Wednesday, December 16, 2015

NEW ELLA DIARIES: PONY SCHOOL SHOWDOWN

Phew...another month of craziness done and dusted! I would like to think that next year I can make some more time for this blog, but right now it's just a case of keeping up with the heavy work flow.

My motivation was boosted by the arrival of my advance copies of the new ELLA DIARIES book - PONY SCHOOL SHOWDOWN. 



I always thought horses were my weakness when it came to drawing, but this week I had to draw an Orang-Utan and that REALLY tested my skills!! I spent WAY too long on it, but was happy with it in the end.

Anyway, despite the 'horse' theme, I think this one may be my new favourite in the ELLA DIARIES series (but I think I say that about every new release, don't I?!)


We also head into the Christmas season with the wonderful news that ELLA DIARIES has been sold into 10 more countries in Asia! It's such an exciting time for all of us involved in this beautiful series and I am so proud to be a part of it all.

Next year brings a few changes, and some exciting NEW books for me to work on, with the contracts and deadlines all signed off and ready for the NEW YEAR.

Best wishes for a fabulous Holiday season and here's to an exciting 2016.

Danielle x

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

NEW ELLA AND OLIVIA COLLECTION

I have always wanted to have a boxed set of my books, and here they are!! 12 Ella and Olivia books!

This is such a gorgeous gift idea - just in time for Christmas. I am also working on a BRAND NEW Ella and Olivia concept due for release next year! Stay tuned for more details!







Monday, November 2, 2015

Surprise!

Phew...completely snowed under of late! working on an exciting BRAND NEW book, a NEW Ella and Olivia Concept and some NEW Readers. Not a lot of time for blogging or anything else at the moment!

I just wanted to share a lovely little surprise we found when we took the kids to the local park! This cool truck was parked on the street.


If you look closely you will see the little girl is holding an Ella Diaries book! 


Hee, hee. Made me giggle!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A day out with Ella Diaries



Well so much for letting you know the details of the Writers Festival I attended! It's been and gone! (Sorry! It was such an intense few weeks of work for me!) Here's a hand out I created for the kids who came along. It was a bit of a 'create your own Ella Diaries Cover' concept (in case you can't tell!) 

Anyway, it was a fun day out in Sydney and I finally got to meet the author of these books - Meredith Costain. (She was lovely - of course!)  Most people assume that you must work closely with an author on a book, but we rarely have any contact at all. Most communication is done via our Editor. 

Thanks to everyone who came out to meet us and get some books signed.

On the work front I have been really busy working away on Ella's latest books, but am also in the early development stages of a brand new book. It's for slightly older girls so it's been challenging for me to try to create a look that's not too cutesy! I must say that this is my favourite stage of the process. I love character development and somewhere along the way I have fallen in love with drawing people. There was a time when I thought animals were my 'thing' but I would have to say that people have become my comfort zone! 

I am nervously awaiting the response to my latest ideas, but am also excited about how good the team at Scholastic are at really bringing out the best in me. I have grown so much as an artist since working with them and I love that they continue to challenge and teach me. You never stop learning in this industry.

I am also lucky enough to have another two new books in the pipeworks with them, so I am feeling pretty bloody lucky at the moment. Busy! But lucky.



Friday, September 18, 2015

Christmas with Ella.



Christmas has come early with the arrival of the Brand New Ella Diaries books! this is is such a fantastic story, and one that I think we can all relate to on some level! Perfect for a Christmas gift - but who can wait that long? Grab a copy when it hits the shelves on the 1st of October.



Let's not forget about the wonderful Ella and Olivia books. This fabulous 2 in 1 book comes with some gorgeous gift tags in the back and is also available in October.

I am also celebrating tonight with news that yet another Country has bought the Ella Diaries books! That makes 5 different countries now! I can't believe it. It's all a bit of a first for me and I am so proud of these books. Meredith is such a wonderful writer, and the team at Scholastic are so great to work with. 

I am counting my lucky stars at the moment.

More news to come....another new book (Out Now)...two more Brand New contracts on their way to me...and a bit of a first - a book signing session coming up in Sydney. Details coming soon as it's only a week away! Eek!

Monday, September 7, 2015

BEHIND THE SCENES: MY GTS ENRTY 2015

Here's a few roughs from my Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search entry this year. 
You can read the full details of my progression through this project over at the MAKERS' COLLECTIVE blog.





Needless to say I did not make the cut for the Top 50 entrants who will progress to the next round, but I guess I expected that. Maybe if the brief was for KIDS shoes it might have been a different story! As expected, the finalists entries are simply wonderful. Do yourself a favour and head over HERE to check out some awesome winning entries for this years TOP 50.

Also, if you fancy a bit of an extra read, check out some of my extra blog posts over at the MAKERS' COLLECTIVE that I did not get the chance to plug here when I first shared them. Click on the links below for further details.

How I became a Children's Book Illustrator.

My thoughts on how I keep a steady work flow coming in.

I am still catching up on all of the news I have to share with you. There's so much happening at the moment. It's very exciting. Anyway, I hope you have a great week ahead. Happy Creating.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Lilla Rogers GLOBAL TALENT SEARCH 2015



My entry for the Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search 2015. I really enjoyed the assignment this year. No pressure. Just fun. 

I went with the 'quirky' angle in the brief, and even then had to tone it back a bit! I will write in detail about the processes and share some more sketches from my ideas, but for now - here's the finished piece. Good luck to everyone who has entered. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

NEW RELEASE ELLA DIARIES


Wow! I did not mean to fall off the radar for so long! Things got a little crazy with lots of deadlines, travel and a the entire family contracting the flu (at the same time!) I feel like I am finally coming out of the fog now, and am ready to face the world again!

I have lots of news to fill you in on, but for now I just wanted to let you know that the next Ella Diaries book 'Dreams Come True' has hit the shelves! 

The popularity of these books is really gaining some momentum and I am excited to announce that the series has now been sold to the USA, Belgium and Germany! Can't wait to see a foreign language version!

Anyway, it's late. More news to come. Good night.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Exciting news!



Look what arrived this week! The latest Ella and Olivia book - Hair Disasters! It comes with a set of 'real' hair clips. Just wait until you see why Ella needs them!! This is my advance copy, so they are not released until next month. I have also just signed on for more books in this series, so we can all look forward to more fun adventures with Ella and Olivia! 


On the Ella Diaries front we have some more exciting news! It looks like an international publisher is interested in publishing this series, so we could see some foreign language Ella Diaries soon! 

That's enough excitement for now! Enjoy your weekend! x

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Our Home Schooling Play Room!

I have finally managed to check out some of the videos in this e-course for home schooling (Alicia Hutchinson - Learning well. An essential guide to home schooling.) I must say that I am really enjoying it. 

Ok, so a lot of it is common sense and I appreciate that everyone will find their own methods and approaches to suit their families, but it's just so nice to hear from such like minded people. 

We have barely begun our journey and we have already been met with so many mixed reactions about our decision. But you know what? The fear I initially felt is completely gone. I am excited and I love that we are doing something so different from the 'norm.' It just feels right. 

There is a lot of material to get through in the course, but I could not resist skipping ahead a bit to check out a couple of the videos on peoples home schooling classrooms! It's like peeking into an artists studio! So it's inspired me to finally share a peek at our playroom/classroom. 

BEFORE:


Once I realised we were serious about the home schooling thing, it shifted a few priorities for me. I have always seen my work space as the most important area in the house. Therefore, it seemed only fair that my studio take up the largest room in the house. Now I realise what a waste of space that really is. It's not like I am doing large scale paintings or anything. I could actually get away with a desk in the corner of the room. 

AFTER: (Sorry it's not exactly the same angle!)


So, we shuffled things around AGAIN and the girls now have their very own play room! I am reluctant to call it a classroom as it sounds too school orientated!



The room is such a hit already! We use it so much and I can't believe we have not done this earlier. Naturally, we still need a few things (like curtains!!) but I am sure this space will grow and evolve along with our needs.


Also, the local home schooling get together we went along to last week was great. We felt really comfortable and I hope it's something we can participate in regularly. We will still keep up with the Canberra group as they have some really interesting activities, so it's great to have choices! Yay!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Home schooling and farm life.


Proof that little fairies really do live at the bottom of the garden! Aren't they the most delightful little mushrooms?! We have little villages of them popping up everywhere at the moment and they always make me smile.

We also have some new additions to the farm! Look! Our first lambs! 


And there's more to come. It's so exciting. These are the first of our animals to have babies, so we are very proud. We should be getting some calves in the next month or so too. Ah....farm life. This is why we left the city!

We have also been busy:

Making MUD PIES...






Making a SIGN for our new play room: (more on that another day!)




Rearranging the house:
(We now have our own dedicated space to playing and learning, but more on that another day!)


Playing around with making our own crystals:


We saw this one here on Pinterest and we have always wanted to try it! And it's edible! It's an exercise in patience if nothing else!!

I have also signed up for this on-line course on home schooling, but our internet access has slowed to an all-time low at the moment (one of the joys of country living!) so I have not really been able to participate! Arrgh! 



The home schooling blogging world is still very new to me so I don’t really ‘know’ any of the teachers in the course, but it’s just nice to see a bit of an insight into how some families have approached things. I hope we can get some more Australian content happening one day.

Today we are off on a new adventure. There is a local home schooling group starting up regular meetings and today is our first time attending. We won’t know anyone there so it’s always a bit daunting stepping out of my comfort zone, but I know we need to do this. There is a wonderful support group that meets in Canberra, but that’s still an hour away for us. It would be great to get to know some local families who are on this journey too.

Wish us luck! x

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ella Diaries NEW RELEASE - MAY 2015


Introducing the latest book in the Ella Diaries series. I love the colours in this cover artwork and I had such a great time drawing some crazy animal antics for the inside pages! Yet another GEM in this wonderful series.

It's released next month so keep a look out!


I spotted this in our local library last week! It always makes me smile to see my books out in the 'real world'! It makes me feel like a 'real' illustrator! Maybe one day I will accept that I really am living my dream!

In the meantime, I am currently finishing up the internal artwork for Book #4 in this series, and the cover artwork for Book #5! Busy, busy!!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Did you know I am more than just an Illustrator?

I have just realised that I don't really share much more than my work life here.
I guess that's a bit boring now that I reflect on it. 

I am also a full time Mum....and we live on a gorgeous farm! 

I think it's time to get a bit more of an insight into life beyond illustration, inspired by a walk I took with my girls yesterday.

We each had our own cameras and the golden light of late afternoon created some beautiful imagery.

If you scroll down to the bottom you will see some lovely images captured by my girls!



















Through the eyes of my girls...