Thursday, 27 September 2012

Themerson Day and Wonderful Papers

Back at the beginning of the summer I was lucky enough to be able to attended a one day conference on the artists, film makers, writers. philosopher, poet...all round creative couple Franciszka and Stefan Themerson. Not only was the event, held at Queen Mary's University, London, free but we were each given an envelope full of duplicate documents from the Themerson Archive and this lovely book full of Franciszka's drawings.

I can still remember the afternoon in the early 90s and not long out of art college when working as a part time nanny (whilst starting out in illustration) I took the three children to the Imperial War Museum and I discovered Franciszka's drawings for the first time. I remember the thrill and that connection I felt with her simple sketchy, quirky drawings - that strange powerful , sort of emotionally overwhelming feeling you get when something resonates with you. I'm fascinated by that feeling, what  instigates it and why do we respond to somethings and not others? Any one know anything about this?!

"My Felted Friends" - Prop Making and Styling Project

I worked on this project back in February making all the props and backgrounds at home then working with Geoff Dann the photographer at his studio styling them. The book is by Mia Underwood who not only makes these amazing felted animals but just seems to be all round talented - take a look at her beautiful work on her woodfolk website. 
I loved how on this project I was free to mix up "real" animal settings and anthropomorphised ones. So the badger lived in a house with a wood burning stove but the hedgehog lived amongst leaves.

Monday, 17 September 2012

The Fundamentals of Illustration

"The Fundamentals of Illustration"by Lawrence Zeegen has been revised by Louise Fenton and my website is featured in it. Isn't that mustard and pink cover by Mia Nilsson gorgeous! 
I think it would make a great book for an illustration student or recent graduate - though I too plan to read it. Thinking back to when I graduated in 1990 there just wasn't any printed information on starting out in illustration  - just three pages of handouts from the last term. 
In February next year my US agent Lilla Rogers has a book coming out "I Just Like to Make Things: Learn the Secrets to Making Money While Staying Passionate About Your Art and Craft" which I'm looking forward to reading.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

The Little Book of Etiquette

I loved illustrating this really, really tiny book for Running Press. Really I have no excuse now to lick my berry crumb bowl!

Friday, 7 September 2012

The Homemade Home for Children

The Homemade Home for Children is the sequel to Sania Pell's previous book the Homemade Home. Both are full of her gorgeous projects and ideas for the home and all the photography is stunningly styled by her. I love her colour sense and the way she uses shades of grey with flashes of bright colour and the way she uses flowers to bring rooms and settings alive.

I drew the step by step illustrations for both books. It's funny how at the start of a project like this where over 200 illustrations are required the end seems unimaginable - then you just get your head down and work away and at the end the beginning seems unimaginable!

The look for the illustrated steps was initially to be sketchbooky in feel. Above is a rough mock up I did at the start of the project - where I placed my sketches on top of various bits of paper from my beloved "paper drawer". However the finished book has a more uniform feel and the designer laid my drawings on top of water colour paper.

I think I'm repeating my self about this - but I really couldn't have imagined when starting out in illustration that I'd end up drawing step by step illustrations and enjoying doing so - so much.


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