I'm sorting through images for my new website (hopefully launching soon!) and found these photos of several children's room murals I've done over the years. These two were for my neices...This jungle themed room is in a new baby's room in California.This subtle white line painted floral was in Hong Kong, for two lovely girls who shared a room.And this London-themed corridor and bedroom is in a suite of rooms in Mayfair...I love painting these murals, and always happy to take comissions!
While I was in Hong Kong last month, I helped out my friend Alex, who runs Dogalicious, a healthy dog food company, at his stand at the pink dot festival. I offered pet portraits of people's dogs, in exchange for a donation to lap, the animal charity.I'd never tried this before, but most of the owners seemed to be quite happy with the results! Dogs don't stay still, so I had to capture their personalities whilst they wriggled...I did the portraits in watercolour and brushpen, each one in under 10 minutes!There is even a video of the event that you can watch here. Woof!
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!
I've designed some Christmas cards for my favourite animal charity again this year, Animals Asia. I worked on lots of different ideas, and three were chosen for the cards. I tried to make them cute, but not too cute...If you're considering buying some charity cards, please help us help the moonbears! You can buy the cards here. Thank you!!
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!
I've just put some of my new mokuhanga prints in my online shop. I printed these while I was in Japan and have just completed signing and preparing them. There are two versions of this little imaginary trumpet flower, one in blues and one in red and green...And there are blue and pink peonies too.Hope you'll pop by my shop and consider a purchase for yourself or as a gift!
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.
My brother-in-law got married this weekend in London, and it was a beautiful day.I sketched as much as I could, and loved seeing how my designs were used on the day. For Luke & Amy's wedding stationery, I started with an illustration of the happy couple on a London bus, with pink flowers in the background, which was used for the Save the Dates. I started them off in casual clothes, and added a simple hand-drawn pink border around the card.I developed this motif and drew a more detailed background for the formal invitation, including important places from their life together and secret elements from the wedding reception, like the ice-cream cart, the bowling pin and neon arrow, to hint at what would be in store on the day. I also put them in more traditional wedding attire.For the welcome reception, before the wedding, I created a simpler version of the illustration, with a celebratory bottle of champagne...
for the wedding lunch, which was delicious, and the table where I sat was full of interesting and beautiful people to draw.There was dancing and cocktails...and an awesome sweet bar: check out the sweet bags! I hadn't seen this, but the bride was given a special dressing gown with the illustration embroidered onto the back. Isn't it amazing!I also made a square-bordered version of the illustration (with an added heart detail) to have printed onto a pillow for the bride and groom as a gift.I have more drawings of the day, but this is my favourite of the bride, my new sister-in-law. Welcome to the family!
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.
I'm very proud to be a part of the women who draw website, an open directory of female professional freelance illustrators, artists and cartoonists. It was created by a group of women artists in an effort to increase the visibility of female illustrators. You can read all about it here and in this VOGUE article and in this one in the Huffington Post. This is my little lady illustration (recognise her from the Miss joker playing card?) that represents me on the site.She was even featured on the BBC news website this week, in an interview with the women who set up the site. I hope it will be a huge success. Thank you Wendy and Julia!
I drew a variety of cosmetic products for BEYORG's Christmas packaging in HK this year, creating a fun repeat pattern. It's been used on the website and shopping bags. There are 2 colourways...... a very Christmassy red and green, and a more modern red and white...If you see anyone carrying a bag with the design, do let me know!
This weekend I visited the BEYORG organic market pop-up store in Pacific Place mall, Hong Kong, to see the bags I designed for them.It's such a lovely idea, it was super fun to see! I love the way they animated my illustration in their instagram feed too: [embed]https://www.instagram.com/p/BLix95mlS5n/?taken-by=beyorg[/embed]
The little market stands are just how I imagined them...and I think I captured the atmosphere of the market quite well...Hope you can pop down and see the market for yourself and buy a bag for charity!
I was recently asked to design some products for the charity Animals Asia. These products are sold here and the profits go towards their work saving animals.I painted illustrations of wonderful moonbears, as I really love them and can't stand the way they are farmed and treated so cruelly. I tried to show them being curious and adorable, and most of all, hopeful.I started the project by researching and sketching moonbears, and playing with ideas on how to bring some colour and fun into the images. I then tried out different styles and media, and picked watercolour to give the illustrations a loose, free feeling.There's a teatowel, a tote bag and a tshirt, with different illustrations, and all available from the Animals Asia online shop.Buy them for all your friends! Please help save the bears!
I recently painted a fun mural for a friend's nursery. I was asked for simple scenes with friendly animals, in muted colours, that would work for a girl or a boy. I started with sketches of various combinations of animals and foliage, and put them into photos of the room to decide the best scale to paint them.I did one of the sketches in colour, to show how they would all look on the pale yellow walls... ... and then put together a colour pallette. I used the same colours in all three scenes, to hold the room together. Eventually I did add one additional colour as I was painting: a pale orange for the lion.This is a photo of the elephant scene half-way painted. It shows the building up of the layers of flat smooth colour.And here's a photo of all three finished painted scenes, after they were given a final protective coat of varnish. I love how they came out.Can't wait for the baby to arrive now and see if they like their room!
I went to watch Phasers on Stun a Star Trek improv group in San Francisco and I absolutely loved it! The actors was so versatile, playing starship crewmembers, aliens, animals, and sometimes even playing two characters on stage at once.This is the crew of the USS Golden Gate, exploring new worlds.I sketched throughout the show, trying to capture the strange situations, wonderful conversations and fantastical characters. My very favourite drawings are these little simplified characters I made of all the actors...Try and go and see them if you can, they have more shows this month. Live long and prosper!
My friend Nathan asked me to create some illustrations for his wedding invitations, and I came up with several ideas for the three different event cards. Each card had a slightly different level of formality, so I tried to accommodate that.I also drew a little vignette of their names for the cards, that could be used on various stationery. I was asked for 'rustic but stylish', as the wedding was in Yosemite National Park, so I thought about the time I'd been there, and concentrated on the sweeping views and sequoia trees. The first event was on the lawn at the Wawona hotel, where I drew the lovely floral arrangements in the glowing early evening light.The wedding ceremony took place on the lawn of the Ahwahnee hotel, with the glorious mountains as a backdrop, on a perfect summer day.As a wedding favour each guest was given a waterbottle with my illustration of Half Dome on, but as a special thank you, Nathan and Strawn gave me a set of glasses as well, and I couldn't resist taking this picture. Congratulations to the happy couple!
I've been working on a new etching this week for an exchange project between my print workshop and a gallery in Japan. The theme is 'my San Francisco' and I decided to go for the ultimate kitschy object, the snowdome. I still feel like a tourist here and I looked for all the things that really appealled to me when I first arrived. I feel like the Bay is San Francisco's heart, so I featured watery icons like the seal, the bridge, and the ferry building. And of course I couldn't leave out the fog, and the sutro tower, that you can see from everywhere...I did several different versions of the print, some with colour/gold/stars and am still deciding which to show. We'll have the exhibition in our gallery in September and also in Japan around the same time. More details to follow!
I made my very good friend Katie Baldwin a wedding certificate for her wedding, so that all their guests could be witnesses, and sign it on their big day.I did the calligraphy in pen & ink and the leafy border in watercolour, with dusky pink berries and tulips. Here are some details from the border......and a photo of the happy couple. Congratulations Katie and Curt!