I've been having a wonderful week in London, visiting museums and seeing friends and family. I'd been waiting all year to see the Tove Jansson show at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, and it didn't disappoint...Her work has always inspired me (especially the black and white drawings in the Moomin books), and I feel invigorated to work harder now. I also loved the Modigilani show at the Tate Modern. I'd never seen so much of his work all at once, and it was extremely moving.And of course the Winnie-the-Pooh exhibition at the V&A. So adorable, and a wonderful example of author and illustrator producing perfection together...
I'm in HK at the moment, for various projects, and just took part in the Symposium for Disaster Risk Reduction at the Hong Kong PolyU.Author Martha Keswick and I gave a presentation as part of the campaign for Disaster Risk preparedness, to launch our new childrens picture book series: 'COPE - How to be Ready for Natural Disasters'.It's a series of books featuring a team of kids who travel the world teaching other kids how to handle various natural disasters. The first book is about Earthquakes. We hope to eventually have books that include what to do in hurricanes, wildfires, floods, tsunamis, blizzards and volcanoes.Because of increasing climate change, natural disasters are becoming more prevalent, and it's so important that children know how to deal with them. We are actively looking for partners to help us publish and fund the series. If you know any NGOs who might be interested, please contact us! We have a temporary website here for more info:
If these books can saves lives, I will feel like I've done something worthwhile. Please help if you can!
Hugh-Fearnley-Whittingstall's new River Cottage cookbook has just been published, illustrated by yours truly. I debuted a brand new illustration style, to keep the flavour of the illustrations I've done before for River Cottage, but adding a new dimension.I created a painted collage style, a bit reminiscent of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but with thicker paper, so there's a very definate shadow on the pages, to give the impression of depth.I worked with the art directer Lawrence Morton to come up with the theme for this book's illustrations, which is 'the preparation' for cooking. So I focused on the tools and equipment in the kitchen...and also the preparation of the ingredients themselves. For example, how to cut them...and how to select them...This wonderful book is available from Amazon US here and Amazon UK here. It would make an excellent Christmas gift!
The collaborative printmaking and book arts project I've been working on with my friends Katie Baldwin and Yoonmi Nam has finally got its own website!It chronicles our two complete projects, the titular 'wood paper box', our most recent endeavour 'alabama california kansas', and our brand new project '(un)fold'.There are links to process blogs for each project,where you can read in depth about each artwork, and see photographs of shows we've put together and the meetings we've held. The chapter illustrations are my very own pen drawings, of our work and our portraits. Hope you'll take the time to visit and let us know what you think!
I recently illustrated my first colouring book pages. It was only four pages in a book that had many, but it was surprisingly complicated!There's so much detail involved, and all the lines need to match up nicely, and it should be interesting enough that you really look forward to colouring it in. Here's the flower shop as I drew it...This vase and bouquet is my favourite detail from one of the other pages...You can buy the book on amazon. Don't forget to show me your coloured pages when you're done ~ I'd love to see how they look.
A few weeks ago I went to a fascinating book talk at Omnivore books in San Francisco, about Darjeeling tea. Author Jeff Koehler spent time in the various tea gardens there and learnt about the tea, how it's picked and processed and made into 'the champagne of tea'.You know I love tea, and everything about it, and now I can't wait to try Darjeeling again! You can check out his book here.
Martha, who wrote the bilingual Max & Mei books I illustrated, donated some books to an orphanage in China for Half the Sky, and we were sent these photos of the kids enjoying them. They're adorable!I'm so happy to see kids enjoying the books...Looking forward to working on new projects with Martha soon!
This week I went to Kepler's bookstore in Menlo Park to hear one of my favourite authors Laurie R. King talk about her new Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes novel. She chatted quite informally with another crime writer, Catriona McPherson, and I sketched them as I listened. Afterwards I asked them to sign my sketchbook. What a wonderful evening!
I worked on the new WOM dining guide in HK, and I really like the glossy brightness of the cover. I created an illustration about food and drink in HK, and managed to feature all my favourite buildings.As this issue is about award-winning dining, I drew all sorts of badges and awards inside, for the different categories.The awards were also given to the actual restaurants, and it was great to see this on display!
I illustrated Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's new cookbook, which is available now, and it's lovely! The recipes are totally amazing, especially when you realise that they're gluten & dairy free. My illustrations throughout the book are drawn in colour pencil, so I could make them feel 'light and easy'... I did some little drawings to add flavour to the page...and some larger ones across whole spreads.I did some drawings around the text...and some for the text to go around.I worked with the whole Bloomsbury team, as well as Hugh, but mostly with the wonderful Lawrence Morton, who art directed the book. There is now a River Cottage youtube channel, where they feature quite a few recipes from this book. Take a look, it's really fun!
River Cottage light & easy is available from River Cottage's amazon page. And of course all good bookstores. Enjoy!
I gave a quote for this book published by Chronicle Books, containing sayings and advice from a variety of designers and design teachers. My quote has been featured on the inside cover. In all my time teaching at St Martin's, this is perhaps the most important thing I wanted to get my students to understand: know, and be able to articulate, why you're making your design choices...
It's out now, full of all sorts of good advice, and available from Chronicle Books and Amazon.
River Cottage veg everyday has been re-printed in the US, and the publishers here have taken the illustrated endpapers I made for the original UK edition, and put them on the front and back covers of the book, with a short dust jacket. I like it. Though I kind of miss Hugh on the cover.Vegetable books are super popular in the States at the moment, and I saw the book in a nice article in a foodie magazine...I was also super chuffed when I saw it in the anthropologie online store...and even more when I saw it in the actual store!It's available on amazon US.
I did some line illustrations for this fun knitting book in the US recently.I drew several different frames that were used for chapter headings throughout the book:and created little background scenes for the knitted creatures to feature in, some as double pages, some as single.I've never been that good at sewing or knitting, but I may just give these a go! The book is available on amazon.
I've done some illustrations for Running Press in the States, for a book about how to choose, buy and prepare seafood. The cover looks like a market blackboard with chalky lettering and illustrations of today's catch.The drawings for the inside pages are pen and ink line. They were used reversed out for the inside cover.Inside I did drawings of each individual fish.There are also instructional illustrations, showing you how to do various prep things...If you're into seafood, I think this would be a great book to have! It's available from amazon.
My favourite bit about Christmas is wrapping the gifts. I often wrap other people's gifts too! My friends Bob Foundation in Tokyo have just published a new book about wrapping. I love wrapping! They asked me to demonstrate my wrapping powers, and here I am in the book, with my specially wrapped Bob gift.I used to dream about being the gift-wrapping person in the department stores in Japan....
I've just seen this lovely little video of Hugh, talking about his new book. You can see some of my illustrations as he flips through the pages, and there's even a nice close-up of the endpapers. Enjoy!I've been cooking out of this book for a while now, and have to say it's superb. Might make a good gift for a chef in the family!
My cutlery proverb sketchbook for the Art House Co-op is on its world tour, and will be in London next week! All the European and Australian sketchbooks will be available to view at The Canada Water Library on these days at these times:
Hope you can make it along!