Let’s keep learning

My new book is out this week. It’s hard to write about this honestly without addressing the sadness, worry and anger that we’re feeling right now. The world seems upside down. But we must keep going.

It’s one of a new series of activity books for children, listed as follows:

‘You Can…’

‘Write Awesome Stories’ by Joanne Owen

‘Draw Brilliant Pictures’ by Maria Herbert-Liew

‘Grow Your Own Food’ by Annabelle Padwick

‘Take Amazing Photos’ by Lillian Spibey

‘Have an Outdoor Adventure’ by Alex Gregory

‘Save the Planet’ by Lucy Bell

I haven’t had a chance to read the others yet, but hope to soon. Now is as important a time as ever for learning.

Let’s keep encouraging our children to look, think, make and imagine.


[image credit – ‘You Can’ book series trailer by Collins]

New book a’comin!

This lovely book trailer was released by Collins this week for the forthcoming ‘You Can’ series! My new book ‘You Can Draw Brilliant Pictures’ is among them. I like how they’ve animated some of the cover illustrations, they look so fun!

I’ve been writing a blog this week for them too, ‘3 Drawing Projects for the Budding Artist’.  Hope to share soon.

Watch the trailer here: Collins ‘You Can’ series

A Day in the Life

What makes up an average working day for me? Inspired by a blog by The Bright Agency I created my own ‘A Day in the Life of an Illustrator’, answering the following questions- ‘What defines a nice brief?’ ‘Who keeps you company?’ ‘How do you break up your day’? ‘What inspires you?’. (With a few lockdown adjustments being made for now, obvs.)

(On the table) A nice brief – My ideal brief from a client would have clear guidelines on what, why and when they want something done. Ideally it will make my heart beat, and is something that the client is excited about too!

(By my side) Good company – My workmate is a faithful little puppet friend who’s stuck with me for many years. [Find him in my previous blogs here and here. Coincidentally, my first blog on him was exactly 6 years ago today!]

(Clock) Time – It sure does fly, but I try and stick to a regular 9-5 hour working day through the week. Sometimes I teach a dance class, so on those days I work around that.

(Through the window) Outdoors – I try and get outside for a break every day. I love the chance to see what nature’s up to, and a bit of human interaction is always nice! My favourite places for a quick walk- the local park, shops or library. When I have a little more time I love a wander through the city, an afternoon at a museum, or a drive out to the hills.

(Around the studio) Inspiration – Music is a big part of my day, and I usually have an assortment of pictures, objects and books around to keep me inspired.


This week I’ve been writing lots, trying to come up with stories and creating character illustrations. Takes a lot of thinking!

[Image- one of my ideas this week]

Hunkering down

Apparently today was Van Gogh’s birthday. I love the fact that, according to VanGoghGallery.com, before he became an artist he had many unsuccessful jobs, including working as ‘a preacher… where he was dismissed for overzealousness’. Hehe, you can feel that in his paintings, right?

Been pretty strange, everyone adjusting to a new way of living. Hard to be indoors when everything is just about blooming outside. I haven’t done a huge amount of work to be honest, but accepting that I need time to adjust too. Some good news this week – Faber & Faber extended their BAME Children’s prize deadline to June, so more time to hunker down on that!

I’m loving that people are virtual partying and learning and sharing. And there’s plenty of focus on the smaller pleasures in life too.

[A couple of illustrations from ‘First French/Spanish Dictionary’ by HarperCollins, which come out later this week.]