Children’s Illustration - Personal work:
Lots has happened in 2018 and I have lots of new personal projects that I am working on. Probably too many to concentrate effectively on. I have had my newest Illustration work exhibited in Bologna, Italy in the Illustrators Exhibition at the Children’s Book Fair, which was just fantastic. To be among some of the most prestigious and talented illustrators around the world felt very accomplished. I have also had my work chosen for a competition in Russia, The Image of The Book. I won a diploma for the work I entered there, and that will be awarded in a ceremony at Bologna Fair this year. I also have been asked to enter work in to another contest in Shanghai, The CICLA - where my work will be exhibited in the Folk Museum there for the Chen Bochui International Children’s Book Festival, if it makes the final curation.
I am currently working on the story that the Illustration above came from. It was born from personal experience of chasing dreams and desires that were manifested in childhood. Only to realise that the answer to fulfilment and enlightenment wasn’t in those dreams, but in the enjoyment and focus of the everyday instead. This idea was also played out in some paintings I created under the title An-Ti-Dote, shown in the Picture Room, at Newlyn gallery in 2015.
A story of hope after tragedy, celebrating the reality of everyday life, while encouraging the main character to follow the reveries of his heart.
The other story is about a little girl, also from my own childhood, of how I used to draw all the time and how that has helped me overcome overwhelming feelings as an adult.
Practice: A week in Gerswalde
I struggle to make time to practice regularly, and that’s not even physically, it’s mentally too! I have time sometimes, but don’t feel compelled enough to get to the table, so I waste it on Instagram or catching up on emails. I did however go on a workshop in July / August that was tricky to arrange, but so so worth it. It was in Gerswalde in North Germany, near the Polish border.
There were 16 of us plus other people and families staying in the accommodation. It was rural, by a lake and remote. I loved it and worked very hard every day. I made some very special friends, and met so many lovely and warm, creative people. It was a life changing or maybe mind altering affair. It made me see the UK book market from a new perspective. I realised I was trying to fit my work and compromise it into a market that didn’t want me, in the style that was most honest and raw to me anyway. I could change it to fit, to change the style to be more accessible, but I want to see what happens when I do the work that I love doing, To see where it fits. It already fits abroad and has been doing pretty well as you see above, so long may it continue. The workshop was run by the very talented Jesús Cisneros. Sketchbook to Picturebook - hosted by the also talented duo Cristobal Schmal and his wife Johanna Schmal. it took place in Cafe Zum Lowen where Ayumi made us the most delicious food everyday! It was the best week : )
Interview: I did an interview with the lovely Mel Chadwick of Creative Conversations recently, which meant she came to the studio (that’s all ripped up) and we talked about my creative projects and what it means to be a creative. It was lovely to chat to her and we went sketching in Helston together a couple of weeks later, which was great. you can see the interview on video here.
I have completed another book last month, Sept, and I feel free of a looming deadline, but also rudderless, so weaving my college work in and around chores, catching up and getting my head and body to the creative, making table of my own work. College takes over considerably, so I have to balance that also. I have realised that I have missed writing blogs, as they are a punctuation and celebration of work achieved, jobs finished etc and take a little more investment than say Instagram, which I love but sucks the life from my day!
Also the cheese I illustrated for Curds And Crust has just won Best Cheese on the planet award! ha!
I did a couple of charity events where I was asked to donate small pieces and because both were for projects that my friend and fellow Illustrator Rebecca Cobb was involved in of course I obliged. One was for a local postcard event for Constantine School and the other for an event co run or at least facilitated by Beccy and author Nicola Davies and Foyles Books in London.
Possibly Shanghai in Nov, if I find out in time? more time spent on my own books. Getting my studio and garden straight and giving myself more structure so I don’t feel quite so messy everywhere. Bologna to get ready for also!
Thanks for popping by x