The eagerly-anticipated Waterstone's Picture This competition 2011, provided a great opportunity to work on a series of characters for the young children's market and to venture into hallowed realm of the classic fairy tale - with a view to audaciously re-imagining the visual representations that we have all, I'm sure, carried with us from our first childhood encounter with the story. Following the announcement of the Nation's Favourite Fairy Story, as decreed by a public vote (of course...), at the Hayes Festival as Beauty & The Beast, and that Michael Morpurgo would be the literary wizard tasked with conjuring a fresh vision from the familiar tale, a thousand pencils up and down the country were whisked into action - mine included! (Alas, I wasn't to be one of the six shortlisted illustrators, but a brilliant fellow SCBWI-ite, Loretta Schauer, created something magical that captured the judging panel's imagination - look out for her name next to Mr Morpurgo's when the new book's published!)

Call me peculiar, but one of my favourite subjects to draw is Children in Fancy-Dress Get-Up (it probably betrays an unsatiated appetite for dressing up generally - to do it on paper is far less socially awkward and more immediately gratifying, I find...)


Another favourite subject - and for those of you who might be familiar with my work I'm sure you're, frankly, astonished that it's take so long to get around to this - is *ahem* mice. I don't know what it is about them, but the combination of (projected) personality, (imagined) cuteness, and familiarity of perspective (OK, I am of modest stature, but not - thankfully - hounded [or should that be 'moggied'] by feline predators and have only the most nonchalant interest in cheese...) has proved irresistible to my pencil-wielding hand these last two years:


I did, as it happens, make the rash decision to theme my 2010 'Advent App' (not an app at all, in truth - more a rudimentary advent calendar, consisting of my posting a new illustration for each day of advent) on my rodenty friends - a phenomenon still available to view on my blog, should you be so inclined - but I confess that most of these characters have since been consigned to the task of conveying festive greetings and are imprisoned forevermore on my Christmas card range

book project: Jeremy the pessimistic chicken ‎‎‎('working title' *ahem*)‎‎‎

I do occasionally do 'straight', and will as happily conjure a favourite pet into watercolour-ed/graphite being as a beloved friend, relative or 'other' (see album, below: 'Portraits'). If you're interested in commissioning such a portrait, please do have a quick browse of my commissions page, or ping me an email and I'll be delighted to discuss possibilities with you!


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