Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Sandy and Charlie

This makes EVERYONE smile. So here it is again. Sandy and Charlie, my swimming pals of 5 and a half years at Ainslie Park. The book is dedicated to them and they feature as extras in the story. I should probably also mention that Lollipop and Grandpa and the Wobbly Tooth is out this week!!! Also, I have signed up to do a further two books so will be spending more time with Lollipop and Grandpa this year, which is good because I am missing them a little bit.

Take Five Illustrators

Just a reminder that Take Five Illustrators exhibition is still running at the Scottish National Gallery on the Mound in Edinburgh. I had a brilliant day there last month working with kids, and running a masterclass for adults in the morning. This is part of an animal we invented, and below is a photo of me reading Lollipop and Grandpa Go Swimming.

There was no official opening for the exhibition, but just after it opened we were lucky enough to be invited to a masterclass at the gallery by one of my heros, Oliver Jeffers, which was a great opportunity to drink wine and eat crisps with my work on show. The exhibition is on for another six weeks, so if you get a chance, go along. I met fellow exhibitor Barroux last month. He is a brilliant artist and quite the charmer!


Last weekend I took part in the excellent REDISCOVER events which happened all over Dumfries and Galloway. I did two events on Saturday in Castle Douglas library and St John's Town of Dalry library. They were both excellent fun; the kids were really up for drawing and listening, and the librarian at Dalry stepped in when I lost my voice from too much talking. 
On Sunday I was based at the Mersehead RSPB reserve, and after a beautiful drive I was blown away by the beautiful scenery. It was literally breathtaking. One minute I was in a wood surrounded by hills, the next minute I was on a beach that wouldn't have looked out of place in New Zealand.
NOW I realise that I got eaten alive by midges but I can live with that, it was worth it (although I'm not leaving the house until the one on my forehead goes down a bit).
Being an illustrator can be so studio based, and as much as I love that, being out in the fresh country air and away from the city has really removed any pent up city anger! I need to do this more often. It's also a great way to meet your audience, and to steal ideas from them (thanks Matthew!). I would certainly encourage any illustrators who get invited along to these events to do them. Don't be scared!