Sunday, 8 December 2013

East of the Sun and West of the Moon

I have been asked to exhibit some of my illustrations in an exhibition at the Ipswich Art School in January on the theme of 'Once Upon a Time'. It is showing the work of local illustrators including Mick Inkpen, Nick Butterworth and the sketchbooks of Margaret Tempest of Little Grey Rabbit illustrations. So I feel amazingly honoured to be asked to hang my work along side such amazing illustrators, all of whom have been a huge influence on my wanting to illustrate.

So I have created an image especially for the exhibition, to go along side existing pieces from my folio. I have been showing the progress from sketch to final image over on my Facebook page, But here it is in the working...
first sketch
image drawn ready to transfer onto final paper
the border
bear and girl
gold lettering
Northern Lights
golden sun
silver moon
gloss varnish compass rose
final image - I have put my watermark over the area where the gloss varnish compass rose is, as sadly it doesn't show on a scan.

Doing an image this big has been a challenge, but I have loved it, from nervous beginning to content out come.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Eeeek of excitement!

Well again it has been too long since I last wrote. But I have been really busy creating new characters, ideas and making hand made Christmice cards, Yes Christmice! pop over to my Facebook page for a look...

I have been working part time in the local primary school as a teaching assistant for year one/two. Hard work, but their minds are like little sponges for information and their creativity and imagination is inspiring. I have also been help run the after school art club and their ideas are great fun, so good to see them leave with new ideas and inspiration.

Also a few exciting things coming my way. I have been asked to do two lectures about children's illustration, so I'm working out 'lesson plans' and ideas at the mo. They are for evening classes at The Ipswich Art School...

I have also been asked to exhibit some pieces of work for an exhibition also at the Art School, for an exhibition on children's illustration, focusing on fairytales, right up my street! At the meeting this afternoon the curator looked through my folio and chose pieces she would like to show, but I have also decided to produce a piece especially for the exhibition, one that I have had in mind for quite some time, I will show you all soon the work in progress. But for now this is just one of the pieces that will be on show....

But what has made my day is who else will be exhibiting work, Nick Butterworth (Percy the Park Keeper and many more), Mick Inkpen (Kipper, Jasper and so many more) Margaret Tempest (Little Grey Rabbit and Fuzzypeg) plus many more. Showing sketch books, published items and originals. There will also be other local (Essex and Suffolk) illustrators exhibiting. I will let you know more details when I have them, but for now I need to get my head down and draw!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Jungle Book

Oh my word, it has been a while since I checked in! I have been busy though, several projects on the go and started two part time jobs at the local primary school, which is exhausting.

I have been working on a logo for a new company and also so card designs for the same company, I cant show you the results yet, but soon, I promise. This however is the logo...

I have also got back to doing a bigger image, very detailed, something I have not done for a while. This piece is for a competition, I know realistically that I have a cat in h***s chance of winning, but really enjoyed the research, re reading the book and just head down at the drawing board and creating a big image again.

I have also been writing..yes writing! I have had a 'novel' in my mind for years now and finally I am writing. Wont say what or the age group yet, a long, long way to go. But I have booked a long weekend at my favourite place by the sea as a writing and drawing retreat, at the end of October. Lots of bracing walks, kite flying. writing and sketching is planned.

Monday, 15 July 2013


Good sunny afternoon to you all, hope you are all enjoying the summer now it has arrived.

Will keep this brief today, as sketching outside is calling me.

Well I have been working hard on new ideas, especially developing new characters, so many things rattling around my brain, they are leaping onto the page and I'm loving every minute of it.

This is a colour sketch of Elvis the Lion and his friend mouse. I will work up some more of him, you will understand why he is Elvis from the forth coming piccies.

Enjoy the sun. x

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

finished and on with the next project!

Oh dear it has been a while since my last blog. Guess I have just been head down and illustrating.
Well my picture book concept is illustrated and roughly mocked up. I have emailed it off to a few publishers and sent a printed copy to my favoured publisher. After all it was their guidance and advice that has pushed me along this last few months, I pray they like it, or at least the style and see some potential in my work.

This is the back and front cover design....

So whilst I await response (could take months, if at all), I am working on some images to sell, a few commissions and other book ideas.

Generally all in all I am feeling positive and happy to be doing what I love passionately. Happy sitting in my studio, overlooking my lush beautiful garden, with the studio cat (Monty) and bonkers chickens for day time company. Sometimes just in peace listening to the birds, but today new music on repeat, loving Passenger 'All the little lights' funny, moving and a bit sad too, but great words and music to inspire. Music is so important to me and my way of working. Leave your comments below as to what music motivates you whilst you work, I love to see peoples taste and be honest, make me smile with the silly and bizarre.

If you are new to my work and blog, pop over to like my facebook page and say hi....

Friday, 31 May 2013

Busy, busy!

Well the casual work has gone a bit quiet at the moment, but is has given me so much time in the studio, which is wonderful.

I have had such a productive time. I have been working on some new characters and written them a short story, fun and colourful. One sketch book full of character development ideas, page layouts designed, all illustrations drawn up and about and a third the way through inking them.

This is the studio, work on the drawing board and model onlookers...

I love working in inks,I love the bright and vibrant colours, but recently rediscovered my old nib pen, so much freedom in sketching with inks and a dip pen, somehow it doesn't feel like it matters if the lines are free and a bit wobbly. I have had some interesting results and it has loosened my work up, which I am enjoying.

Hoping for more time on it next week and hope to get them finished and scanned and a book mock up done by mid June and then send it off to some publishers for feedback.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

and now for something completely different...

Time to breathe at last, the shop is open and getting a lot of trade, repeat customers and very happy customers, so we are doing something good. Now things are 'ticking along' I have had a chance for a bit of work and also time to play.

A few months ago a chap emailed me saying that this year is his wife's 40th birthday, she has written a children's story and wants to self publish as a pressie for her, would I do the illustrations. Well I said yes, read the story and sketched some ideas. The client was happy and said go ahead with the final images. A nice job, client happy all the way through. well today I got this email from his wife....

Dear Emma, 

I just wanted to say a really big thank you for the beautiful and amazing art work you did for my birthday book. It was a truly wonderful surprise and I absolutely love it!  Thank you also for the paintings, I definitely want to get some of them framed! You are so talented and I instantly recognised Barney, you captured his personality perfectly! 

With very best wishes and love,


I do love it when a plan works out well, these are just 3 of the images from ' Barney and the Sausage Tree'.

I have also be having a play about with my style, wanting to loosen it up a bit, so gone back to basics, having wonderful fun, making a mess and enjoying the results so far. Fine tuning to do and more experiments. But a day out sketching at Colchester Zoo, with three art students on Thursday will help in the development.
Here's a taster so far...

now just pray for sunshine and no wind or rain on Thursday!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

phewee, shop is open!

OK it has been ages since I blogged, let along did any illustrating, but I have been so busy helping my son open his new shop.

Many months in the planning, gutting, painting, decorating and fitting, but we finally opened this week! We had amazing support from the locals who are so pleased to have a butcher in the village and on day two we even had repeat customers, who then came in the following two days too! So we are doing something right.

Anyway here are some piccies of the shop, design by me and window dressing by me, so I have not been totally away from being creative.

I have done a bit of art to 'keep my hand in' I recently did this logo for a friend who is an amazing photographer....

Check out her wonderful work at

And from doing this one I now have a commission for another logo too, so I really look forward to getting on with that one and the piles of images I have planed in my brain...back to the drawing board!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

It has been ages since I have had a chance to do any illustrations, let alone a blog!
Ok so I have been working a a major project, not arty, but hopefully a good one for my son. Hoping to open a shop for him to run by the end of Feb, he is a qualified butcher (and chef) so will be running a good old fashioned shop in a nearby village. I have been working on coordinating builders etc, painting it and planning fittings and displays, which has been fun. Just finished the logo designs for the windows ready for the sign maker. But the chilly winter is tempting me to sit by the fire and work on an illustration for a logo for a friend, who is the most amazing photographer. Will be good to draw, it has been a while!

Looking forward to getting back into my work, I have so much planned for this year, so many ideas rattling around my head but so far I'm not getting time to achieve those goals, still once the next few weeks are done and the shop is open, I can throw myself back into it, hopefully by then we may have a bit of sunshine to lift the spirits!

Needless to say I will have a sketchbook and pencil under the shop counter just in case I get time for a few ideas!

Anyway, I know it's a bit late, but Happy New Year to you all and hope it is a happy, healthy and prosperous one.

It may be cold, but it can also be very pretty!