Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Wild Thing Gets a Dog Published Tomorrow!

Hello hello and a very happy lunch-time to you all (unless, of course, in the very highly-likely case you're not reading this the moment it's published, a very good other-time of day to you).

The amazingly heart-warming, hilarious and down-right wonderful book series I have had the pleasure to illustrate recently, 'WILD THING', written by the incredible Emma Barnes, has the publication of book 2 in the 3 book series tomorrow! The book is titled: 'Wild Thing gets a Dog', and...well, I won't give too much away. But trust me (spoiler alert!): there is a clue in the title. I really cannot recommend this book enough, so much so that the fact that I have just begun illustrating the 3rd (and potentially final) book in the series has me both leaping with glee and holding my head in sadness, I'm going to miss the mischievous and mega-naughty adventures of the ever-wild Josephine.

*Best sales-person-type-voice-thingy* Available from all good book stores as of tomorrow! Here is just one such place.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

You know nothing, Jon Snow

It's been quite a while since I've posted anything, so here's a quick bit of Game of Thrones fan art.

Ygritte has always been pretty awesome, I reckon.

I shall return with more art soon!

Friday, 4 April 2014

New Famous Five Releases...April 3rd!

Whoa, where did those months go?! The next two FAMOUS FIVE colour readers, published by Hodder Children's Books, came out yesterday, 'Well Done, Timmy!' and 'A Lazy Afternoon'. We're halfway through the releases now...certainly happens faster than it takes me to illustrate these books!

I'm finishing up the eighth and final book as we speak (hence my usual, disturbingly reliable lack of blog updates...)!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Famous Five Visual Development

CONCEPT ART TIME.

I'm going to just leave these 'Famous Five' preliminary development illustrations here, because, y'know, some people find them interesting, here and there. And stuff.

I did a whole load of these types of illustrations before starting the series properly, jut to try and get used to drawing the characters I designed, getting a feel for how the whole series was going to look and for getting an idea how I was going to render the book to make it look good whilst still being time efficient (I mean, each one of these books have roughly 60 full-colour illustrations in them!).

It's so weird how artwork develops over a project, these characters look so strange to me now, as I reach the end of the series... More to come this week!

Monday, 10 February 2014

Wild Thing!

The 6th of February saw the release of 'Wild Thing', a young readers/adult novel written by the most splendid Emma Barnes, which I had the awesome pleasure of illustrating in glorious black and white. It is the first book in a series of three, and I am not exaggerating when I say how excited I am to get cracking on the next books in this series.

The story is about 'WILD THING' aka Josephine, a messy, raukus, rock-loving, bum-biting naughty sister who is the bane of her sister's life!

Wild Thing was an absolute treat to illustrate, it was children's fiction in top form: hilarious, fast-paced and incredibly moving, and allowed me to draw in my scratchiest, most ink-splattable style, which is only ever a good thing in my book. I also often seem to draw very 'boy' orientated books, so being able to draw a story about two sisters was a massive breath of fresh air and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Wild Thing is published by Scholastic, and is out NOW (go get it, go get it and thank me later!) I do believe Amazon have a 'look inside' thing going on over here too...

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Enid Blyton's 'Famous Five' Colour Readers

Remember when I said my silence was over? Yeah...I'm really sorry about that. I won't make any more crazy promises, but I will do my utmost to keep this blog ALIIIIIIIIIVE *thunder clap*.


So...I kind of disappeared last year. But, contrary to popular belief, what I have actually been doing, rather than having gone on an epic quest with a rag-tag, un-likely yet extremely compatible group of misfits and mythical creatures to save the world as we know it, I have been drawing books. And lots of them! I'm going reveal them all now, as I am finally allowed to divulge such secretive information.

The first is a project that is pretty special to me. Every once in a while, you get a project to work on that you can't quite believe has fallen in your lap. Enid Blyton, needless to say: is a pretty well-known author. A bit of a legend in the UK children's writing world, some might say. I grew up with my mum and school teachers regaling me with Enid Blyton's Famous Five and Secret Seven adventures, and as such have had a pretty good knowledge of them from as early as I can remember. Lashings of ginger ale and stuff. Y'know. So to find out I was to be illustrating an eight-book, full-colour series of the Famous Five short stories for Hodder Children's Books was enough to blow me away.

OH EMM GEE FAMOUS FIVE.

I was pretty daunted with this huge project at first: the Famous Five have a massive and dedicated following and many have a clear vision in their heads of what the characters and world should look like, one which I would hate to challenge. Not to mention all of the other amazingly brilliant and knee-shakingly well-known illustrators who have illustrated their own covers/interiors for the stories. But Hodder were AMAZING (and the designer I had working with me: Paula Burgess), they wanted MY spin on the stories, and MY spin on the characters. They wanted me to modernise the visuals: set it in the present day, and breathe a fresh look into the well known adventures, and to look distinctly my own, and not needing to be like anything that had gone before. It's been a massive honour, and I have done my best to do justice and remain 'sensitive' to these beloved stories, whilst adding something that is hopefully a bit new and unexpected. I really hope you like them. And I really hope that didn't come off too soppy or anything *spits on ground like manly cowboy*.

The text remains the Enid Blyton originals, it's only the illustrations that have changed. As I said: there will be eight books in the series, all fully-illustrated and in full colour. It's been a true illustrating MARATHON, and that's why I'm so proud that I can start shouting about it. I think the titles will be coming out roughly every month as of February, but I will keep you posted in that regard!

The first four titles to be released are as follows (unravels large scroll and dons reading glasses):

'Five and a Half Term Adventure',
'George's Hair is too Long',
'Good Old Timmy'
and 'A Lazy Afternoon'.

I will post more about the next books to be released closer to the time (and before this post gets any longer!).

As always: thanks so much for stopping by. Perhaps I shall do the same, now and then. Next week on the next thrilling episode of Blog Update: Emma Barnes' 'Wild Thing'!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Disaster Diaries!

I think, after about a year of silence, I'm finally (and extremely excited to be) able to start revealing the projects I have been working so (flippin') hard on this year! The silence has ended! Jamie SHALL SPEAK.

First up: 'Disaster Diaries' Written by R. McGeddon (aka the brilliant, award-winning Barry Hutchison) and published by Little Brown, and illustrated by none other than...well, me!

It's an hilarious (and I seriously mean hilarious, I had to keep calling people over to read them excerpts...) series of survival handbooks for young readers set in the town of Sitting Duck, following the mis-adventures of school kids Sam, Arty and Emmy as they struggle for survival against a zombie apocalypse, an alien invasion and a mad-scientist mind-control plot to take over the world!!!!! (Over-abundance of exclamation marks show that this is intense business!)

There are currently 3 books in the series: 'Zombies!', 'Aliens!' and 'Brainwashed!'. I'll get up the other covers asap, plus a few tantilising glimpses at the interior artwork too, closer to release...

Basically, this is one of the coolest and most ridiculously fun series I could have worked on, and I couldn't be happier and more thrilled that it's nearly time for the first book, 'Zombies!' to be released in March (fly my little books, fly!!)

Here's an Amazon linky, though I'm sure all manner of wonderful bookshops would serve you just as well...