So it's only been.....four months since my last post!! This year has been the busiest on record and I've been involved in all sorts of different things alongside my commissioned picture books from painting sculptures and animating trailers to designing book festival postcards and prints for charity. It's all been happening and I'm looking forward to a break away in France later this Summer.
The year started off with this chap (not me the other guy) :
I was fortunate enough to have my design selected for this years Lincoln Knights Trail to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Battle of Lincoln and the sealing of the Charter of the Forest. There are many Wild In Art trails that are put on around the country and this was the second time that one of these events has been hosted in my hometown of Lincoln so I was very proud to be involved. It was great to do some physical artwork away from the studio and the screen (he was stored in my garage) and while it was a challenge in areas it was a lot of fun to do and I'm very pleased with the outcome. Here's the sculpture in place at Lincoln College who were the sponsors :
I'll be putting together a separate area on this website for everything Knights Trail related, from the initial design to work in progress shots, so I'll keep this brief for now.
I also designed some prints, an animated trailer and a billboard to go alongside this sculpture. The prints are being sold here in Lincoln at the Visitor Information Centre as well as my Etsy shop (which will go live again very soon) The trailer can be viewed here on my website or over on my Vimeo Channel :
I'll post up images of the billboard when it's up on the building but it was the biggest piece of artwork I've had to do so far measuring 4m x 3m.
If you are in the area be sure to check out the Knights Trail as there are some fantastic designs on show and plenty of good pubs along the way.
JAKE BAKES A MONSTER CAKE
As well as painting this sculpture I also had my commissioned picture book work to do which included Jake Bakes a Monster Cake, my next book publishing with Macmillan in September. It's written by the fabulous Lucy Rowland (Pirate Pete and his Smelly Feet) and features Jake who wants to cook up a storm in the kitchen and bake his best friend Sam a cake. His friends, however, have other ideas! It was a lot of fun to do and the paperback version comes with stinky stickers, similar to Pirate Pete (these smell worse though!)
This will be available later this year in all good bookshops and online from the 7th September.
Then it was onto Spider! written by the fabulous Alison Steadman (Gavin & Stacey, Abigails Party, The Singing Detective) and publishing with Hodder Childrens. The story follows Rafael and his pet cat on a journey discovering about the common house spider and why they really aren't that scary. I've always been a fan of spiders and I think they get some bad press sometimes so it was great to work on a book that details how amazing these eight-legged mini-beasts really are. The book includes lots of facts and figures about spiders along the way so it makes for a fun educational book as well.
It was great to work on this title with the Hodder team so looking forward to many more. This book will be out in all good bookshops and online in October.
AOI WORLD ILLUSTRATION AWARDS
This took me by surprise I have to say as I've always held this award in high regard, so to be shortlisted out of the thousands of images sent in was a proud moment in my career as an Illustrator. The World Illustration Awards is judged by industry professionals and it always showcases an array of different work so to be included amongst the incredible talent that was shortlisted was fantastic. You can read a blog that my agency wrote about it here.
I entered my piece 'We Will Remember' which was a personal image I came up with last year to commemorate the 100 years since the Battle of the Somme and Armistice Day :
I'm looking to take this image further as I feel there's more to say so watch this space!
COTTAGES DE GARRIGUES
I'd been asked to design a logo by two of our friends who are setting up their Gîte business in the South-West of France. Cottages de Garrigues is a fantastic 17th century farmhouse in the Dordogne offering three gîtes for rent with acres of woods and countryside surrounding it. They wanted a simple pen & ink/pencil sketch look to the design, so after looking at many different photos of their building I put something together :
NEWARK BOOK FESTIVAL
More recently I was asked to design an image to be used on a limited edition postcard to be given away during the Newark Book Festival in July. The brief was fairly open but it had to include elements of Newark (the castle, marketplace etc) and a character that can be used each year to coincide with the relevant theme. This year it's 'Adventures and Heroes' so I decided to go down the Sherlock Holmes (Mouse Detective) route with my design. I initially did two designs but felt the first one wasn't answering the brief well enough so started on the second which works much better :
I'll also be doing a 'Pirate Pete' event with my author Lucy Rowland so if you're in the area you can purchase tickets here Newark Book Festival. Come along for some Piratey fun (clothes pegs recommended!)
I've now pretty much caught up with everything that's been happening these past few months. Currently working on my next picture book which is with Amazon, Mrs Claus Takes the Reins. Santa Claus is sick and can't deliver the presents, so there's only one thing for it :
Mrs Claus steps in!! :)