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I just got home from my favourite kind of day - chatting to readers... in a library... with lots of cake! What could be better?! I did lots of sketching too, which I always enjoy. Mostly because I get to talk to my 'victims' while I'm drawing and can ask them lots of questions about anything and everything. It's great research for my books. You can see some of my sketches above. Thank you to the Ashcombe Posse and everyone who posed and didn't complain about me taking absolutely ages because I was chatting and not concentrating!

I didn't have to travel far today because the event was at my local library in Dorking (see previous post) because it's National Libraries Day and because it has moved to a new location in the centre of the town. There were loads of people there, despite the finger-numbing icy weather (Brrrrrrrr!), checking out the cool new kids section, which has brilliant cave-like round seats set into the walls and a huge purple armchair (which I sat in, natch!)

The cakes were amazing - shaped like round lollies on sticks with multi-coloured icing. How did they do that?!! Thank you to Helen and Carol and Anna and all the staff whose names I've now completely forgotten (oops!) for taking care of me and for making the afternoon such fun.


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Another Door Closes...

I completed a two-year MA this week (Illustration and Book Arts at UCA, Farnham). It's been hard work studying part-time while keeping illustration commissions ticking over, but it's been worth the effort. I never truly went away, but now feel I'm 'returning' to my career reinvigorated.

MA Project exploring my grandmother's memoir and photographic archive

I've already re-focussed my brain on a new book, so thoroughly in fact that, when asked at the private view to talk about the my final MA pieces, I actually couldn't remember what I had done! Here is some of it...

From the final project, WHAT IS HIDDEN - a part work inspired by Hitchcock's' Rear Window'
The new book, a graphic novel, is currently just an outline and a sketchbook of ideas. It has a slightly older target audience than my previous work - YA and adult cross-over - and will develop visual themes I've been playing with for the last two years. I can't wait to show it to you.

Laydeez Day

This weekend I'm heading up to London for the Laydeez Do Comics Award event. I'm really excited that 'Who Killed Jo-jo?', my first long-form comic, is on the shortlist. I'm awfully chuffed to have been selected alongside such talented artists and it feels like an enormous stamp of approval for my 30-year plan to become a bona fide graphic novelist! Better late then never, eh?

If you are anywhere near London, do come over to the Free Word Centre tomorrow (24th March) where you will be able to read ALL the submitted comics as zines, and meet loads of amazing comics creators, male and female! It's free but you need to book.

Rubber Stamping

We were only 4, because of the snow, but Saturday's rubber stamping workshop was a huge success. I invited friends to be my guinea pigs so I could test timings and smooth out technical details. The results were great.
Peter made his own logo stamps and printed them on a book bag, while Lisa and Dorothy created wonderful designs which we printed on kraft paper greetings cards.

I'll be running the smoothed-out version of the same workshop during Surrey Artist's Open Studios in June, so check back here for details in a month or two. More workshops are planned for the summer, too, including Cyanotype Printing on Fabric and Making Your Own Folding Hardcover Sketchbook.
Thank you Lisa Boyce for the photographs.