Thursday, 31 October 2013

Halloween Monster Guide

An essential who's who of Halloween, from classic vampires and zombies to the lesser-known horrors of the night.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Spot the Sasquatch in Anorak Magazine

My "Spot the Sasquatch" game is in the current Summer Special issue of Anorak Magazine. If you see the magazine out and about, maybe buy it or give it a high five or something because it's awesome. 

More on Anorak Magazine including stockists here

Monday, 15 July 2013

Cake Man

A tasty character I designed for a charity bake sale poster a while back... 

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Chapter XVII: The Clouds Burst

With the hoard of Smaug unguarded, the armies of Middle Earth clash beneath the Lonely Mountain.

This marks the end of my seven days of illustrations from the Hobbit! Now, time to illustrate the Lord of the Rings go outside.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Friday, 28 June 2013

Chapter V: Riddles In the Dark

Separated from the dwarves, Bilbo encounters Gollum in the depths of the Misty Mountains.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Chapter IV: Over Hill and Under Hill

Bilbo and the dwarves are captured by Goblins after sleeping in the entrance of their cave.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Chapter III: A Short Rest

Gandalf leads the 13 dwarves and their hired burglar to Rivendell.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Chapter II: Roast Mutton

Bilbo runs afoul of three hungry and slightly bewildered mountain trolls.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Chapter I: An Unexpected Party

Beginning my week of illustrations from the Hobbit, when Gandalf visits Bilbo Baggins to propose an adventure to the Lonely Mountain, home of Smaug the Dragon. 

Friday, 21 June 2013

Next week is...

Every day next week I'll be uploading a black and white illustration from The Hobbit (seven in total). This is a personal project to boost my black and white portfolio while illustrating what I believe to be my favourite book. It was a really fun project to work on and a different sort of challenge. The Journey begins on Monday right after second breakfast.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Spot The Sasquatch

Any cryptozoologist worth his or her salt can identify the common giveaways of today's wannabe sasquatch. Put your own skills to the ultimate test and identify the real sasquatch amongst this forest of imposters.

This piece is to be featured in the July edition of Anorak magazine.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Predator Cities

An image inspired by author Philip Reeve's Predator Cities/Mortal engines quartet of books which are set in the far future where cities have had to become mobile in order to survive - hunting and consuming other towns and cities in the process. The lower tiers of the city are full of salvage and processing machinery and buildings while the upper tiers give way to airship docks, aristocratic residences and guild buildings.

The image was posted by the cool dudes at who also tweeted it to Philip Reeve himself who thought it was 'fantastic'! To respond to and interpret the author's own world and have their seal of approval on the final outcome is really gratifying, especially as there was no mention of giant billboards with NOM NOM written on them in the actual book...

There is a bigger version up on my website and more on the Mortal Engines/Predator Cities series of books can be found here

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Promotional Doo-dads

These are the business cards and postcards from my current round of self promotion. All of them made the trip to Bologna and forced themselves into the pocket/wallets/waste bins of anybody who would take them.

I used for the first time (having only used VistaPrint before) and managed to get some pennies off by hunting around online for a voucher code - well worth the effort and it makes sense to save what you can when the costs of self promotion begin to stack up. Their delivery was pretty speedy and while their products aren't the cheapest around, the cost is justified in the paper and print quality. The cards are a decent size and durable. They also allow for an infinite number of designs (front only) and I feel this is ideal for illustrators as it allows us to get a range of work out there and you can choose the card you give out to suit whatever that person may have liked from your folio. Or, get them to choose a card themselves. I tried this at the Bologna Book Fair and it was mostly successful, but occasionally resulted in mild panic and indecision.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Under Siege! (+ New Website)

Wah! look what happened to those three vikings from last time. They got attacked by mythical beasts. Life was certainly hard in those days. You can see this image a bit bigger and better on my website which has recently had a hip new makeover. Go on, all the kids are doing it. 

Saturday, 20 April 2013


I took these three to Bologna. They have also been immortalised  in the form of business cards and entered into a popularity contest in which the card recipient would be prompted by me to choose their favourite. The cat viking won by a whisker.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Thoughts and Photos from Bologna Children's Book Fair 2013

I recently returned from the International Children's Book Fair in Bologna where I was exhibiting work with the Cambridge School of Art at their stand, which was superbly put together and run by students and staff on the course.

I first visited the fair in 2010 when still a student on the course and I remember being over-awed by the scale of the event. I didn't exactly make the most of my time there but this time I'd resolved to attack it a bit more and try to get more of myself out there. I wore a shirt and tie (anyone familiar with my usual dress-sense will know this is a big deal) and went around with my portfolio and chanced my luck at the various publisher stands, hoping to get a meeting. This worked to some degree; I was lucky to get a meeting with one publisher simply because at that precise moment they had been stood up by someone else and had a quick window in which to see my work. Some publishers claimed not to have anyone at the fair who could view and make decisions on a portfolio, but it seems different people were told different things - my friend who has a book out and an agent seemed to be able to get a meeting more often than not. I was armed with business cards and postcards though, and I always asked if I could leave one at the stands where I couldn't get a meeting, and more often than not this was fine with the publisher. Naturally, I always left a card at the stands where I could get a meeting, too.

For most part I was cold-calling the stands, having only been able to set up the one meeting before the trip. I turned up at that particular meeting - for one of the biggest children's publishers around - at the agreed time but there was no knowledge on their part that the meeting existed. After borrowing a friend's smartphone I was able to show them the email and luckily got to rearrange the meeting for the next day. I learnt that it certainly pays to be persistent (without becoming an annoyance), and to have a friend with a smartphone.

Overall it was a positive experience and while there may not seem to be much immediate reward among all the chaos, getting your work/name/face out there can never be a bad thing and is a good platform to build on. I'd recommend it to anyone thinking about going next year, though the trip may be made more worthwhile by arranging meeting yourself a few months before the fair (or instead having an agent to do it for you!).

I managed to take a few photos while over there. Not pictured: The incredible daily pizza lunches (worth the trip alone in my opinion...)

...that last one was the view from our apartment balcony on one of the better days weather-wise. There weren't many arguments over the sun-loungers.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

OSMO Front cover & Dummy Books

This is the front cover for OSMO and below it some printed dummy books that will be doing the rounds at the Children's Book Fair in Bologna.

My work will be exhibited on the Children's Book Illustration MA Course stand, of which this is their second year exhibiting at the fair after much success from their first outing in 2012.

Sunday, 3 March 2013


I'm finally ready to showcase the reason I've been so quiet these last few months (and the reason I haven't posted anything since mid-December). 

OSMO is a picturebook I've designed and illustrated and will be making the journey with me to the International Children's Book Fair in Bologna, Italy, at the end of this month. It's about a robot (OSMO) who does odd jobs around the universe. Expect out-of-this-world depictions of litter picking, vending machine restocking and lightbulb replacement as OSMO travels far and wide doing all those jobs the universe can't get round to.

I think this project was the most fun I've ever had in creating a picturebook and I'm really excited for people to see it at last. I'll add the cover and a couple of other bits and bobs in the coming days. Until then, here's four finished spreads from the book. It's come a long way since the sketchbook post from last December...