Tuesday, 14 March 2017

World Book Day 2017

For World Book Day this year I visited my old school (eek!) with the super talented Michelle Robinson for a fun day of 'Monkey's Sandwich' activities. Incase you didn't know, 'Monkey's Sandwich' is our shiny new book published by Harper Collins. Here it is:

And incase you've never seen our faces, here we are!

We had a great day inventing, drawing and constructing some crazy sandwiches, reading stories and generally monkeying around. Here's our towering sandwich featuring squirty cream AND mustard... Looks tasty, right?

For me, the best part of the day was live-drawing some absolutely bonkers sandwiches, fuelled by the *interesting* and *unique* suggestions from the kids. Yes - there's an octopus, T-Rex and a car in this sandwich...

(please excuse my bad case of Illustrator's 'claw hand')

We also learned 'How to draw Monkey' step by step, following this handy sheet: 

Everyone had a go at drawing their own monkey, it was really great seeing the all different interpretations.

Check out these amazing artworks by Michelle's own two 
(Yes, I AM worried by the competition!)

If you fancy stepping up to the challenge, you can find this sheet available to download on my website, along with some Monkey's Sandwich colouring in sheets.

All in all, we had a fantastic World Book Day. It was a pleasure and a joy visiting Trinity School - I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who made it happen!

And of course - incase you were wondering, 'Monkey's Sandwich' is available to buy here πŸ‘πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜‰

Thursday, 9 March 2017

The Jungle Book

I've always fancied illustrating the Jungle Book, so I did. πŸ€“πŸπŸ»πŸ…πŸŒ΄πŸ“•
It was great working with a slightly 'wackier' colour palette - mixing bluey purples, hot pinks and zingy greens. Anyway, here are a few illustrations and a speculative cover. Enjoy!

Choo Choo!

Just wanted to share this illustration I did for the wonderful Highlights magazine. It's for a great little article about Owney the Mail Dog, the US Postal Service mascot.

It's always fun drawing trains! Checkout highlights.com

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Wedding Invitation Floral Motif

I wanted to share a few details from the wedding invitations I recently designed for my Brother and his FiancΓ©. I had great fun mixing fresh greens with vibrant yellows and oranges, a palette which works well for this spring wedding. It's always fun to do a bit of cutting and sticking!

A Day In The Life Of Business Koala

Because this marsupial means business.

A Day In The Life Of Business Koala:

The commute
The coffee
The calls
The number crunching
The filing
The presentations
The meetings

The research
The second coffee
The big decisions
The printer error

Home time
Bed time

Tuesday, 10 January 2017


Hello and a Happy New Year to you!

2016 was a busy year for me and I wanted to share a few highlights. For starters, my Dad returned home after a 18 month stint in hospital. My family adjusted to life with disability, undoubtedly the best bit being Dad's new mobility scooter - a thing of wonder, providing hours of entertainment.

Over summer I decided to make the most of flexible Freelance holiday and managed to get away hiking in both Norway and the Swiss Alps. It was just the dose of nature I needed to recharge my creative batteries.

A happy Emily on a Norwegian mountain top πŸ‘Œ

With the help of my Mum I rediscovered some of my earlier works (i.e. clearing out the attic). It was a real joy going over my old artwork, I recommend digging out your old stuff - if you can find it! I'm particularly proud of this peacock:

(the Dino-foot picture isn't bad either)

On the work side of things, 2016 proved to be a hectic year. I finished off illustrating my second picture book with the wonderful Michelle Robinson. It's called 'Monkey's Sandwich' and will be publishing in Febuary 2017 with Harper Collins. It was an absolute pleasure illustrating Monkey's mischievous shenanigans and I can't wait to see it out in the wild. Keep your eyes peeled!

'Elephant's Pyjamas', the first book I illustrated for Michelle, made it to the small screen in December. It was read on CBeebies as a bedtime story and I was pretty excited to see Ele appear on TV! Alas, I didn't have the foresight to take a quick snap, so this poorly Photoshopped recreation will have to do:

Seems legitimate, right? πŸ€“

2016 also saw the end of the 'Fox Investigates' series, written by the talented Adam Frost and published by Stripes. I've had so much fun illustrating these hilarious stories and can't recommend them enough. Here's the last 3 books of the series:

Watch out for 'A Dash of Poison' publishing in February 2017.

Towards the end of the year I also had the opportunity to work on a picture book with the brilliant Vicki Hargreaves from the Commotion Dance company. The book called 'Where Is Christmas' accompanied Commotion's Christmas Performance of the same title. After a very animal filled year, it was nice to draw some some human-beans!

So that pretty much sums up my year. I also just want to say thanks for all the continued support, it's greatly appreciated. Here's to a 2017 filled with more stories, drawing and travel. Let the good times roll! πŸ‘✌️

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Bologna Book Fair 2016

This year I decided to visit the Bologna Children's Book Fair. It's been three years since I last went as a final year student back in 2013. It was a hugely different experience this time round, I had more industry experience, more work in my portfolio, and an excellent Agent to go with.

I largely went for inspiration. I know it sounds like an expensive way to go about feeling inspired, but surrounding myself with all things kid-lit really gave me the kick up the backside I needed.

I found wandering the halls (the vast, vast halls), somewhat overwhelming. There are just so many Publishers. So many different disciplines. It really made me consider where I fit in the picture. Where does my work fit now? Where could I take my work in the future? Where do I want my work to go in the future? All of the questions, essentially.

On my last trip I bravely approached a large number of publishers and talked to as many people as possible. It was certainly a good way to get my work out there. This time around I felt much more reluctant approaching people. Perhaps I was more confident last time, more optimistic? I guess when it comes down to it, I was worried about messing up. This time I had more to lose. I worried I would come across unprofessional, unimaginative, pants at drawing. My approach has definitely changed over the last three years. Maybe working on your own can affect your psyche? Maybe I was still just overwhelmed by the ever-so-vast halls?

However, leaving the psychological analysis behind, it was really great to chat to everyone and especially nice to meet so many new people. I really appreciated the feedback and guidance on my work, especially my ideas, always useful, always noted! I took a couple of new book ideas with me. The first being an animal spotting book, complete with textured illustrations. Can you find elephant?

Yes, I thought you would.

The second being Penguin Party, a picture book in which penguins work out how to party like it's Christmas, after just a few small hiccups along the way...

I had the usual pre-bookfair mad rush preparing promo material, but I'm glad I had something to leave behind. I thought the penguins looked quite funny on teenie-tiny postcards. Anyway, here's a snap of the 'Illustrators wall'. By the time I arrived at the fair on Monday afternoon the whole wall had been filled with Illustrator's posters, postcards and business cards. My work had to live on the floor.

Visiting Bologna was also a thinly veiled excuse for a holiday. It was great to stay with my lovely Agent in the historical city centre, I mean check out the view from the balcony. Bellissimo!

I also managed a sneaky weekend by Lake Como. I struck a pose. 

So to round things up, I suppose what I want to say is thanks to everyone I met along the way, thanks for a great Bologna experience and thanks for the kid-lit kick up the back side!

P.S. I also saw this original Ralph Steadman Alice in Wonderland artwork. Nice.

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