Sunday, 30 November 2014

Tudor Sunday

A bit of Tudor-ness keeps me entertained until the next project.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Cracked Eye

I've been doing some illustrations recently for Cracked Eye, a digital short story magazine (an imprint of The Other Publishing Company). It's now launched officially - you can subscribe and download it as an app for your phone. This month's issue features this chap. The illustrations below are for a short story called One Way Traffic by R G McKay Ireland, and will be published in a couple of issues time. Go get it! 

Thursday, 30 October 2014

A Child's Christmas in Wales

I'm taking part in an exhibition at Oriel Wrecsam, North Wales, based around the prose 'A Child's Christmas in Wales' by Dylan Thomas. 

'A painting book in which I could make the grass, the trees, the sea and the animals any colour I pleased, and still the dazzling sky-blue sheep are grazing in the red field under the rainbow-billed and pea-green birds.'

Work in progress...

...and in situe

I'm very proud to be exhibiting work alongside illustrators including Jonny Hannah, Abi Whitehouse and Jessie Chorley amongst others. The exhibition runs from 1st November until 17th January 2015. 

Sunday, 14 September 2014


So now it's pretty much Autumn, and I rounded off the summer by running some live animation workshops at End of the Road festival in Dorset. We invited festival folk to make a few seconds of stop-frame animation using just their bodies and a few props. So much fun!

Here's a wee taster of what we were getting up to - a little dance-off starring Kate, Robin and yours truly (and Kirsty is pictured below!)

Kirsty, the fourth member of team Humanimation

I absolutely loved doing these workshops, but it was hard work and I had a lot of help making them happen! So it feels only right to give a shout out of huge appreciation to the fantastically enthusiastic Humanimation team members: film maker extraordinaire Kate Jessop, all-hands-on-deck happy monster Robin Strigner, and the artistic-tastic Kirsty Clarke - they kept the workshops going and made them fun and exciting for everyone involved. Such an ace team. My Dad, too, who helped me by building the backdrop with his wizard carpentry skills! My stepdad, Neil, was working at EOTR anyway, and was a positive presence all round, and of course thanks to EOTR for having us. Also my dog, Meg, just because. And my Mum. And my Granny. Alright that's enough.

If you were involved with the workshops, I'm currently in the process of editing the films and hope to have them up on here by the end of the week, so please watch this space!

Monday, 18 August 2014

End Of The Road festival

I'm really excited to be involved with End of the Road festival at the end of this month, where I'll be running the 'Humanimation' workshops Friday through to Sunday! If you're going to the festival, come and have a go at making some animation for the festival  - using just your body and a few props!

Scale model of the animation backdrop!!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

On with the show

Thank you to everyone involved with the show at Studio 73, which came down on Sunday. I'm so pleased with how it all went and there were some lovely comments about the work. Dead proud!

I exhibited some work alongside the students. These illustrations are for two short stories, and are for a forthcoming publication by The Other Publishing company. They'll be up online soon as part of their short story imprint Cracked Eye.

'Stitches' (story by Hayden Sayer)

Friday, 1 August 2014

A top draw Summer

Last week I was in Cambridge running the Illustration for Picture Books Summer school. It was like an arty Summer holiday with a bit of work thrown in (the best kind of holiday!).

Students experimented with drawing and mixed media illustration:

They looked at creating sequences using random imagery, words and shapes:

They also worked together on short storyboarding projects:

We did a lot of bookbinding, and experimented with different book structures and paper folding:

And students were able to develop their own original ideas: 


It was a really fun and productive week. It was especially good having a proper, consistent amount of time to help the students be creative, play with ideas and narratives, and learn a few new skills.  

Some of the students' work shown here is on display at Studio 73 for the summer exhibition - which is on now until the 10th of August! Come on down for a gander! 

Monday, 30 June 2014

Illustration for Picture Books first-ever-exhibition!

Right, next bit of news, which I'm very excited about. I have gathered together some of the lovely students from the past 4 terms of the Illustration for Picture Books course, for their first ever group exhibition at Studio 73 in Brixton Village!

Illustration by Sam Goode 2013

It'll be an eclectic display from a talented bunch - expect handmade books, whimsical, funny and experimental illustrations, and original prints and cards. Some of the work will be for sale.

Handmade book by Clare Yerbury 2012

The show will open on Tuesday 29th July, running until Sunday 10th August, at Studio 73, Unit 73 Brixton Village, London SW9 8PS. We should be holding a private view on Friday 1st August. I hope to see you there!

Summer (school) is here again!

Roll up, aspiring illustrators! First on the agenda for a jam-packed summer will be the Illustration for Picture Books Summer School, at Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge, which I'll run for a whole week from Monday 21st July - Friday 25th July.

Illustration by Sally Anne Walker (former student!)

If you fancy getting stuck into a full five days of illustration, storytelling and making handmade books, see the Hills Road website* for more info and bag a space.

There are still places available and it's open to all - you might have little or no artistic experience, or might be gathering work for a portfolio, or want to realise an idea you've had for a story. Or you might just want to do something a bit fun and different. An excuse to draw and write all over a few glorious summer days!

*Please note: to find the Summer school course, scroll down to the bottom of the web page for the courses highlighted in grey. The title given to the course on the Hills Road website is Book Illustration. The course highlighted in yellow, near the top, is for the 10-week course beginning in September. 

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Ghostly Bess

As I've still got a minor obsession with Tudors, I decided to make a portrait of Queen Elizabeth 1.

I've been trying to experiment with a few new techniques recently (literal translation = I've been making a mess). For this picture I tried out ink relief, where you use gouache paint to resist india ink on canvas (I found a pretty clear, unfussy tutorial about it on Craftsy). It gives a patchy, painterly effect that I really like.

I'm quite pleased with it. She's got the look of a ghost about her, which seems to fit.

I made another portrait of her a few weeks back, a linocut, which I don't like as much but it's interesting to compare the two.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Cutout cards on Etsy

Another Etsy update! Click the picture to have a peep at these colourful handmade and printed cutout Thank You / Diolch cards in my online shop.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Circuit animation workshops

Last October I ran some animation workshops for Mostyn in Llandudno, as part of Tate's Circuit project. I've just found the Circuit website (thanks to one of the lovely students who took part) - you can have a look at the films they made here!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

New cards on Etsy

I've updated a few items on my Etsy shop! Have a butchers at these these linoprint 'Heart in my Chest' cards, just under £3.60 a pop, now available in purple, turquoise and orange. Click the pic to follow the link.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Come and draw all over the summer!

From next Tuesday 6th May, I'm running the summer term of the Illustration for Picture Books course, at Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge. 

Limited places are still available - follow the link to find out how to enrol

As always, thanks to all the students who have attended previously and made it so fun. 

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Summer: drawing closer...

Next week I'll be back in Cambridge running the Illustration for Picture Books evening class. It starts on Tuesday the 6th of May and runs for 10 weeks.

Last term was really fun and productive; as always the people on the course were full of ideas and enthusiasm. Last week one of the students, Marion, sent me some images of a couple of finished books she had been working on during the course. One is a story of an old man and the sea, and another of a little girl who loses a yellow balloon and is very sad about it (which Marion assures me now has a happy ending!);

Photos by Marion Bellier

We also had a visit from the wonderful storyteller / illustrator extraordinaire Isabel Greenberg. She very kindly came to talk to the students about her work and gave a fresh perspective on the myriad world of illustration and self-publishing. Isabel also has some gorgeous work on display at Pick Me Up at Somerset House (on until May 5th).

Another exciting piece of news is that a previous student of the course, Sally Walker, is about to start the Children's Book Illustration MA at Anglia Ruskin. Well done Sally! I'm looking forward to seeing her intricate and thoughtful illustrations published in the near future.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Paper Boleyns

I've been print happy this week, making new stock for my Etsy shop. I usually have to work on a few things at once, though, to keep me interested. So I've been letting myself get distracted by one of the most distracting women in British history - Anne Boleyn.

I love Anne's motto - 'Plurrimi Gauisus', which means 'the most happy'.
Though, as my housemate just pointed out, 'that didn't work out very well for her, did it?'
I love Tudor history and so I made this illustration with Anne and her sister, Mary, in mind. If you've read the novel The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, you might get the picture. It's a bit of a romp, but it illustrates that period beautifully.

Ripping bodices aside, they're really interesting characters, Anne in particular. I can't decide if she's a feminist icon or not; chasing the kind of status that could only be achieved through marriage. But she certainly gave birth to one.

As for the 21st Century, here's a slither of some linocut cards, which will be up on Etsy very soon. More to come.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Peace and quiet

Every so often I need to go home and get some peace. So on the spur of the moment, I came home to North Wales briefly this weekend. I've had a quiet weekend away from the city - I've been with my dog and my folks, and I revisited the places I grew up in, including the first house I lived in when I was a baby in Rhewl.

I also went to Ruthin Craft Centre. There's a beautiful exhibition there at the moment by the jeweller Kevin Coates, and an embroidery exhibition exploring identity, Construct, featuring work by eight textile artists.

I also rediscovered the work of artist Rozanne Hawksley (it's not on display but she has exhibited there in the past).

She approaches sad and difficult subject matter, like war, death and violence, and communicates them through craft, which is sometimes undermined as a medium. The materials she uses are fragile, tactile and sometimes disturbing - lace, leather, bones and animal skeletons - but she transforms them into something enchanting and also very powerful. She appears to handle everything with great care and sensitivity, which I think gives her work more impact. Some artists will go all out to shock, or to spell things out to the viewer, but Rozanne's work manages to shock and affect you deeply and profoundly without ever giving the impression that that is what she was desperate to achieve - it's effortless. 

I thought her work was particularly poignant now, as this is the centenary year of the First World War. One of her most famous pieces, Pale Armistice (see the picture above), is a haunting commemoration and subtle anti-war statement, and is on permanent display at the Imperial War Museum in London. I've not seen it in real life, but every time I see a picture of it I can't help staring at the soft, white, featherlike gloves resting gently on top of each other, forever going round and round in their wreath. Looking at it brings another sense of peace, I suppose. 

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Tumbling up

I'll still be updating this blog regularly but I've now set up an account on tumblr for unnervingly quick posting of illustration work, sketches, sources of inspiration and card designs. Click, click, click the link.

Friday, 11 April 2014

My shop is open!

I've opened up my Etsy shop! Here you can find handmade and printed cards, original prints and (eventually) handmade books, drawn and made by me.

The first ten orders will receive some free stickers as a gift. I love stickers, and these are very nice stickers if I do say so.

Follow the link to have a gander at the shop!

Friday, 21 March 2014

Evening wear

This is from a sketchbook I kept when I lived in Brighton and was studying my PGCE. It's a drawing of my bedroom - I used to live in a little attic room in a maisonette.

The previous owner had had a dog, and the smell of it never really went away, but I was very fond of that room. It had three tiny walk-in cupboards, like secret spaces. I just like this drawing, it reminds me of a particular time. I'm putting it up on here so that I don't forget it.