Vermont map

I recently illustrated a small map of Vermont for Middlebury Magazine. It's a lovely little article about the author's annual journey to Bread Loaf. I think it's always interesting to see how an illustration starts, so these are the initial sketches I made when I was thinking about how to approach the project. The first sketch, which I ended up working with, shows the map from an aerial bird-eye view, and the entire route. The second sketch shows the road to Bread Loaf in a more 3 dimensional way, although some of the road is hidden behind hills...I take the page layout into consideration when I work, so it makes me happy to see everything come together nicely on the printed page.


HOBBS of London, a boutique fashion brand I've done a bit of work for recently, famously known for being a favourite of Duchess Kate, has just opened their first US store in Greenwich Connecticut. I did several pieces of new artwork for both the store itself and its launch.Some of the artwork I did for the London stores, plus a few new pieces, have been printed and framed inside the elegant new location.I love the way the artwork has been mixed and matched and hung together in different combinations to create a 'collection'. Some has even been framed up for the changing rooms...I also did a detailed map of the area around the new store, full of interesting buildings, a park, and some historic houses......which is now framed up and on display.It looks like a wonderful store, I hope I'll get to visit one day. Thank you to Hobbs for providing these photos.

HOBBS High Street Kensington part 2

The new HOBBS store in High Street Kensington, London is open! And lots of my specially commissioned illustrations are framed and decorating the 1I was asked to create illustrations for the stores, in a variety of styles, that reflected their values of quality and British 2I also made a special map of the surrounding area showing the wonderful buildings and streets you can explore near the new store. HighstreetkenmapartworkI highlighted some of the HOBBS iconic fashion items...

fashion... and added in elements like local British flowers and animals.framesFoxgloves and sweetpeas, foxes and a stag...

16 foxgloves artwork... and of course a countryside feature, the pheasant!9 pheasant artworkI also did some hand-lettered quotes, some etchings, and included some pages from my 3I hope you'll be able to visit and let me know what you think. Happy shopping!

Thanks to Nick Jesse for the store photos.

Tiffany mug on instagram

I was thinking about my Tiffany & Co. mug the other day, and checked on instagram if anyone had posted any pictures of their mugs, and found some amazing images. I especially love this one...pic 1Thank you amberallurecupcakes ! And here's a selection of some others, a big thanks to everyone who posted them. So glad you're enjoying your for blog smI love instagram so much!

kapok 10 year anniversary

kapok, the hipster boutique lifestyle store in Hong Kong had their ten year anniversary this weekend, and they've been building up to it with a variety of events. I designed and illustrated a map for their #kapok10 anniversary launch, and they've used elements from it throughout their stores, website and social media.kapok 10 productsI've never created a map from scratch before, by which I mean that it's an imaginary place, not a real one. I was asked to create a country that embodied everything kapok stood for: creativity, fun, fashion and a truly international flavour. I could start anywhere! And of course a new country needs a crest: kapokland's features the pink dolphin of HK and their new motto: 'future classics'crest Here's the full map, showing an archipelago of different exotic fantasy islands, covering all seasons at once, with both tropical and arctic lands.kapoklandThe reverse side of the map also featured a close-up of the main town in kapokland: Kapokville. The town had shops and museums, but also global embassies, a castle and even pedalos!town mapThis is how it was used on the kapok website...kapok homepageThey even had a stand at a local design market with fun illustrated props for customers to interact with...stall...and also used some of the animals as a banner on facebook...kapok banner copyI especially liked how they used details from the map on the store windows...kapok wholw windowand inside...kapok10 in windowCongratulations kapok! Here's to the next 10 years of fabulous!

Connecticut magazines

I recently created some maps for a series of town guide magazines for Litchfield, Ridgefield, Fairfield, Bedford + Pound Ridge, and Wilton, in beautiful Connecticut, USA. The magazines are super nicely produced, and full of useful local information.Exif_JPEG_PICTURE I illustrated one map per magazine, like this:bedford mapSmall details from the maps were used throughout the articles to highlight various attractions and historical notes.Exif_JPEG_PICTUREYou can see the town websites here. I hope I can go there one day!

Sicily map

I haven't featured any maps recently, so I thought I'd show this map of Sicily I did for Conde Nast Traveller in the UK . I painted it a while ago, and I like the way it's placed in the page, giving it lots of room to breathe.Exif_JPEG_PICTUREI also thought I'd show my rough sketch for the map:sicily map roughYou can see how the outer shape of the sea around the island has changed, and a few things, like the distance scale, have moved, and that I removed all the tiny outer islands. The final map became more streamlined, and focussed on the important elements. The bright Mediterannean colours were wonderful to paint.

Jenny's wedding

I created the Save the Date and wedding info card for Jenny and Randy in Hong Kong this summer. Their Save the Date was interesting, as they asked for a map showing all the places that meant something in their lives, especially Okinawa in Japan, where they got engaged. They requested three colours: brown, pink and champagne...I then made a more detailed map of Bali, where the wedding was taking place, showing all the various wedding event venues. It featured little pictorial icons of some of the surprises in store for their guests.They also printed tote bags featuring the Save the Date map as favours for their guests. Nice! Congratulations guys! What a cute couple...First photograph is by Jada Poon Photography, and second is by Johnny Productions.

Karen's wedding

I created the wedding invitations, place settings and seating plan, for my friend Karen's wedding recently, up in Scotland. They had a map theme, mixing elements from both London and Glasgow, the cities where the bride and groom live.We chose pink and brown to give a lovely vintage look, to match the overall theme of the wedding.The place settings had elements of the invitation illustration on the front, with a little bonus illustration of Karen's spaniel in a neat bow-tie on the reverse. I added a delicate die-cut pop-out shape for the guests' names, which I hand-wrote in brown ink. I then also hand made name settings for the tables to match.The tables were named after roads in both Glasgow and Scotland. I designed the seating plan around this concept, making it into a street map, with each individual place marker as a geographic feature on the map: a house, a tree, a car, a statue... Us and the seating plan on the day...The wedding photos were taken by Christopher Currie.

wedding invitations

So, my good friend Ping got married this May, and I designed his wedding invitations, and also created a special map for him of Central Park in NY (where he made his romantic proposal). The style brief for the invitation was a vintage, country feel, with a quirky, hand-made aesthetic; light-bulbs hanging from wooden rafters and flowers in jam jars, that sort of thing.

I created a simple, hand-lettered invitation, in two slightly retro colours, with a few illustrative details. Inside, the card was also hand-lettered.

The card design was used as a detail throughout the wedding, with cards on the tables as menus, place settings and memory cards, where everyone could write notes for the bridal couple and hang them up on a washing line...

The map I created for them was a narrative of where they walked that day, where Ping hesitated, where they got lost, and where he finally proposed.

It was used as an animated feature in a mini-movie of the wedding, and also as a back-drop for the stage at the reception:

What a lovely wedding...

*the photographs were taken by Tec Petaja

introducing my portfolio

Today I'll be talking you through my portfolio: how I've divided and sub-divided the sections and why. The first section is 'editorial'. This features illustrations I've done for magazines and newspapers. I've split this into several themes: 'food', because I like doing work on this subject the most, 'lifestyle', because so much fits under its umbrella, 'people', because they’re always engaging and 'horoscopes', as every illustrator quite simply must have one.

The next section is 'special commissions'. This contains projects that are unique and don't necessarily fit easily into any fixed category. These are the projects I love best. Among them are ceramics for Tiffany & Co., backdrops for a photoshoot for Martha Stewart Weddings, and drawings on napkins for a charity exhibition.

'books' features all the large publishing projects I've worked on, from the detailed illustrations throughout the River Cottage everyday cookbook, to the many children's books I've illustrated, finishing with my book covers for various international novels.

I've been making maps for many years, almost from the beginning of my career, and the 'map' section shows a highlight of the various kinds: 'large scale' shows maps that are close-up and detailed, with road names and exact locations. 'small scale' tends to be maps of large areas, or whole countries, where capturing the atmosphere is most important. 'Penline' shows maps with a looser line, in a more graphic style, while 'concept' features more unusual maps, with a specific angle.

'editions' showcases my art prints: etchings (of ceramics and travel), Japanese woodblock prints, lithographs, and also a small selection of my medium-format photographs.

The section entitled 'personal work' shows the more intimate side of what I do. Sketchbooks are my constant companions, where all that I see and think are noted for future reference. 'things I've made' are objects I create, decorate and make interesting, 'greetings cards' is where I show the special cards I've designed, while 'exhibitions' contains photographs of the shows I've had of my work.

'about' tells you a little about me (you can see what I look like too), 'clients' is a list of some of the people I've worked for, and 'contact' tells you how you can find me to tell me, well, anything you'd like really. Or better still, that you'd like to commission me for something....

Oh, there's also a discreet 'links' button at the bottom of the page to let you know other websites I like.