Recently, having flicked through The Writers’ Magazine, I came across a couple of competitions which I decided to give a go.
Firstly, there was The Big Idea Competition http://thebigideacompetition.co.uk/ which had a focus on pitching an idea for a story and then there was http://www.stratfordliteraryfestival.co.uk/article/picture-book-competition which required several sketches and a couple of double paged spreads. I have taken a lot of my inspiration from visits to the Kitty Cafe in Nottingham and just thought I would share some of my sketches with you…
I don’t find out the result until next month, but I am keeping my fingers crossed. I was busy sketching at home & on my lunch breaks at work. I often had reference books to hand, including those that detail how to draw fashion and the history of shop frontages. It was fun & challenging to draw with the aim of achieving something at the end of it all and I think it gives you that extra push to really put your heart & soul into the project.
Look out for competitions and if they tempt you, go for it! You never know!
Following some time dedicated to drawing up some fuller stories based on my imagery, I decided to start experimenting with some cover ideas.
I have stuck with a basic cover which is quite boldly stating who the main characters are within the story…
whilst contrasting them with some lightly applied watercolours in the background.
I have merely used my own handwriting for the font on the cover. I wanted something quite bold, but not something that takes focus away from the image…
My final experiment, consisted of an idea for a series of stories, “The Holiday Series.” For this experiment, the format is slightly different, seeing me revert to my traditional style of working to create the colour for the background, whilst also dabbling with a digital font found on Photoshop…
I hope that 2018 brings more success for Tiger and Friends, whilst also ensuring that I remain inspired and creative. I hope to go to new places and visit attractions that will inspire my work.
I hope that 2018 is a wonderful year for you all and I shall hopefully be updating you on Tiger, very early on in the new year.
Having been delving back into the archives of not just my Tiger and Friends project, but all of my recent artwork in general, I was inspired to use a combination of old imagery, story ideas and inspiring papers to create a new idea for a story.
There have been many theories as to how Tiger came to be with his family. Perhaps Tiger was just bought in the pet shop, perhaps a stork delivered him to his particular family or perhaps Tiger set upon a long journey. I began to get a few of the ideas into my sketchbooks and I have a few examples here of my long journey version.
I could imagine Clancy and Brady, the children of the family, asking where Tiger came from. When it comes to children, we have to make stories as bright and colourful as possible, without focusing on the straight to the point stuff.
I have already begun to put the other ideas to paper, so please watch this space for How did Tiger get here? Part 2.
This came about over my Christmas break, simply from a bit of unrelated doodling involving a book purchased a while back. I’m a fan of buying doodle based books in order to get the creative juices going and they don’t cost the earth either.
Whilst busy sabotaging some imagery offered up in the book I was using, I was inspired by the idea of implanting my characters onto old photographs, hence having a look into how their ancestors lived in the past.
I felt I would show this as an example of how the most random projects can lead to something inspiring. If you can’t be bothered to apply colour and collage, just pick up a pen and it will lead you towards projects which might just tempt you.
The next book that I shall be buying, will be the Children’s Writers & Artists Handbook 2017! Here’s hoping that 2017 will prove to be a successful year. I shall be taking a week’s leave from my full time job soon, in order to devote time to my illustration submissions, so here’s hoping all goes well.
The latest story idea that I have been toying with, is an idea of Tiger getting comfortable in places where people would prefer he wasn’t. Tiger has been parking himself in Mum & Dad’s bed, the computer chair & even the wash basket! Whilst some places are somewhat appropriate, his family face a battle to encourage Tiger back to the warmth of his cat basket.
Nobody wants their cat getting too comfy in their wash basket, nobody wants to disturb Tiger when they climb into bed & nobody wants to sit on Tiger when they settle down to watch telly or get down to some work on the computer. This will make up a humorous story which focuses on little things that pets do to wind us up, remind us that they need basic training & best of all, remind us that they make us laugh & love them with their funny quirks!
Enjoy these few samples & I shall hopefully be back soon to introduce you to my latest pigeon race story samples & the family’s bee keeping antics.
Recently I have been pulling together my favourite papers and sketchbooks, and really getting stuck into themes and colour schemes. I considered what the various colours and patterns could mean and what they made me think of.
One of the papers featured a variety of birds, so instantly I began to consider my own variety of birds and where they would be found. I have been considering the beginning for many pets and their families, which does of course involve a pet shop. Upon the collages of various birdy papers, I began to create some funky pet shop based scenes…
I also couldn’t resist a bit of humour, where a child may ask, where do we buy our pets from?
The latest idea that springs to mind when pulling together these illustrations, is line quality and the enhancing of details, particularly regarding the hands which are currently very basic. I believe that my next step will involve the exploring of further enhancing my imagery to gain quality, whether that be with hand drawn or digital techniques.
Besides my illustration work, I have had a couple of extra projects, such as exploring my new computer game (Sims 4) and making hair scrunchies, which I shall certainly have to post some pictures of!