Lately I've set myself a challenge.... to start sketching (in situ, mostly) and only with pen. Absolutely no pencils or rubbers... as I became more settled as a professional illustrator, I noticed that I started to worry about my small sketches and drawings, becoming self conscious. I spend so much of my life telling students not to feel this way, I thought it was only fair I did the same.
So, here we go, as I travel around the globe, some of my rough, pen only, absolutely raw sketches will be up soon.
Here is a little sketch I made at work the other day... Most times, when I am bored, little characters just appear in front of me. It's fun to get to meet them, little by little, as they decide to revel themselves.
The best thing for me though, is the reaction of other people to them, since they seem to instinctively know the characters in my drawings better than me. Three or four of my work colleagues decided to give her a back story: apparently she lives by the sea, and the coastal breeze is the reason why her hair is so unruly. In this image she is standing at the edge of a cliff, looking towards the sea, waiting for her love to come back in his ship. Some say he is a pirate, others say he is a sailor, but no one was able to tell me why she seems to be holding freakishly oversized flowers.
I love hearing people's ideas about my characters, so if you think you know who she is, please let me know.
Aqui esta um sketch que fiz no trabalho. Muitas vezes, quando estou aborrecida, pequenas personagens aparecem a minha frente. E engracado conhece-las, pouco a pouco, pela primeira vez, quando elas decidem revelar-se.
Para mim o melhor e a reacao das outras pessoas aos meus desenhos, ja que parecem conhecer as personagens instintivamente melhor do que eu. Tres ou quatro dos meus colegas de trabalho decidiram dar-lhe uma historia: aparentemente ela vive perto do mar e e a brisa costeira que faz com que o seu cabelo seja tao frisado. Nesta imagem ela estaria no precipicio de uma falesia, olhando para o mar a espera da volta do seu namorado num navio. Uns disseram que era pirata, outros que era um marinheiro, mas ninguem conseguiu explicar-me por que e que ela esta a segurar numas flores tao ridiculamente grandes.
Adoro ouvir ideias diferentes sobre as minhas personagens, por isso se alguem a reconhecer, ou souber quem ela e, por favor digam-me.
Yes, I know it sounds really rude, but it really, really isn't! Last week I went to the Creature Company pet shop, in Wimbledon, to experience "speed petting". It was the same shop where I bought my two ratties, Cusca and Castanha, so I knew what I was getting myself in for! The idea is that you go in on a determined day and "try out" and play with different pets... and I mean DIFFERENT pets :DEvery few minutes, Sebastian- the owner- brought a few different animals for us to see, from the smallest to the biggest. Here are some examples:
Winter whites (they change colour if they get really cold!) Gerbils Hamsters - the one we met was NOT in a good mood (and so was respectfully left in the box), never seen such a scary little thing! Guinea Pig- so cool! Mice- small and quick, as you'd expect, but seriously endearing, which you wouldn't. Rats!- Possibly my favourite animal of all time! Chinchilla- which I'd never interacted with before, and quickly fell in love with. Probably my next pet. Degus- weird little things... it bit my husband, but melted in the arms of my friend, who just wanted to take it home. Rabbit- hairy, hairy things Ferrets!- they jump, they run, they play, they kill things! and they smell. quite a lot.
Myself, Sebastian and the crazy ass ferret.
and finally....A HEDGEHOG! who knew they could be such cute pets! and soft! well... sometimes.
Bearded dragon, a baby one, which will happily look at you and pose for the camera.
Corn snake, yellow. I had never handled a snake before... I know it's kinda small and that makes me look like a wimp, but it was a big thing for me.
I probably forgot some of them, but the point is that it was brilliant fun and it made me consider having pets that I wouldn't have before... (what would be cooler than opening the door to the postman while using a live snake for a hat?) My favourite was probably the Chinchilla (the rats don't count, I'm too biast towards them..)
"Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust.You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements - the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution and for life - weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way for them to get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today."
Hi everybody! Here are some pictures from my new book "TardeFantastica" and its presentation in Oporto, Portugal. It was written by Cristina Carvalho and published by "7 dias 6 noites". It is my first children's book, so obviously I'm over the moon!
Working on it was a lot of fun. They're in Portugal, I'm in England, so everything had to be done via e-mail. It was a bit bizarre (but nice) getting to finally meet everyone in the flesh during the presentations.
We did a few presentation, two in an Oporto school and about three at the Book Fair in Seia (both in Portugal). In the latter kids were a bit younger than expected, so we got a few interesting questions... namely "why are you always smiling?". I just do!
I thought I'd just go and check out the presentations, but as it turned out, the publishers had a different idea: I was to talk to the kids and do my mini bit of the presentation too. I must admit, it caught me by surprise, I was totally unprepared and I did think it was gonna be a truly horrible and cringe worthy experience.... turns out it was actually a lot of fun!! I think I'd really like to do it again!
The author Richard Zimmler acted as a host for the Oporto event, and he was absolutely brilliant! Some people just connect with kids effortlessly!
Well, anyway, here go the pictures, hope you enjoy it!
"TARDEFANTASTICA" jaesta a venda!
Ola a todos! Aquivaoalgumasimagens do livro "TardeFantastica" e apresentacao no Porto, escritopor Cristina Carvalho e editadopor "7 dias 6 noites". E o meuprimeirolivroinfantil e estoubastanteorgulhosa :)
Esperoquegostem! Toca a comprar! :D P.S.- Se o virem em lojasoucomprarem, gostavamuito (e era-me muitoutil) saber o quepensam, por favor deixemcomentariosfrancos e construtivos!
double spread, the toy room
pagina dupla, o quarto dos brinquedos
Double spread, the river
Pagina dupla, o rio
Richard Zimmler presenting the book and panel (from left to right: organizing teacher, myself, Cristina Carvalho)
Richard Zimmler a apresentar o livro e painel (da esquerda para a direita: professoara organizadora, eu e Cristina Carvalho)