Sunday, September 28, 2008

Too young to be 100!

I have just discovered that this is my 100th post! I know I'm supposed to make some sort of fuss about this and get all reflective, but I've too much news - maybe next time! First of all, I have received my copies of my latest books in the "I'm Glad" series. It's still in that "Sneak Peak" category at the moment, but I will reveal more once they are released.(Sorry about the blurred image but I am too lazy to re-shoot it!)

I have also just completed some brand new characters for "the other" series that I work on! Normally I work with existing characters from this well established series, but this was my first opportunity to create some brand new characters for them. It was pretty exciting as these type of characters are quite new for the series. It's probably about time I revealed this series so maybe once this book comes out I share them with you. They are also featuring me on their website next month, so will tell more then.

These great magazines arrived in the mail this week (thanks to the magic of PayPal play money!)I ordered them online after learning that one of my favourite illustrators Linzie Hunter was featured in the current edition.

It's proven to be a great read, and I have since spotted this mag on the shelves of local newsagents, so keep an eye out, or check out their website if you are interested. This months edition focuses on Handmade Design, and there is also a great feature on 7 artists who reveal their sketchbooks.

I have never been good at keeping sketchbooks. I am always too conscious of people who might come across it expecting some amazing insight into me, or my creativity. I have this weird thing that I always start from the back pages and work forward on the stupid thinking that if they see the first few pages are blank they wont keep flicking through?! I have ALWAYS done this! It's the same with my idea's book for writing and stories! I know it's weird and does not make any sense at all! Perhaps I need to get past this by sharing my sketching here....then again maybe not!

I know that I have been talking about getting back to a more "hands on" approach to illustration of late, and this week I finally thought it was about time I did something about it. So I started back at Life Drawing classes! I have been debating about whether to share any of the sketching with you or not, but have decided to show you a couple of quick sketches. It's quite different from my usual work here, but if you want to see more, just click the link below.

I used to attend life drawing classes 3 times a week, but I was shocked to realise that was over 10 years ago! I am obviously VERY rusty, and it's amazing how quickly you fall out of the habit of drawing,but I loved it! Just the smell of the art studio brought back memories of a more creative time in my life when art was more about the pure pleasure, than making money! It was really liberating to just draw for the fun of it! No clients to impress, no brief to fill. Just pure enjoyment. I plan to keep this up once a week now that I have started. Not sure how much I will share here, but it's nice to get back to basics.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A weekend in Melbourne!

Why do weekends go so quickly?! We certainly had a full one this weekend:

1.SATURDAY: Took Niece and Nephew to the Royal Melbourne Show! Consumed FAR TOO MANY lollies, chocolates, & doughnuts and came home fully loaded up with show bags! A fabulous day all round I'd say!

2.SUNDAY: Took a lovely walk around Albert Park lake.

3.Followed by a great afternoon at the High Vibes, Northcote Festival! What a fabulous area. The food and entertainment was great, and there are some gorgeous stores there too. This one was my favourite: In the Woods

4. Bought a couple of magazines:
Magpies is a magazine that keeps me up to date on what's happening in the Australian kids publishing market. I used to subscribe, but have been a bit lazy in renewing it, so still pick up a copy when I can. It's full of new releases, authors, illustrators and publishers! Inspiring stuff. The second one is basically the Australian apparel market. It's expanded a bit into home wares and a few other areas, but even though I just can't resist buying it, it seems to constantly disappoint me. Not sure why. Maybe it's just too commercial and full of ads? I will study it a bit more and let you know if I find anything worth sharing!

5. Speaking of commercial....I just can't resist the Pixar stuff! We went to see this new release:

They have certainly mastered the art of breathing life into their characters. You could not help but adore Wall E. I was not totally sold on this storyline, but I was still memorised, and it's worth seeing on the big screen! (Yes I AM I a bit old school, if you have not worked that out yet!)

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Around the house

It was all about "the house" on the weekend. I always forget to to take the "before" photos but this area around the stairs has been a storage dump for anything that we could not find a home for since we moved in! It was piled high with boxes and all sorts of crap. Since most of it has been sitting there for almost 12 months,and we clearly did not miss it or even realise that we had it, the majority of it went into the bin. This gave me a chance to create a bit of a space to display some of my favourite things. It's still a temporary space until we get the right furniture and things (I'd love a red patterned armchair in the corner!) but at least it looks a bit lived in now. Once things warm up again, I will start to put some colour on the walls and get some pictures up, but until then, at least it's tidy!

We did manage to venture out and enjoy the sunshine yesterday, which eventually lead us to Melbourne's ACMI(Australian Centre for the Moving Image) to check out their current tribute to Jim Henson. This man is one of my absolute hero's! I have several books on his amazing talent, and his natural story telling ability is an inspiration. Makes me want to get off my bum and start writing! I have drawers full of thoughts and ideas, but I need to get them into some sort of order! I really do wish we did not have to sleep! I just can't cram enough into the daylight hours!!

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

On and on

Ok - I have scored a free night! The four apparel ranges are done and signed off, all internal illustrations for the latest book have been approved to go to final artwork, and the brand new characters in the series I have been working on have been well received, so I have a bit of breathing space for a day or so. I can't share the current projects, but here are a couple of designs from a project completed last year, that did not quite make it to the final production.

I have been collecting some great "Inspiration Monday" stuff that I can't wait to share with you soon, and I have an amazing catalogue of products that I will share soon too. So until I get the latest projects off the working table, I will leave you to it!

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