So here's a little peek in to my studio! Please excuse the mess. I'm sure it looks more untidy in the photo's than it actually is! It's a small room in our home and people are often amazed by how much work I can make in such a small space.
I have two desks, two plan chests (very large chests of drawers for storing big bits of paper) and lots and lots of books, pencils, paints, pens and shelves! You’ll find heaps of paper jumbled up drawings and ink bottles alongside fresh flowers, letters from people and often drawings my children have made me. I feel most comfortable when I’m surrounded by interesting things. They may look like clutter to some. But to me, these are precious things that help me to come up with ideas and create new characters!
I have four flat services in my studio, I use them all for painting as I can be working on several projects at the same time so I need a lot of space. This surface is actually the top of one of my plan chests. It's rather a nice height to paint at so I use it a lot. When I took this photo I was working on a commission to paint a family of hedgehogs. I like working here as it is next to the window.
This is the surface of my 'main desk' where I do most of my book work. On it is my computer and scanner. It's always covered in paper, sketchbooks, inks and other drawing stuff. Secretly, I prefer it when it's a mess, it's easier to find things that way! In this photo I’m finishing the artwork for my book ‘Hello, Horse’. You can see all the brown inks I was using at the time and the piece of paper I was using as a mixing palette!
This is Ena, my studio assistant. She’s incredibly unhelpful and frequently walks across my paintings leaving a trail of inky paw prints. She likes to sit on any piece of paper that takes her fancy. It doesn’t matter if it’s been drawn on or not! Ena also likes to interrupt telephone conversations by meaowing loudly for food or hopping on to my knee for a tickle. Ena is 14 years old now. We got her when she was only two month old.
This is what the wall space above my main desk looks like. I like to fill it with colourful things that inspire me. You’ll also see that I have lots of lamps shining down on to my desk. It’s very important to have good light when you are painting so you can see all the colours properly.
I have some very special old shelves above my desk. They fit my bottles of ink perfectly. I like to keep them in order, mainly so I can tell if I’m running out of any particular type or colour of ink.
I also have these massive shelves on my wall! I use them to store the copies of my books in other languages and editions. They also hold paperwork, my sketchbooks and other books that I find inspiring. There are three other book cases in my studio that are also FULL. In case you hadn’t noticed - I absolutely love books!
I hope you’ve enjoyed your little studio tour!