SCBWI and Stories Unbound

 

Elephant March

At the beginning of my journey into the world of Illustration, I didn't really know where to begin. I had spent the last several years getting savvy with the animation world, how to connect with other animation artists and even giving advice to younger artists taking their first steps in the animation world after graduating.

Then suddenly, I felt like I was just graduating! I had some skills that I'd picked up along the way as a character designer and art director but I had no idea how or where to use them!

When I moved from London to Canada in early 2016, I pledged to myself that I would make more time to figure out how I was going to start this illustration thing.

Through listening to many podcasts on iTunes, I came across the Stories Unbound podcast, via the Oatley Academy. I was familiar with Chris Oatley's site and ArtCast from working as a character designer but it seemed I had missed Shawna JC Tenney's one! It was, and still is, a fountain of knowledge and inspiration for me starting out in this new world.

It was through Shawna's podcast, that I first heard the letters S-C-B-W-I.

What the what?!

The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators is a one stop shop for everything children's book illustration! Shortly after I heard of the organisation, I Googled them to see if there was a group in my area. Lo and behold, there was a meeting in a few weeks time, in my city!

So I went along with some of my early 'What's In The Box?' artwork and the reception I got was one of great generosity and positivity! The group were kind enough to look through my work and encouraged me to send it off as soon as possible!

But I didn't...

It was great to have that boost of confidence from artists and writers who had been in the industry for some time but I still wanted to take some time to finish off my dummy book and create more art for my illustration portfolio, to create something separate from my character design portfolio.

So that is what I have been doing over the last few months.

With the resources provided on the SCBWI website and in 'THE BOOK' I was able to find the answers to all my questions (or a lot of them). I even sent out my very first submission to a real life agent last week >.<

It's been great taking part in the competitions and hashtags SCBWI promote through social media and their website.

Today I sent off my first entry into the #SCBWIDrawThis competition! The prompt given was 'MARCH'.

See image at top of this post!

 

 

International Women's Day

Every day is women's day in my world because I am a human woman.

Every day I try to find stories of how women and men across the world are fighting for equal rights for the different sexes.

It's an important fight and I like to see how the industries I am involved with are tackling the subject.

As you may know (bcause I've mentioned it a bazillion times on this site!) I have come to illustration from the animation world. Film is my number one love! Being in the cinema watching a new (or old) movie with a fist full of Malteasers is my happy place.

I am excited to see more stories of women and people of colour coming to the forefront of our cinema and television, without having to be pigeoned holed into a rom-com or chick-flick category.

Hidden Figures was one of my favourite films during this year's award season. It was wonderful to see some, to quote Canadian comic, Katherine Ryan... 'Strong, Powerful, Beautiful, Black' women, not to mention genuises, on the screen.

The film industry still has a long way to go to achieve equality, with only 7% of the Top 250 films of 2016 having been directed by a female.

International Women's Day is a great time to acknowledge the disparity in equality across industries not to mention across the globe, socially and economically.

I look forward to the day when we don't need to have an International Women's Day. But until then... Happy IWD!

International Women's Day

Happy World Book Day!

March 2nd 2017!

World Book Day 20th Anniversary!

This is my first time recognising #WorldBookDay really. SHAME! I hear you cry! But as you'll know already, children's illustration is kind of new for me, even though I've be drawing for children for years but just through the TV screen instead of through books!

I love the idea that books have their own global day of recognition, not just for authors and illustrators but for the pure joy of reading!

I wasn't a big book reader when I was a child, TV was definitely my main story telling device (shout out to TV, love ya!) but it makes me smile how much my niece Victoria devours books!

And now as an adult, trying to make my way in the world of books and watching my illustrator friends, I can understand the importance of them much more and have a found a new respect for them over the last year.

If you have a book on the go right now, why not print yourself a nice new bookmark to celebrate today!?

Sketchcrawl

 

This week, I went out on an unofficial sketchcrawl with some of my character design and life drawing students.

Trying to encourage them to get out and about drawing in their sketchbooks. Something I try my best to do frequently, but must admit, don't do nearly enough!

My last sketchbook took my 4 months to finish! 4 months?! That's far too long! I will try to finish my new one I started today in half the time :)

I like to keep a small A5 paperback moleskin for drawing in coffee shops, shopping centres, airports and occasionally at local events. (My favourite being, the time I drew in New Orleans at Mardi Gras - what characters!)

Magician

 

I LOVE MAGIC!

Since I was little, I was always intrigued by Paul Daniels and other TV magicians. My taste has since matured to the illusions of Derren Brown, but still when I see a 'regular' magician I'm still blown away.

This magician is all show though, he's not very good at finishing his tricks!

'Mediocore Magician'

 

Meet the artist.

 

#MEETTHEARTIST

This has got to be one of my favourite #'s on social media. It's so great seeing everyone's design skills and bios about themselves in illustration form.

This is the first time I've ever contributed!

Did you do one? Can I see it?!

Hello!

Why hello there!

Won't you come in and have a cup of tea?!

Thank you for stopping by my BRAND SPANKING NEW website!

Some of you may already be familiar with my work as a character designer in the animation industry and some of you may have never heard of me whatsoever!

But the good news is that that's OK, cause I have a new venture and I've made a lovely website to share my new works with you.

For sometime now I have wanted to cross over into children's book illustration (but also keep up the character design work!) and since my recent move from the UK to Canada, it's been possible to find more down time to set all this up!

So, I will keep my blog updated with new personal work and any news on finding my way through the illustration world! 

 

'Teatime with Turtle'