yourself (or a print) head over here, there's 20% off at the moment too as it's Ohh Deer's second birthday today!  http://ohhdeer.com/artists/emmeline-pidgen

Monday 4 November 2013

Design Manchester 13 - conference review

Thursday 31st October saw the Design Manchester 13 festival come to a height with a half day conference full of talks, portfolios and interesting issues centering around the theme of longevity in design.

Some of the creative industry's top dogs came together in the gorgeous Manchester Town Hall to discuss these themes and give their takes on what makes design timeless both aesthetically and ergonomically.  There was a full crowd in attendance, students and professionals alike and it was great to see such enthusiasm for the creative arts and the issues surrounding it in this area.

I was lucky enough to win a ticket to these talks from Design Week who were sponsoring the event (thanks to them!); and it was fab to see the G F Smith paper team supporting another brilliant creative event after they also sponsored the Artcrank Manchester exhibition I was recently involved in.  

The schedule consisted of a number of talks from the likes of Andrew Shoben from Greyworld (great interactive public design), Kate Moross (super trendy "jack of all trades" illustrator, film-maker and music designer), Ant and Ed from Colophon (a great little type foundry who I really admire for not taking shortcuts), Nat Hunter and Mark Shayler from The Great Recovery (founders of a really interesting project promoting design change to save the world) and music graphic designer Mark Farrow in conversation with Angus Montgomery of Design Week.

I found Nat and Mark's talk particularly interesting; they really had strong ideas on the practical uses of design that lasts, as well as products specifically designed with a view to creating items with a life cycle (easier disassembly, reuse and recycling) rather than a standard linear model in today's consumer-orientated world ("Buy this new shiny thing now! Throw away your old one that still works! Because you can!").  I do feel passionately that we as designers really do have a responsibility and a part to play in designing with these issues in mind.  As a book illustrator it can often be hard, but I have jumped at the chance to work with publishers who have pledged to plant a tree for each book sold and I'm always keen to work with and support environmentally friendly companies and causes.  Find out more about their cause at greatrecovery.org.uk

I really enjoyed Kate Moross's talk, out of all the guest speaking designers I feel that her work is in the most similar vein to mine as her projects often cross into illustration.  It was upbeat and interesting, touching on the idea of the longevity of careers and adapting to survive in the industry.  It did seem though that at some points that Kate was advocating the idea of working for free, as she had done in her early career, and I have to say that I really do disagree with that. 

I know that there have been people who's success has been based on that one client who saw that piece they did for free, and that in some cases it works for them and might really be worth it, but in the bigger picture I feel it's a problem.  The issue is that a lot of clients who can actually afford to pay designers know that they can get illustration work for free, so why would they ever pay a fair wage? If there will always be a stream of illustrators willing to work for "exposure" then the pool of fair-paying clients will reach some seriously low levels, and aren't those the clients we're all aiming for in the first place?  How can we ensure the longevity of a fair creative industry and our own careers if there are so many clients that don't need to pay you for your work? 

The creative industries are so over-saturated as it is, we need to work together to make sure we can all actually make a living out of our businesses and keep the very, very important creative sectors alive.  It's all too easy to feel like work in return for "exposure" or crowd-sourced competitions are your only options as a graduate but it's not always the case, try to focus on building your portfolio and style yourself through mock-commissions and personal projects until the right commission comes along - there are clients out there who will pay you, and it's only fair.  

I feel that this is a really important issue that the design conference could have discussed more, especially with the longevity theme, but if you have any thoughts do comment and we'll have a chat ourselves!

There was a great little Q&A session at the end of the talks, with all the guest speakers as well as Peter Saville and professor David Crow. This, along with the slot just before it where Angus Montgomery interviewed Mark Farrow, gave the structure of the conference a nice shake up. It felt a lot more natural to have the speakers discuss together what longevity in design means, and to answer some of the questions from the audience (I did ask about the work for free issue!). 

I think sometimes in a big conference like this it's hard for the speakers to break away from being reliant on showing the portfolio, rather than getting really in depth about how each section might apply to the theme and the issues around it, I think this would be the case with most people - still, it was great to see a breadth of work from each speaker, especially from those in design fields slightly different from my own.

The Manchester Town Hall itself is an absolutely gorgeous building, with huge arches, lavishly painted ceilings and spiral staircases almost everywhere. It was pretty hard for me to resist the temptation to sneak around the corridors feeling like I was on some sort of quest. There was a great atmosphere at the conference, and we all gorged ourselves on brews and biscuits in the mid-conference break. Unfortunately I couldn't stay long at the after-conference social at Kosmonaut, but I think that would have been a nice opportunity to have a chat with both the speakers and attendee designers - let me know how it went!

Design Manchester 13 was a great opportunity to re-connect with the local design community and discuss some really important issues that affects all of us in the industry. Thanks so much to all the organisers, supporters, sponsors and attendees! I'm looking forward to the events next year!

Monday 2 September 2013

Italian marketplace illustration

New Italian marketplace illustration! It was great for me to work a little differently and try out unusual compositions for this idea - I find it oh-so-hard to stay away from drawing faces sometimes!  Halfway through drawing my millionth tomato I did slightly regret my choices - but it's great for me to tackle food themes as well, I've been meaning to for a long time indeed.

I've been thinking a lot about the settings of my illustrations recently; working with vibrant places with bold colours, smells and sounds.  I've been seriously upping my vegetable intake lately (and heading to markets to buy them tends to be much more interesting than the supermarket!) I love the bustle of a busy marketplace - the colours and characters are fantastic!

What do you guys think? Do you want to see more work like this from me?


Monday 19 August 2013

Win! 'One More Candle' picture book giveaway

Right guys!

It's not long now until the huge launch of the newest picture book I've illustrated: One More Candle.  In the run up to it's release on September 1st 2013, you can be in with the chance of winning a copy for yourself.

Together with the author Merry Susiarjo, we're offering up one gorgeous hardback edition and one shiny second prize paperback to two lucky winners anywhere in the world!

About the book:

Nola is just over a year younger than her sister Betty, and they decide to have one big, shared birthday party every year rather than each having a smaller one. But poor Nola gets upset that Betty always has one more candle than her, and fruitlessly seeks help from all the light-giving things she finds in the world outside. But just as she begins to accept the reality of their different ages, the solution comes as an enchantingly simple surprise. Emmeline Pidgen's authentic and imaginative illustrations bring this sweet and gentle picture book story magically to life.

It's had a ton of absolutely top-notch reviews across the board so far, so I'm incredibly excited for it's release! It was certainly one of the most fun (and relaxing!) commissions I've worked on in a long time, and I think that really comes through in the illustrations.  If you get hold of a copy (or if you're lucky enough to win one!) do let me know what you or your little'uns think.

How to enter:

It's easy peasy to enter through a variety of methods using the widget below. 
So tell your buddies! Best of luck!

Saturday 3 August 2013

Hello shoppers! (sneak peek)

Just a quick sneak preview at a few character designs I've been working on recently. You'll be able to see a few more of these super-shoppers very soon! Keep an eye out.

Friday 26 July 2013

Up for grabs!

Just to let you know my 'Wild Ride' screenprint for the Artcrank show is now up for grabs in the 2022NQ online shop! Get your mits on a ltd edition, signed and numbered print with a portion of the profits going to Simply Cycling charity.

Get 'em here! http://shop.2022nq.co.uk/product/artcrank-emmeline-pidgen-wild-ride (or if you want to wait: in my shop mid-august)

Prints are a gorgeous bright Orange colour on slightly cream paper. 270gsm, A3 size- signed and numbered in pencil.

Thursday 18 July 2013

Kids and books

I have to say, seeing photos like this of kids on the other side of the world enjoying a book you've illustrated is SUCH a brilliant feeling.  It's not an easy job (seriously) but this sort of thing makes it worth it.

These pictures are from a great little article: Reading with Toddlers and Encouraging Positive Relationships over on OurEverydayThings blog.  It's got a nice little review of my next book One More Candle.  I'm super chuffed that the review focuses on how much the kids loved pointing out and finding all the little details in the illustrations - something that I really thought about when I was illustrating it.

Have a read of the article here: http://bit.ly/13us
One More Candle comes out 1st September 2013.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Artcrank Manchester exhibition

Last Friday saw the launch of the Manchester show from the worldwide art & bike project Artcrank!  Twenty-six local artists were invited to create a set of original screenprinted posters revolving around the themes of bikes, bicycle culture and the love of the ride.

The launch at 2022NQ was a seriously fun evening; with free drinks, DJ's playing tunes, live screenprinting and goody bags from Colorplan stocked full of papery-niceness.  
The place was packed and had a really great atmosphere.  All the prints on display looked absolutely awesome, it's always fantastic to be involved in local events and get to know the pools of talent in the area.  

With my poster I wanted to create an illustration with a fun and light feel to it - one for kids and adults, for people's homes.  I'd recently found a drawing of the leopard in an old forgotten sketchbook (yup, I have a lot of those) and that really inspired the idea.  I kept it simple, but with funny little plays like the size of the elephant on the penny-farthing, or the lion almost chasing the zebra on the tandem.  I had the prints screenprinted by the talented Savwo - I'd worked with him before in 2011 printing my Riot Clean Up charity screenprints, which came out amazingly - so it was great to see that these came out so well too!

Artcrank has had a number of shows worldwide since their 2007 debut in Minneapolis, but this was the first that had headed to the North of England at 2022NQ Manchester, and they got a really great response.  All the ltd edition posters were on sale for £30, with a portion of profits supporting Simply Cycling, a nonprofit organization that works to make cycling more accessible to people with disabilities.  The show continues until the 5th of August, with remaining posters soon to be on sale on the 2022NQ website.

Big thanks to Artcrank for organising the show, the sponsors Retrofuzz and G F Smith papers, 2022nq for having us and Savwo for printing my posters.  You guys are ace.

If you're interested in nabbing one of my ltd edition & signed prints for yourself I may have a few left after the show, so get in touch!

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Books in Paris

I reworked this old illustration yesterday.  Sometimes it takes a while to be able to distance yourself from the work and view it critically.  I'm definitely a lot happier with it, and in a way it's nice to see that my working style has improved (well, I think so) within a year. Always learning!

Tuesday 11 June 2013

The Design Week Awards 2013

Last week I headed down to London for the Design Week Awards.  I found out a few months ago that I'd been nominated for the Rising Star Award and I have to say, I was jumping around the flat that afternoon. 
The Rising Star Award seeks out the industry's hottest new designers and judges them on both their work and accomplishments in their careers, so it was an absolutely huge honour to be chosen by the judges.

The awards evening was fantastic, and I'll admit I was a little overwhelmed by the sheer volume of industry hot-shots in the place (especially considering I didn't know a soul there when I arrived!).  Meeting the other Rising Star nominees Lydia Leith, Will Southward and Robin Howie; the guys from Magpie studio as well as the team from Studio Recruitment (who were sponsoring the award) was brilliant.  Unfortunately I didn't get to meet the winner Bethan Laura Wood as she couldn't be at the event, but huge congratulations to her!

The evening was hosted by Radio DJ Lauren Laverne, and I was a little taken by surprise to see my photograph shown on two giant screens when the Rising Star Award nominees were being announced.  In fact, I can safely say that I've never seen my face quite so big.  
Extravagant dinners were eaten, cocktails were sipped and fairground rides were ridden.  I even managed to win a pen on a fairground game, not bad eh?

The evening went by so quickly that I didn't get the chance to speak to quite as many people as I would like, it's a tricky thing to approach groups of people deep in industry conversation (it certainly felt like I was the only person who arrived on their own!).  If you were at the awards and I didn't get the chance to shyly say hello it would be great to hear from you.

Hopefully my nomination at the awards will lead on to some great new projects. I'm back at work now, the new book's finished and really looking forward to the next few months of my career. Speak soon!

Tuesday 23 April 2013

World Book Night

It's World Book Night tonight! I can't make it to any of the events unfortunately (they're all too far away), so to celebrate I made this quick poster - hurray! Books are just the best, aren't they?

Tuesday 9 April 2013

Something very exciting!

Hi guys! Earlier this week I got some HUGE NEWS! 

I've been selected as one of five shortlisted entrants for the Design Week Rising Star Award!

Yup, I certainly did jump around like a loon - what a brilliant surprise!  The Design Week awards are the biggest creative awards of their kind in the UK, and the Rising Star category looks to pick out the creative industry's fresh up-and-coming talent. (It makes me feel a little dizzy to be included. What an honour!).

There's some increeeeddddibly talented names in the full shortlist (that you can see here, congratulations everyone!), I'm pretty sure I'll be feeling a little overwhelmed at the awards ceremony in June! It's such a huge, huge honour to be nominated (especially by such an esteemed panel of judges!) I really didn't ever expect to get shortlisted, but wish me luck (and a good dollop of nerve-calming support) for the final pick! x

Monday 8 April 2013

Shelterbox Auction

Late last month I headed down to Cornwall to visit my family, and luckily well timed it to attend the Shelterbox Charity Art Auction in Plymouth that I had donated one of my signed prints to.  It was a great little night organised by a couple of my friends, featuring a really diverse range of paintings, print, jewellery, photography and illustration.  Absolutely all the funds raised from the auction went straight to Shelterbox, a really great charity who provide emergency housing and lifesaving support for people around the world - so people certainly weren't shy with bidding!

Hannah Jump (organiser) w/ Martin Jump's work - Samuel J Pidgen (my brother)'s photography print - My donated print.
The auction raised over £600 for Shelterbox and there were a lot of happy faces going home with some lovely artwork! There will hopefully be more of these auctions in the future, so I'll let you know in advance and you can all get involved. Nice nice nice.

Blank Media Collective - Chris Haughton talk

Last month I headed over to Manchester for Blank Media Collective's 'Masterclass' talk by illustrator Chris Haughton.

Chris is an Irish illustrator, widely known for his 'A Bit Lost' and 'Oh No, George!' picture books and his venture into illustrated fairtrade homeware with Made By Node.
It was a cosy affair - with a ton of illustrators snug on floor cushions, basking in candlelight with glasses of wine and cocktails in mugs. I even scribbled down some notes in my sketchbook.

Chris gave a really good talk about his illustration work, writing process and adventures across the world setting up Node.  I had a nice chat with Chris after the talk too, it's always great to get to know other illustrators when you can! Currently Made by Node has 18 very talented illustrators who have each designed a simple illustration which  was handwoven into a gorgeous fairtrade rug - very pretty, and a really great ethos!  There's some fantastic designs, including one by the very talented Lesley Barnes who I exhibited with in the Enchanted Forest show last Winter! You can find out more by taking a look at www.madebynode.com

Monday 21 January 2013

Hug Your Buds

That's right! It's National Hugging Day! So grab all those people who make life just that little bit better, and give 'em a squeeze.

Wednesday 16 January 2013

You And Me The Royal We, Oliver Jeffers and world maps.

Happy New Year guys!

It's been a couple of weeks since delving back into my freelance work - I spent a lot of the Christmas break by the sea and in the forests, so my inspiration bucket was re-filled.  It's certainly been busy so far though! I'm working on two new kid's books at the moment, which will be out later this year.

 In other news, last week I FINALLY managed to get a frame for this signed Oliver Jeffers / You & Me The Royal We print I won a year or so back.  You might be thinking 'What the hell? Why didn't that beaut go up months ago?!' well, calm your boots, I've had a lot on my plate and a distinct lack of wall and huge frame availability (not to mention for a while I was living in a room that didn't even have windows!). It's up now and looking gorgeous. I'm a lucky lady!

It came with a little box of 102 pins to plot the places you've been and your next geographical conquests (I have lots of plans).  I think you're supposed to hang it up with the bulldog clips that came with it, but I have to say I'm a bit of a messy and/or clumsy person (especially with cups of tea and splashy paint in the mix) and I didn't want to wreck it, hence the frame.

I'm a long-time fan of Oliver Jeffers' work, and, y'know, planet earth - so this is ace to have up in my living room.  I'm going to ace the geography questions in pub quizzes.

Check out the You & Me The Royal We website to find out more about the creators Oliver Jeffers, Mac Premo and Aaron Ruff (and there's loads of great stuff on there). @YouMeTheRoyalWe

...and I'll speak to you soon! Lots of new illustrations in the mix, keep in touch!