How I Work
As an illustrator, author and artist I tend to split my studio time in half between making books and creating artwork for exhibitions and commissions. I might work solidly on a book for two months and then jump straight in to creating a new collection of paintings and silk screen prints for an exhibition the next day. There’s always a deadline! Whilst the ink on a big painting is drying, I may be drawing layouts for the next book on another desk in my studio. I’ll never fully know which takes up most of my time!
I love the variety that painting both gallery work and making books brings. Apart from anything, it’s lovely to be able to jump from ‘book sized illustrations’ to huge paintings. I think it’s good for my creativity, and my sanity! Making my card range sits somewhere between these two sides of my practice and I really enjoy being able to make stand alone illustrations for the cards, or taking illustrations I’ve made for larger pieces and giving them a new purpose as a greeting card. I love the idea of an envelope being opened to reveal a surprise image, just as one might be excited to turn a page in a book! I also work on a variety of other commissions.
I mainly work in my cosy little studio. This is where I’ll do all my design work, plan out exhibitions, create stories and do all the roughs for my books. I usually draw in pencil (‘H’ Steadtler and Palomino Blackwing pencils are my favourites) and dip pen and ink. But I’ll often experiment with anything to hand which can make a mark on paper; ear droppers to drop ink, sticks dipped in paint and sponges etc. Wine and tea can be used to paint with and Tippex can make a lovely white thick line! I switch between using black India ink and black acrylic, depending on the finish I’m looking for.