Bologna 2017

It’s the Bologna Children’s book fair next week, I’m sure you know. 

It doesn’t feel like a year ago I made my portfolio, wandered the vast halls of the fair and left my business cards attached to the illustrators walls in hope of someone picking one up!

This year I am visiting again, having secured an agent and my first picture book deal, the book itself will be launching at the fair. What a difference a year makes.

Through writing and illustrating my first picture book I have grown rather fond of turning my drawings into fully rounded characters, with a story to tell and an adventure to find. It’s nice to spend more time with them and get to know them better. 

My first book features the wonderful duo of Monty (the mouse) and Sylvester (the bear) as they duly train to become superheroes, like any youngsters they spend their free time deep in an imaginative landscape of fun and adventure. Due to their rather haphazard take on the superhero job role, hilarity ensues, but I’ve said enough, you’ll have to read it (out March 2018, date for you diary)

Here is the cover of the Hachette Children’s Group, Spring 2017, Colour rights guide (bit of a mouthful) for the fair. with an illustration from Monty and Sylvester on the cover, it’s rather exciting!

Bologna here I come!

Bologna illustrators exhibition

I haven’t sent any work into the Bologna children’s book illustrators exhibition for a long time. The standard of work is extremely high and the exhibition is always cutting edge and very inspiring.

I decided to have another pop this year and have sent off some work to the printers, it’s taken a few attempts and I gave up on it a few times before going back in with fresh eyes to finish it off.

Here are 2 of the pieces I will be submitting, fingers and toes crossed, that means you too, go on!

Cheltenham awards entry

I love a competition for the chance to create some new work to an exciting brief. This years Cheltenham illustration awards was right up my street: Tales of nonsense, what a fantastic idea. I can’t wait to see how each artist has interpreted it. I love nonsense.

Here are my entries, I did 2 in the end as I couldn’t decide if each was nonsensical enough.

Nonsense giant foam fingers crossed!

Louie Awards 2016

I designed a number of greetings cards for Madison Park Group and one has won a Louie Award! The louie Aawrds are ‘the Oscars of the greeting card world’ apparently and named after Louis Prang, the German-born Boston lithographer credited with the birth of the U.S. Christmas card in the 1870s.

My Card won the category of Congratulations/Special Occasion and here it is!

I’d like to thank my family for their on going support, my pencil, Yorkshire tea and my wacom tablet, I could’t have done it without you.

You can see all the winers here:

Bologna Children’s book fair visit

I’ve just got home after a flying visit to the Bologna Children’s book fair, it was great to catch up with publishers and meet some new ones.

My work was exhibited in the Silent book contest area, it was great to see people looking at my work after spending so long, alone in a tiny room, drawing it all! The contest winner is announced in May so I’ll have to wait and see what the outcome is. 

It’s been 5 years since I visited the book fair and it seemed a lot larger and overwhelming than I remembered. It was also very busy which is hopefully a good sign for the industry. 

I took some business cards and posters for the illustrators wall too, thanks if you took the time to have a look and take a card. Get in touch!

As expected the books on the Corraini Edizioni stand were my favorite, a great whale themed stand this year! I also loved Flying eye books, I’ve bought a couple for myself recently so it was great to see them, always so busy I didn’t get a chance to chat, hopefully next time.

I also managed to arrive at the airport 4 hours early and in a strange state of inspiration came up with 9 ideas for new books, just have to get my pencils sharpened and sketch book at the ready!

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