Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Idea for colour scheme

Hey this is a page of the story- post-photoshop tampering. anything that looks particularly pants or if the colours are shite please say! thankyou

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

cheltenham awards competition 2009


second composition

this will be a full bleed page, there will be light colour on this too. in terms of narrative it directly follows the image below. any suggestions? thank you

first composition for kiddie books

hello people this is my first of the 8 pages (aka 4 spreads). its only a rough plan for now but still quite indicative of the final thing. Ive chosen to design my own font because the existing ones seem a little too rigid and stark- i think it works quite nice but id rather other people rip into it as a whole where need be. im gonna add very muted colours, but then drain them out to correlate with the middle section of the story where the boy is saddened by the piano breaking.
hope people like it.



Nothing to do with my practice, nothing really to do with picture book either, I just thought this was really beautiful stuff. H's called Jon Klassen, have a look at his site - it's all sparse compositions, muted colours and textures galore!
He also has done some cool concept work for the new animation Coraline by Neil Gaiman (I read the graphic novel - excellent, recommended)

Right now I'm going to get on with work!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Am i Just asking for punishment?

My latest progress with picture book, I much prefer the simplicity of the direction I'm taking now, my plan is to just spend loads of time on the drawing now and then put them into simple compositions as so, I plan to push the stage a big step further to try and create my 4 finished spreads, but I'm thinking this work at the moment isn't far off the quality I want for my dummy book? But yea put these two up as examples of what I'm doing if anyone wants to criticize, please feel free :D (lol i know you will)

Saturday, 14 March 2009

My style- any opinons?

I've been struggling to find an effective visual langauge for picture book which I'm comfortable with, as many of you are probably aware I am quite dark/messy most of the time, which isn't really appropiate, but I have found the most success in following Raymond Brigg's and Dave Mckeans style of combining both picture book and graphic novel together. I've been doing quite a few experiments recently and this is my favourite, so I wanted to put it up to get others opinion? It's not polished to a high standard yet, but in regards to the direction I'm working in, wanted to see if other people think this is working or not?


Wednesday, 11 March 2009


This is an image from a book by Jimmy Liao called "The Monster Who Ate Darkness". I saw it and thought it was such a lovely poetic idea - I wish I had thought of it first!

He has also written one called The Sound of Colours.

Another beautiful looking picture book I came across is The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum by Italian illustrator Nicoletta Ceccoli (love the lettering on the front cover!):

:) kt.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

20th April 2009

20th April 2009 the deadline for the Macmillan Children's picture book competition!!! If you intend to enter!!

Sunday, 8 March 2009

We were titled "THE BEST TABLE HERE" by a very sweet lady who became our number 1 fan...

Till count.....

Rosemary sold a total of 3 books at £2 each TOTAL £6.00
Amy sold out! Both books at £3 and £1 TOTAL £17.00
Honorary member Lousie at £5 per book TOTAL £5.00
Yolande Various books TOTAL £45.00
Jatinder, £25 for the big one and her city book TOTAL £53.00 smackers!!
Charlotter, £22 for her Barcelona dry point. TOTAL £22.00

drum rollll................................................£148.00 !!!!!!!!!...........drinks on JAT!

(added by chiu Saturday only)
Roo 2 books 3 postcard sets TOTAL £16.00
Kate various books TOTAL £39.00
Chiu various books TOTAL £83.00

deathly drum rollll................................................£286.00 !!!!!!!!!....drinks still on JAT!

Friday, 6 March 2009

Cate James Freelance Illustrator

I was doing a random search for inspiration and found this illustrator, mainly a printmaker and typographer, but with some cool quirky images, with quite a collage feel that are all very mixed media and craft based but are refined and developed digitally, which is kind of my style.
I thought the three little pigs childrens book had the most relevance to what we're doing at the moment- just a good comparative research referance i thought id mention.

Have a quick look at the website if you get the chance-

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Jim Henson's The Storyteller

Obscure I know...does anyone remember it? I had it on video as a kid and just recently got reminded of it whilst researching possible Ink Soup Freaky Fables stories. I've downloaded it since and I'd really recommend watching it for its...well...storytelling. The stories are all based around legends and folk lore and narrated by John Hurt with amazing puppets and creatures created by Jim Henson. Its inspired me alot, especially some of the odd dialogue from Trolls and creatures. Just the way the stories are told I think is really useful, especially if you're interested in the more fairytale-esque storytelling.

Anyone who fancies a watch I can bring them in on USB! It also has a freakishly famous cast...The one I'm watching now has Sean Bean in it O.o

Found and a question.

I found these in whSmith today, cards simply labelled as the Illustrators, they are a printed on really nice card and are good examples of children's illustrations from people such as Oliver Jeffers, Emma Chester Clark and Jane Simmons, people who I am actually look at currently.
I'm not sure what other illustrators are a part of the collection but next time you pass a whSmith it may be worth it to pop in and have a look, each card costs around £2.

Also, I'm currently looking at interesting and quirky character designs but am struggling a little bit, if anyone knows of any that they really like please let me know ^_^

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Recommended Reading

I've been trying to rewrite my story (the fox one was abit too cutesy for me really >.>) so I've been looking at books with the focus mainly on interesting/amusing approaches to stories. One of the best I found in my collection was Dr Xargle's Book of Earthlets: An alien's view of earth babies by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross. Its the whole concept of looking at things from a different perspective that I really like. The whole book centres around the idea of aliens looking at human babies and pointing out how odd they are (similar to my idea of animals trying to describe a human but done alot better).

Next we have Babette Cole's (who I really like) Truelove. This is again taken from an interesting perspective, that of a dog whos owners have just had a baby. We see the desperate attempts of the dog, who is called Truelove, to help out with the baby (all of them going wrong) such as where the dog brings the baby a dead mouse "Love means sharing" and so on. Very touching (without being too sappy) book but also very amusing.

I could list more but I don't wanna flood the blog >.> They've just been useful for me when thinking about taking a different perspective and being creative...A lot of the time you can only get away with these things in kids books!

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Comparative Research: Colin McNaughton

Specifically his illustrations for the poetry anthologies 'One of your legs is both the same' and 'Another day on your foot and I would have died'. These are admittedly fairly old since they're from my childhood...1994 and 1996 I think but they stand the test of time in terms of illustrations. I love the simplicity and expressiveness of McNaughton's characters in both his spot illustrations and his picture book. He proves that you can do both. His work has also educated me in some aspects of spot illustration:

1. Keep it simple. This isn't the same as a picture book where the image is equally if not more important than the text. Here the prime focus is the text and the images should just accompany/compliment it. Its also fair to point out spot illustration needs to be done much more quickly since generally the pay and turn around is alot less than a full picture book (Woody Fox who did the spot illustration for Astrosaurs said it usually takes him about 3 weeks, a week for roughs, 2 for finishing- and thats an entire book, averaging a spot every other page).

2. Avoid getting too close to the text. A danger with spot illustration is that your pictures will creep into the text. I think that might be the editorials problem however, the person who puts the book together.

3. Keep it fun. Obviously these are kids books- don't take the illustrating too seriously!

Also I think its fair to say its easier to do something like an anthology of poetry than it is to do a kids novel because you don't have to consistantly draw the same characters, if that's something you have a problem with.

Here are a few examples from the books.