• Waiting for the studio to open…

    Well, I feel that I need to write a quick post because otherwise anyone visiting the site will think it’s been abandoned… We bit the bullet last year and forked […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: Tower Hamlets Creative Writing Competition 2022

    Tower Hamlets Creative Writing Competition 2022

    Phew. Well my self-penned picture book is still requiring more revision and The Squeeping Catterwhip is still awaiting publication, and now’s my traditional December deadline for the creative writing poster. […]

  • Half a competition is better than none?

    I expected to see more discussions on the SCBWI social media pages in regards to why the illustration category of Undiscovered Voices was dropped. In fact, I at least expected […]

  • That nagging self-doubt

    The worst thing about subbing to agents ISN’T the rejection letters. It’s looking at the talent already on the books and thinking “my work is nowhere as good as that”. […]

  • New proof of Inn From the Cold

    Inn From the Cold is set in the far north during winter, so aside from the snow, moon and lamplight was originally very dark. The first proof was almost unreadable […]

  • First proof copy of the Catterwhip!

    Incredible! The proof copy of The Squeeping Catterwhip has landed, and now it’s just a case of adjusting the colour and brightness of a few pages that are just too […]

  • Timetabling!

    As work on The Squeeping Catterwhip comes to a close (and I’m looking forward to actually posting the completed art here!), I’ve been bitten by the book-illustrating bug once more […]

  • Pixel art = virtual lego

    Yeah, so I hadn’t expected this to be dead easy, but I hadn’t realised just how many new assets I’d need to draw from scratch for my pixel Nevermoor! Here’s […]

  • Making a videogame

    Okay, so this won’t be the first game I’ve started making (or even the 5th). I’ve been playing around with GameMaker studio for years, and did actually complete a game […]

  • Returning to pixel art

    I can’t wait to be able to properly post the competed work from “The Squeeping Catterwhip” – a poem that I’m currently illustrating. The finishing touches are being added, as […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: ‘I am not alone’

    ‘I am not alone’

    Another creative writing competition! When I planned this one last August, I honestly hadn’t anticipated our glorious government being quite so incompetent as to take us back to square one […]

  • Revisiting and revising

    Not being able to visit friends and relatives, I’ve instead been revisiting some of my art from last year and quickly changing it’s status to ‘pending review’. Most of it […]

  • Happy New Year!

  • Not quite ‘doing a Thanos’

    Hasn’t Thanos worked his way into the public consciousness recently? His callous wiping out of a seemingly random 50% seems to have resonated with us in these uncertain times – […]

  • Teacher’s book blog

    A big part of my work with the Tower Hamlets Schools Library Services is recommending and evaluating books. My colleague started a teachers’ reading group a year or so ago, […]

  • The Mighty Thumbslurp returns…

    …well, I hope it does. I was inspired to (finally) get around to finishing off the revised manuscript for You’re a pest Betsy Thubslurp by a tweet from an agent […]

  • A lovely email

    Cheering me up on a grey, rainy day, ‘Wildings’ author, Nilanjana Roy emailed me asking if it would be okay if she could share my sketch for her book. Of […]

  • SCBWI Undiscovered Voices Interview Has it really been a year since the UV 2018 launch? This interview was actually completed last July but it’s only just been published as there were so many […]

  • Creative writing workshops

    The day job has recently involved an awful lot of work making sure that the annual creative writing competition goes off without too many hitches. I’ve been working with the […]

  • Winding down at Christmas

    That was rather a self-indulgent last post, but I guess I’d been having a duff few months. I’ve been indulging more in mince pies and chocolates over the last week […]

  • It’s been a long year

    Sometimes time catches you out – 2018 has been like that. It seems like an age ago that I was getting my portfolio printed for the Undiscovered Voices launch and […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: The Wildings

    The Wildings

    I keep on writing ‘Wildlings’ instead of ‘Wildings’ – this is a scene from Nilanjana Roy’s book, not George Martin’s. I’ve never quite gotten the art style right for this […]

  • Another review

    I recently attended another portfolio review at the House of Illustration arranced by the SCBWI – in attendance were representatives from the Plum Pudding agency, Hachette childrens and Walker. Feedback […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: London Book Fair 2018

    London Book Fair 2018

    I’d never visited the LBF before, so it was an interesting experience taking part this year and having some of my art on display at the Illustrator’s Gallery. It’s the […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: We need more kittens!

    We need more kittens!

    Any excuse to draw kittens

  • Dealing with ups and downs (and 2 unpleasant stories)

    J K Rowling will most certainly go down in history, but when she does, I’m positive that it wont just be down to the success of Harry Potter. Ms Rowling […]

  • Canvas prints

    Wow – I must be doing something right, because I got a repeat customer! I also got a lesson in canvas printing thrown into the deal. I was asked to […]

  • Wow – I made it!

    I reached the Undiscovered Voices 2018 final lineup! Well, firstly a big thank you to Working Partners Ltd and especially to Chris Snowden. And many, many thanks to everyone at […]

  • I’m on the longlist!

    Now, firstly, the important stuff. Is ‘longlist’ even a real word? Every spellchecker I use says ‘no’ (but they also say spellchecker’ isn’t a word either). It’s certainly annoying when […]

  • That December feeling

    Well, it’s getting close to the close of 2017 and it’s been a rather interesting year. Aside from getting lots of extra duties and a big dollop of job insecurity […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: 2017 Booklists

    2017 Booklists

    I’m not sure where the geometric idea came from – probably just the requirement to differentiate the lists as much as possible from the 2016 set. The backgrounds were originally […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: 2016 Booklists

    2016 Booklists

    These designs ended up looking really striking and allowed for the covers to be a decent size. The tidy design made them stand out from last year’s posters which would […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: Harry Potter Sketch

    Harry Potter Sketch

    I’ve been running in ever decreasing circles since a portfolio review earlier this year which could be summed up as “we like the work, but no one will want to […]

  • Going back to pixels

    Well, I took part in a portfolio intensive critique earlier this year via my SCBWI membership, and it was an eye-opener for sure that knocked me sideways for a few […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: London Calling : Canvas Print

    London Calling : Canvas Print

    I was very kindly sent these pictures of my London Calling pixel city canvas print. I was – to be quite honest – waiting with baited breath for feedback on […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: The truth is a cave in the black mountains

    The truth is a cave in the black mountains

        A live sketch for a Radio 4 gallery, for the ‘Book at bedtime’ story by Neil Gaiman. The nearest I’ll get to doing an ‘official’ illustration for his […]

  • I’m entering Undiscovered Voices! Run by the SCBWI, this is a competition to showcase the work of unpublished and unagented authors and illustrators. I found out about it from Sarwat Chadda, a previous […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: Iron Cat

    Iron Cat

    I only had a couple of short sessions at John Scurr primary school and most of the workshop was drawing improvised picture book illustrations for an on-the-spot creative writing activity. […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: First author/ illustrator visit!

    First author/ illustrator visit!

    Well, the Mighty Thumbslurp has been printed at last! To celebrate this momentous event, Janet and myself have just completed our first afternoon of workshops at John Scurr Primary School, Tower […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: Once upon a time…

    Once upon a time…

    A mythical mash-up

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: Task 3: Vanquish dragon

    Task 3: Vanquish dragon

    The final task for our heroine before she can sit down and enjoy the nice cup of tea

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: You’re STILL a Pest!

    You’re STILL a Pest!

    In honour of the imminent (well, fairly imminent) publication of the printed edition of You’re a Pest, Betsy Thumbslurp! here’s a sample of artwork from the upcoming sequel. The print […]

  • My first interview!

    Well, I’m rather chuffed that someone actually wanted to interview me! TaleTrove looks to be on it’s way to becoming a great little online resource and I wish them […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: Task 1: Clean out the pond

    Task 1: Clean out the pond

    You know what it’s like when you get to spring. The garden needs weeding, the lawn’s a patchy mess, the fence needs straightening, and the Something-nasty-and-slimy-with-tentacles REALLY needs to be […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: The mighty Thumbslurp!

    The mighty Thumbslurp!

    WARNING! This book is full of YUCKS, GGRRRRAAHHHS and SNNOOSSEEFFUUPPs.(Not to mention a flying hippopotamus!)

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: Must Read Booklist 2014

    Must Read Booklist 2014

    The Must Read posters are the sister set to the Teen Booklist and generally follow the same visual teme. That meant another 5 doodle art posters to draw. And I […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: Tower Hamlets Teen Booklist 2014

    Tower Hamlets Teen Booklist 2014

    So my manager decides that we need a different design to the last few years, which have been rather clean and tidy, so I decided to return to the grunge […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: Black skies

    Black skies

    I wanted at least one opening line that could be worked into sci-fi. This is a bit of a John Wyndham apocalyptic sci-fi, but I think it’s quite atmospheric. This […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: Apples in suitcases

    Apples in suitcases

    I’m not sure whether any entrants have interpreted the ‘apple’ as an iPhone. I like this design but it’s certainly the most leading in terms of genre, but then again […]

  • Thumbnail for the post titled: Jumping from windows

    Jumping from windows

    Being totally unused to Adobe Illustrator, this was the toughest of the 4 posters given the amount going on, but the crisp lines leant themselves well to the movement. The […]