Thursday, 6 June 2013

A FRESH START!

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... www.lauraellenanderson.co.uk

And if you happen to be on Facebook, you can 'Like' my illustration page over here: https://www.facebook.com/LauraEllenAndersonIllustration I keep that updated pretty regularly!

OH! And if you're on Twitter, come say hi! https://twitter.com/Lillustrator

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...

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