Skip to main content

Retrospective


Moving to a new studio (eventually!) has made me look back on all the projects I have completed at Abinger Cottage. My first published books and many illustration commissions were created in my tiny second bedroom or on my renovated gate leg dining room table (that I'm about to put on eBay!).
It will be hard to leave the house where my characters were born; where Ember Fury's conversations with her invisible friend in a WW2 bomb shelter made me giggle 'til my sides ached; where I punched the air when Verity Fibbs escaped from two miserable goth assassins by driving over the Millenium Bridge; where Esther Armstrong and her brothers broke my heart and made me cry for hours. 
More recently, that (solid oak, great condition and yours for 99p) dining room table was where Jo Cotterill and I worked out some of our early ideas for ELECTRIGIRL, our exciting new collaboration (published Feb and Aug 2016 by OUP).
All this nostalgia deserves a retrospective, so here are the last 12 years in pictures...
...Ember, Ned and Finn set out on their 'adventure' (EMBER FURY, Headline 2009)...

...JP, Rip, Psycho and Taz about to get a serious fright (SCARLETT DEDD, Headline 2010)...

...JP and psycho making horror movies...

...My first three girls (with HEADLINE), Em, Scar and Vee...

...doing festivals (meeting Sarah McIntyre and many other author pals at Hay)...

...Northumberland National Park 2013...

...Esther making me cry (EVERYTHING IS FINE AND OTHER LIES I TELL MYSELF, Headline 2013)...

...and surfers in peril...

...Joe and his dangerous sketchbook (GRAPHIC, Barrington Stoke 2014)...

...Illustrating for some of my fave author friends like Karen McCombie (Barrington Stoke 2014)...

...twice (HONEY AND ME, Barrington Stoke 2015)...

...Michaela Morgan x4 (STAR SCHOOL, Edition Didier)...

...Melvin Burgess (PERSIST, Barrington Stoke 2015)...

...and my brilliant ELECTRIGIRL co-creator, Jo Cotterill.

More tomorrow...










Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Jumping at my desk about Ember

It seems my first ever book is still being discovered and enjoyed by new readers. This makes me very happy indeed, as you can probably imagine.
This week I was sent a 'Book Report' by a chap called Dexter (aged 9 and 3/4) and was delighted to see that he had chosen to write about Ember Fury. Turns out Dexter is a pretty good author himself. The report was really well written and I was pleased to hear that all my favourite bits of Ember Fury are Dexter's too. Instead of focussing on Ember's attention-seeking fire-starting or the crazy desert car chase with Finn, Dexter chose the scene where Em gave the chauffeur the slip and ended up in the comic book store as his fave (which was, incidentally, the best scene to write).
His favourite character was Ned, whom I ADORE too, almost more than Ember (shhh, don't tell her!). Dexter also liked my drawings and said they were 'amazing' which made me jump up and down at my desk (Dangerous as I'd just made a hot mug…

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.

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.