Monday, 26 November 2012

Observer Review: Books of the Year 2012 illustration

So, as many of you may have seen on twitter, last week I was commissioned by The Observer to create an illustration that would accompany a round up of the best books of 2012. You can read the article online here. When my agent, Kelly (who I cannot thank enough for making my dreams come true) rang me to tell me about the commission, I was in complete shock. Doing an illustration for a big national newspaper like this has been a dream for a while. The deadline was incredibly tight, but I proved to myself that i can do it. I love illustrating so much!

I loved the brief as well - they asked for a young woman reading in a winter scene. When they suggested she should be wearing a hat, scarf and winter coat I was even more excited. They also said they wanted it to be cold and not too girly. I loved the opportunity to experiment a bit with background elements, something I usually steer clear of, and really challenge myself. I hope you like the final piece. I don't think I've ever been more proud of an illustration. I also want to say a massive thank you to everyone for all your lovely comments, it means so much to me. So here it is!

Just thought I would share a couple of the roughs with you. After sending the first rough, the art director asked that I added some books amongst the trees on the left, just to add a little more interest in the corner. I really love how this addition worked out!

I sometimes worry that I sound like I'm showing off, but honestly, I never thought I would work on anything as wonderful as this, I feel so humbled by the whole thing and am so thankful for everybody who supported me through my career so far, you're incredible. It was an incredibly special moment when I opened the paper and saw my work.

Loved seeing my illustration as a thumbnail on the front page of The Observer Online too! Something I never thought I would see.

And finally, I wanted to share some more detialed pictures of the illustration. Thank you again to Kelly and those at the The Observer for commissioning me!

Monday, 19 November 2012

New Baby Illustration

Good morning! Just wanted to share an illustration with you this morning!
This adorable baby has been printed and is on it's on the way to Holland this morning. How exciting! I've just finished the draft illustration for my biggest client yet. I've loved it and can't wait to work on the final illustration! Will of course share it with you when it's live (which won't be long!) Have a lovely week and I'll be back with more soon :)

Monday, 12 November 2012

Drawing Mr Nicolini!

Hello! I'm here to share an idea for a new
blog with you all and hope some of you will be able to help me make this little dream a reality!

Mr Nicolini, or Nick as he's known to most, came to live with my parents more than thirty years ago. He's been a lodger with my family since then and is still living with my mum and feeding the cats to this day. He soon become another Grandad, and an extremely important member of our immediate family. Whenever I go home he spoils me as much as ever and proudly tells those we meet I'm his granddaughter. Hearing him speak so fondly of me, my sisters and brother fills me with happiness. He's a giant part of our lives and I love him dearly.

When I return home, I always take photographs of him (he's quite the character!). After posting an image on Instagram and saying how much I'd love to illustrate him, it was suggested that I start a blog, sharing illustrations of him by myself and lots of other wonderful illustrators. I think it's a great idea! Of course, if you're not an illustrator but a creative who would still like to join in, I would love to hear your ideas! He's battling illness at the moment and getting frail, and, as you can imagine, this terrifies me. I think this is a great way to not only honour his fantastic nature, but to make sure he is always remembered and never forgotten. Who knows, maybe we can make him a little bit famous.

It would be great to have a mix of different styles! I think he'd love it! I know illustrating the elderly has always been a favourite of mine and if you'd like to get involved in this little venture please get in contact! I'm not sure of the exact details, but I think 'Drawing Mr Nicolini' (the name may change, suggestions are welcome!) could be a fun way of getting lots of fantastic illustrators together, both new and more established illustrators in the same place. I love seeing participation blogs! You can leave a message here, tweet me, facebook me or send me an email to

And here are a few photos!!

And don't worry, if I struggle to find participants, I'll do an illustration a week myself! To honour him and have something to keep, if nothing else :) I would also like to thank Scarlett Tierney for suggesting this! I look forward to seeing her contribution once it's up and running!