Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Tea, Cakes & Happy Things

Hello dearests,

And how are you?

Time for another blog update me thinks!

First for some good and relieving news... I FINISHED a double book project I've been working on for a while for Boxer Books.

Here's a sneaky peek at the covers!

But that's not the end, oh no, siree... I still have the rest of the HUGE mountain of work to concentrate on, and when you get told you don't have as much time as originally agreed to finish a huge 22 page comic, you start to panic.

It's times like these that you need something like THIS:

Yeh, that's right. A big fat chunk of freshly made succulent chocolate orange cake from the High Tea of Highgate teashop.

Idle Bindery's founder, Amy Kitcherside and myself took to the tea and cake one fine afternoon. It was like dying and going to Heaven, and MORE. The cakes are made THERE in front of you and it smells bloody amazing. It was a hard choose one cake I mean. Trust me, if I had a bigger belly in me (and a bigger wallet of cash might I add) I would have consumed the lot. Also, check out Amy's website, it's AMAZING... And involves tiny book earrings that are my personal favourites! HERE.

Back to the teashop...I mean, just LOOK at that spread... (The other cake is Lemon Drizzle. That is Amy's piece by the way. I did stick to one slice in the end. Moment on the lips, life time on the hips and all that jargon!)

Isn't there something incredibly satisfying about sugar cubes? I think so.

AND... Wait for it. It's worth the wait...

We didn't only have delicious cake and refreshing tea, we had a COW MILK POURER. A COW.

Isn't that just swell?!

A got a bit snap happy while I was in the tea shop...

The following weekend I had another jolly time at Highgate woods, which involved a picnic hamper, a frisbee, my wonderful boyfriend and two of my wonderful friends from my home county. They came all the way to London to visit me and have enjoyable times. The hamper was blimmin' amazing, and the frisbee game... Well, we may aswell have played IN the trees, since that's where it ended up most of the time.

And I have MORE happy things to show you! A little while back I mentioned how I'd received some glorious fan art from Evil Emperor Penguin fans. Well, I have it right HERE to show you!!! Take a look at these gems! I have to say, my favourite has to be Evil Penguin in his Mrs.Doubtfire style dress carrying his Asda bags. Good choice of supermarket I'd say. I always thought he'd end up shopping in Asda.

What a brilliant collection, I say!

Well, I shall have to love and leave you for now. But no fear, I'll be BACK!!! Just like the Terminator. But nicer.

Happy Wednesday lovely beans!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Epic Excitement & Other Things

Good morning, chaps!

I am very very excited today since it is the release of the new Man of Steel soundtrack by Hans Zimmer!!! I've been waiting for Hans Zimmer to come up with some new epic gems for a long time, and this one is a CRACKER! I'm yet to see the film, but I have a feeling this Orange Wednesday will be put to good use.

So what am I up to today you ask?

I'm working on a number of projects that all overlap at the moment. There are about 6 to 10 projects on the go, and I am a VERY tired bunny.

Today I'll be colouring one of the board book projects to be published by Boxer Books. It involves lots of kittens which should be rather good fun. Some teasers for you...

I'll also be working on some Evil Emperor Penguin comic festivites! Issue 7 in fact! This is a super fun episode involving many more minions!!! Another sneak peek you say?!
Gosh, I'm spoiling you!

I'll be hopping from project to project as there are other deadlines to take care of, but I shan't bore you with EVERYTHING! Plus I'll need to save some new boring garble for the next blog post, eh!

On that note, I leave you with the result of what happens when you leave me alone with a pack of eggs and a sharpie.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Fuse Festival!

Why ello, ello!

I'm taking this opportunity to blog about this weekends festivities whilst I have the small chance...
ANYWAY, on Saturday 15th June, I took part in Chatham's annual Fuse Festival as part of the Monster's of Medway, which involved, well, you guessed it... MONSTERS. And lots of them. I worked alongside magnificent comic artists such as Gary Northfield, Jamie Littler, Neil Cameron, Alex Milway and David O'Connell, who produced this incredibly awesome poster to advertise the event.

Not only has he pinpointed everyone's look and personality JUST so, but he has also nailed my puking abilities. Well done David, good job there.

Lots and lots of excitable children joined in with drawing monsters of all shapes and sizes, with the odd robot, alien and even mermaid here, there and everywhere.

The Phoenix comic was also there with many a treat to give away and spread the Phoenix-y word! It truly was a brilliantly inspiring and also tiring day!

I'll be taking part in a lot of upcoming events/workshops from now on as The Phoenix comic grows and the launch of my picture book Snowflakes looms ever closer. Bring on the next big event I say!!!

Thursday, 6 June 2013


Well, well, well, it has been TOO LONG!!!

And it's all my fault, really... But I HAVE been the busiest bee in the world! I have a helluva lot to update you on!!! This blog post is probably going to take me FOREVER, but once it's done, it's DONE! And everything will be up to date and the world will be happy with me, AND it may even spin a little faster. Hold on to your hats, kids!

Let's start off with a bit of good news, eh?! I am very pleased to announce I PASSED MY DRIVING TEST on May 1st! YIPPEEEEEE!!! Typically, a week after passing and being free to roam the roads of England, I moved to London where I don't have a car, or anywhere to drive for that matter. Which leads us on nicely to our next piece of lovely news... I HAVE MOVED TO LONDON! YIPPEEEEEEE NUMBER TWO! It's a swish little flat, perfect for two very jolly illustrators.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned already, but I'll say it again anyway... But my debut illustrated children's book Snowflakes is now available to pre-order from Amazon, Waterstones, Foyles etc etc. Snowflakes is published by Scholastic and written by the lovely Cerrie Burnell who you may know from the Cbeebies channel. The book will be officially released on September 2nd, 2013 along with a rather dandy launch party in Central London. I'm sure this will involve cake of some kind. And probably wine. But I don't drink wine, so I'm all for the cake.

On May 4th (be with you... PAH HA. Excuse the pun) I took part in the Oxford Children's Comic Festival hosted by the awesome Phoenix Comic! As you probably already know, I am the creator of the ongoing comic strip Evil Emperor Penguin which appears in the Phoenix comic amongst some truly fabulous comics and stories. The festival was FANTASTIC. Kids were able to create their own comics, talk to the artist's, take part in the Phoenix's Wheel of Awesome and get involved with a HUGE outside comic strip story set up by the brilliant Neil Cameron.

Here's the Phoenix gang in all their sunny glory!

Myself and the extremely talented illustrator/comic artist, Jamie Littler found the light on our adventures that day. This was probably after eating one a really tasty pizza.

I had some custom Evil Emperor Penguin Badges made for the event and much to my surprise and utter joy, ALL 50 badges sold! And I was lucky enough to be awarded the unofficial 'Best Badge Award' for the day
*puffs up chest and smiles*
I was honoured to say the least! I also printed off a batch of 'How to Draw Evil Emperor Penguin' pages for the kids to take home and dig their teeth into. I have to say, I've had some utterly incredible responses and some BRILLIANT EEP fan art! I'll dedicate a special blog post to those little gems later!

On May 29th-30th, Jamie Littler and myself set off with The Phoenix comic crew to the rainy hills of Wales for the annual Hay Festival. It was such an incredible experience, and a great way to start building up the 'workshop' experience. The children LOVED the Phoenix... I mean, WHO WOULDN'T?! It's fresh and new and exciting and full of some absolute CRACKERS, including Jamie Smart's Bunny Vs Monkey; Gary Northfield's Gary's Garden, Jamie Littler's Cogg & Sprokit and many many MORE. Kids were going home and drawing all evening, then coming back to see us again the next day at the festival to show us what they had been working on. It was equally inspiring, amazing and rewarding. We also had a rather well known visitor at the festival... (Those of you who have seen Homeland or Band of Brothers will appreciate this!)

SO, what am I working on RIGHT NOW? you ask...
Well, let me tell you, free time is something of the past, my pretties. I'm going to give you the complete and utter low down (in summary) right here, right now. So brace yourselves...

Firstly, I'll begin with two Board Books I'm working on for Boxer Books. They're very simple books, with simple cut to white illustrations. One book is about Kittens and the other about Puppies. Aimed for very young children, the text is minimal and the images show the basic activities that kittens and Puppies might get up to on a daily basis.

I'm doing lots of work for the wonderful Oxford University Press including a 21 page Comic called Super Dooper Cat which is turning out to be super DOOPER fun.

I've just been signed up for two new children's picture books with Bloomsbury which I am extremely excited about! The predicted publishing date for the first book out of the two will be January 2015, so you have a while to wait!

And I've just been given the go ahead for my next book with Scholastic, again written by the wonderful Cerrie Burnell. It's another beautiful story and I can't wait to get going!

Alongside these beasty projects, I'm working on a shorter book for Penguin books, called 'Rory Wants a Pet' about a cute little dinosaur desperate for a pet of his own...

I think I've almost covered everything in summary! I've tried to keep this post as brief and snappy as possible, and from now on, I MUST TRY to keep this blog up to date!!! This is officially my FRESH start! *does secret handshake to confirm*

And to wrap everything up in stone or PIXELS, I have updated my online portfolio FINALLY. Please feel free to have a goosey gander...

And if you happen to be on Facebook, you can 'Like' my illustration page over here: I keep that updated pretty regularly!

OH! And if you're on Twitter, come say hi!

SO... I hope I haven't bored you too much. Go make yourself a cuppa as a reward and I'll leave you with this...