Monday, 20 December 2010

Christmas card artwork

Two illustrations I did recently for company Christmas cards - meccano trees and playful penguins! And here is a link to the ones I did for them last year.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Illustration for Community Care

I found this a really interesting subject. It was an article informing social workers how to end a client relationship in a professional and successful way.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Design your own addictive!

I stumbled across this site recently. It's such fun, like a grown up version of paper dolls or those "misfit" books where you combined different top, middle and bottom sections to create a character.

I'm not even a very handbag obsessed type girl so be warned it could be addictive!

Below are a few roughs I submitted for a book on handbags a while back. I so prefer the mismatchedness of the Lill Studio bags to the elegant ones I was trying to capture!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Circus Ceramics for Cosmo China

I've been having lots of fun at Cosmo China in Bloomsbury recently painting plates and mugs and eggcups and butter dishes etc with this circus theme. It developed from the blue circus design I did in the spring as part of a collection of circus themed repeats. And they came from the little sketch above from my sketch book in the winter. I love the way ideas, themes and projects can grow and in doing so change form.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Party Pup Pyjamas for Boden

I was waiting until a friend’s gorgeous little girl could model these dog pyjamas for me then Charlie my draught excluder stepped in and volunteered and suddenly he seemed like the ideal model! Though he is a little long on the body for them :-)

They are available in the Autumn/Winter collection as little girl’s pyjamas both on the UK and USA sites. To be asked by Boden(a dream client) to draw dogs at a party(a dream subject) made it a dream commission!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

The Homemade Home

Another book I loved working on - "The Homemade Home" - though full of projects I kept wishing I had time to stop and sew and make.

There were so many projects in the book and a tight schedule so the illustrations got divided between me and another illustrator - Stephen Dew. I wasn't sure how it would all sit together but it turned out really well as we were both working from the same colour palette and our styles aren't disimilar - Stephen just obviously knows how to do more clever things on the computer! I'm sure I only learn about two new things a year!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Diagrams for The Gentle Art of QuiltMaking

One of three craft books I worked on that have been published this summer. For "The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking" by Jane Brocket I just had to draw these simplified diagrams as a guide for laying out the quilt swatches. The actual quilts and the photography and styling in the book are gorgeous.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Recent Illustrations for Bulletin Magazine

These illustrations are for a UK based magazine. It’s called Bulletin and it is aimed at people working in the field of Speech and Literacy. I illustrate their monthly opinion column.

Because the text and vocabulary are usually very specific to its field I love the challenge of coming up with “soft” but relevant solutions. Which is what I love about illustrating for magazines is having a text that is a little dry or outside my usual scope of knowledge and finding a visual way of making it more approachable and appealing.

The topics were (from top to bottom) about gathering information to create the society's framework, working in partnership, the difficulties in assessing language in children and gathering data.

On my USA agent's blog there is a longer post about this project.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Otter Drawing

When on the island of Skye we went to an otter haven. It was a wooden hut on a hillside overlooking the sea with big windows, seats and binoculars. We waited and waited and waited looking and scanning the sea and the beach hoping we'd see one. I so wanted to see one I started to think I did - every ripple on the water or long bit of seaweed on the beach.

Eventually we gave up and as we walked back through the forest to the car I imagined what it might be like to meet a standing up clothed one possibly offering us hot chocolate from small cups. This drawing came from that wishful hope!

I think I sort of like otters all the more for being so reclusive and elusive.

Irn Bru

Keeping the Scotland theme - here is an Irn Bru advert Dennis was animation director for in the springtime. He now drinks quite a lot of Irn Bru - I think he is trying to single handedly increase the sales in England to reflect well on the advert!:-)

Friday, 20 August 2010


Gathering reference for more fabric ideas.

One of my favourite places - Plockton on the west coast mainland, in a sheltered inlet near Skye. It was here where much of "The Wicker Man" was filmed but even without the film's connections the place has an unusual feel to it - so sheltered and with palm trees on the main street and tropical looking plants - it feels very different from it's windswept neighbours along the coast that face out to the Atlantic.

A village close to Plockton where the Highland cows graze freely amongst the houses and wander on the road.

When at school I did a test on learning styles. The thing that I remember coming up was "can't see the wood for the trees". It's certainly still true with my camera - I can't stop myself focusing on all the close up detail whilst surrounded by the most amazing vistas!

A beautiful dog with an amazing job. We were told he'd been coming to work on the little four car ferry for six years linking Kylerhea on Skye to Glenelg on the mainland.He seemed to think his main duty was to run round and round the outside edge of the ferry and bark at the seals as we crossed!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Things from the Cupboard

Home in Scotland a couple of weeks ago I had a search through my old "toy cupboard". We had a boot fair in London a few months ago so I couldn't resist bringing some things back to start filling up the cleared out spaces!

This is a map from 1963 - the year my parents (as newlyweds) went on a road trip to Norway with my grandfather and teenage aunts.

My beloved Tufty Club Book - I thought it was lost so was very happy to discover!
Illustrations are so powerful to children and the emotions they create seem to get so fixed inside us - when I saw these pictures of bonfire night, the naughty weasel and the mole family on a long dark road I remembered how fearful I found them. And it surprises me how gentle the pictures seem when the feelings I can recall are more akin to those created by horror films!

I'm also surprised how things are not nearly as complex as I remember. I loved the tree house Tufty lived in - but now it seems so small and simple - not how it was in my head as a child!

I bought this book with a book token I got as a school prize aged seven for art. My Mum thought prizes were a terrible and unfair thing until I got one! I have just discovered a little about the illustrator Ronald Ferns
What a wonderful selection of projects he worked on!

2010 USA postcard

Last week I received my this year's Lilla Rogers Studio promotional card in the post.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Gorgeous Puffin film

I wish I could make things move! I love this stop motion / collagey animation promoting 70 years of Puffin Books. Sadly Puffin haven't mentioned on youtube who made it or sang the song.

This is bound to be brilliant - a book about the design of Puffin books and also this biography of Kaye Webb, editor in chief at Puffin throughout it's glory years of 60s to 70s sounds like a fascinating read....they are both on my Amazon Wish List.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Grayson Perry on Creativity

There is a fantastic programme on Radio 4 this week (only available on the BBC iplayer until the 13th July) about creativity where Grayson Perry speaks to artists, writers, neuroscientists about creativity. Rose Tremain is particularly eloquent - well she is a writer :-) - about the subject and Grayson Perry describes his imagination/thought area as his "Inner Shed" which I think is so lovely.

I use to babysit/nanny for a now grown up girl who at about age seven described to me a place she had in her head which was a room made of marzipan lined with books and a marzipan chair where she would retreat to and read stories to herself. Now twenty one, I met her at a party at the weekend, and she is about to start an MA in Renaissance Literature.

I think everyone should nurture their "inner shed"

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Love when I get to do hand writing too...

This was for an American magazine - Lupus Now, about some of the complications associated with lupus.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Maternity Rights

This was a recent little spot illustration about maternity rights in the work place.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Flower Wish List

Writing about bluebells reminded me about this drawing I did a few years ago for my boyfriend...not long before Valentine's Day - it makes me wonder just how control freaky I might actually be!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Bluebell Time

When it comes to flowers I know I'm June my "all time favourite" will be floppy pink peonies and a couple of months ago my most loved flower was blue hycinths...but for May it's always bluebells.

A couple of years ago we had a picnic in this bluebell wood. Although there are many at the moment growing in clumps in the parks and gardens of London, I'm hoping we'll make it to the countryside in time to see a forest full!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Featured on

I'm currently on the online front page of the Illustration section of The Workbook. I'm delighted to have been chosen as one of the featured illustrators this month.

As so often when you sign up for illustration directories and online portfolios it can feel like you are just one little fish swimming around hoping to be fished out from amongst hundreds and thousands of other fish. When I'm teaching professional practice to Illustration students I always say it's worth giving these ways of promoting yourself a go - but for me at least, most of my work seems to comes instead from individual, well targeted promotion. It's usually easier to go fishing than wait to be fished out!

Friday, 14 May 2010

Surtex, PrintPattern and Gone to Earth

This weekend my agents and several of the other artists they represent will be at Surtex in New York - the big surface design fair.

Last month I was busy designing a Blurb book as my 2010 portfolio and printing out repeat patterns to send to Lilla for the show. One of my oldest and loveliest friends came to stay for a couple of days and helped me print out repeats and make choices for the book.

One of the things I love about being an illustrator is the autonomy/self sufficency and the sense of achieving stuff on your own - but sometimes when you get support from someone else you realise just how nice (and sometimes needed) that is too! The other great thing about having Katie to stay is we always line up a little film show for her. This time we watched one of my most favourite films "Gone to Earth" - beautiful, magical Powell and Pressburger film about a girl and her fox. I've just discovered it was an inspiration to Kate Bush's "Hounds of Love" (but don't watch the youtube montage to the end if you plan to watch the film!)

I also have some work on the always fantastic Print Pattern Blog earlier this week.


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