Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Aladdin's Ring

A while ago I did some drawings as part of a collaboration with a Canadian friend of mine who writes (and who has also just started a rad new cookery blog, followable here); the story, titled Aladdin's Ring, which will hopefully soon be featured in a Canadian indie magazine called Highbrau, is a short and poetic exploration of objects that excite emotion in us or engage our memories. I had limited time to work on these, but I really identified with the themes in the piece so I had fun with it. :)

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Sheep update!

Remember a post or two back, when I was drawing sheep and other adorable yarn-bearing creatures? The book they were for has very recently been released, complete with said animal illustrations by myself. Hurrah!

(thanks to Old Maiden Aunt Yarns for the pic!)

The book in question is Socktopus by Alice Yu. Alice is a big part of the craft/yarn/knitting scene in London, so although I could never knit to save my life, the rest of the book has been crafted by an expert. :) It is published by GMC and if you are a knitting or crafty person you can buy it here: [Click!] or here: [click click!] or here: [clickity click!]

Friday, 21 October 2011

The Little Mermaid

Lately I've been digging into one of my favourite old books living on my shelf, which is a copy of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales that I bought at an antique fair in Edinburgh. There's no publisher date on it, but the first gift inscription is 1928 (with a subsequent one, curiously enough, to an Alastair Campbell in 1970!).

Lovely and nostalgic though Disney's animated version is, nothing quite matches the original story, "Set forth in simple words for Young Children" though it may be! I decided to do a couple of drawings based on it. I may or may not carry on and make my own little book adaptation out of it.

(click for larger images)

Thursday, 19 May 2011

(Part 3: Miscellaneous!)

The final pair of drawings from the book commission! I love alpacas - they're so fluffy and have so much character. The silkworms were certainly a challenge, especially making them look cute and appealing, but I think I got there in the end...!

#5. Alpaca

#6. Silkworms

One thing I always like about illustration projects is how it makes you research things you might not have known very much about. Although I've always liked drawing animals, I'm sure that in doing this job I've learned a little something about every one of these creatures that I didn't know before. :)

Monday, 16 May 2011

(Part 2: Goats)

Here's the next two illustrations from my latest commission. You'd think all six of the creatures I'd be drawing would be sheep, wouldn't you? In fact, only two were. These two chaps are goats. :)

#3. Cashmere

#4. Angora

These guys were fun to draw. <3

Friday, 6 May 2011

Commission: Sock Yarn Sources! (Part 1: Sheep)

Was thrilled to get another yarn-related commission after my work earlier in the year for Old Maiden Aunt. :) An author got in touch with me, saying she needed six illustrations for a book she was writing on sock yarns! They'll feature in a few pages about sources of the most commonly used fibres when knitting socks.

#1: Merino

#2. Blue-Faced Leicester

Recent 4-5 hour train journeys up to Scotland provided some good inspiration for these...

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

New things

Okay, so I've a couple of events coming up at the end of May - MADE fair in Tunbridge Wells on Sunday the 29th, and hopefully MCM London Expo on Saturday 28th too - so I've got extra incentive to work on creating something new! I hope to have one or two new things to take there, but here's a glimpse of what I'm doing just now.

I confess: the subject matter of this one is dreams, a self-indulgent topic if ever there was one! But it's simple and gives me the opportunity to be a little playful. I'm having fun with it so far.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Commission: Old Maiden Aunt Yarns

A little while ago, Lilith of Old Maiden Aunt Yarns commissioned me to create some illustrations to accompany her "lang-legged beasties" collection of yarn colourways. As soon as I knew the subject matter - various creatures of Scottish folklore - I was excited!

The images made their debut as part of Lilith's 2011 yarn preview club, and three of the illustrations - based on a selkie, a ghillie dhu and a baobhan sith - are now available to buy from her shop, on handy little drawstring bags: take a look..! : [link]

As I expected from the start, this was a really enjoyable commission to do; I don't know much about knitting, but Lilith seems to be running a great business - the concepts behind her collections are great and her yarn always looks gorgeous. :)

More updates coming soon!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Tuesday, 8 February 2011


It seems like Spring is just around the corner! Okay, it'll probably be pouring freezing rain and howling a gale again by the end of the week, but in the meantime here's a little drawing to celebrate the sunshine.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Ducks & shop update!

Tall ducks like these ones are just so charming, so I drew a couple and decided to put them onto a card (see below)

In related news, the Whirlygig Folksy Shop has received had a good updating! It's restocked with Silkie books in both sizes, as well as all the new cards I've made lately (including the lovely ducks). It would be utterly smashing if you'd go and take a look. :)

Now-- away from cards and back to juggling the umpteen other things I have on the go...!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Gorilla & Fish

Dug out the watercolours for the first time in a while. :)

Monday, 10 January 2011

No New Coal

(click for larger version)


Illustration for the Amelia's Magazine blog, for an article on the Ratcliffe trial, in which 114 people were pre-emptively arrested in 2009 on suspicion of planning to shut down Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station in protest of their continued reliance on coal power over renewable sources. Results of some of the consequent trials have recently come to light, with the Ratcliffe protesters tried so far found guilty but spared jail sentences, with the judge stating his sympathy for the motivations behind their actions.

It's a complex but engaging story to learn about, for many reasons - you can read Amelia Gregory's own account of the events on the Amelia's Magazine blog here.

Friday, 7 January 2011

let's find the right door

(click for full size)

An idea sketch... considering reworking it and sending something like it out as a New Year greeting (if I do so before the year is no longer new, that is!).

Thursday, 6 January 2011

ARTY magazine

I've been featured in Arty Magazine! 
I met Hannah Davis at Birmingham Zine Fair a few months ago, and after buying a copy of The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry she later rang me for a telephone interview. This particular issue focuses on zines - while Silkie is by far not the purest example of a zine, I hope it fits with the can-do/D.I.Y. attitude one finds in zine culture. :) I'm not used to being interviewed at all - I was quite nervous - but I had a pretty good chat with Hannah, mostly about the creative processes behind illustrating a story. I can't defend my dreamy ramblings, but Hannah did a great job and I'm proud to be included in the mag!

The most amazing thing about it is for me is being able to buy a copy of something I'm featured in from the Tate Modern bookshop, as I did yesterday. :) You can buy a copy from the Arty Magazine website, or in a lot of different shops in London and around the country (list of stockists here).

On a related note, the Whirlygig Folksy & Etsy shops should be restocked with Silkie books (and more!) soon.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Big hair

A quick charcoal drawing done between other drawings. :)

Monday, 3 January 2011

Happy New Year

(click for full-size!)

Let's leap head-first into 2011! Here's hoping it's as happy and as prosperous as can be for all of us.