I'm super happy with these brand new cake stickers that I added to my Etsy shop this morning. I've used illustrations from my new book An Amazing Alphabet of Cake to create an A6 sheet of 7 stickers that you can use to brighten up your notebook or laptop. Stickers include a lemon drizzle cake, cupcakes, a towering Victoria sponge, a rainbow cake and a cute cluster of fondant fancies! Unfortunately you don't get any cakes with your order but they do look good enough to eat and are the perfect stocking filler : )
For the past three years I have been taking part in #illo_advent on Twitter and Instagram. It's a simple illustration challenge where you draw something Christmassy each day throughout the festive season and post it with the hashtag to share it with the lovely illustration community. I love it. It helps me to practise and makes me feel part of something cheery and creative. Here are my first four pictures. Lots more to come : )
So after a year of sketching, illustrating, proof-reading, designing, tweaking and tidying, it's finally here! An Amazing Alphabet of Cake was published on Thursday 30 November. A very special date for me as it would have been my Dad's birthday. The book is inspired by an A to Z game we used to play on car journeys. A game I still play often with the little ones in my life.
This time last year, I sat down in a cafe with a sketchbook and set myself the challenge of coming up with 26 ideas for 26 pages of a book about an alphabet of cake. I loved the idea of my second picture book coming from something that was so close to my heart. I scribbled anything that came to mind, brainstorming words that might work, remembering cakes that the little ones had come up with when we had played the game. I slowly started translating my thoughts on to Photoshop, one letter at a time, sketching and layering, trying out different colours and building the illustrations slowly but surely.
As I've mentioned before, I only started drawing about three years ago. Creating this book has given me a project to really practise with. Working independently has meant I only have my own deadlines to work to so I fitted drawing around my day job. Slowly ticking all the letters off the list.
By June I had drafts of all 26 pages and was ready to start working with my book designer. I had worked with Sarah Goodwin on Angel's Great Escape so knew we worked well together. Although I had figured out the composition of most of the pages, Sarah helped so much by suggesting fonts, tweaking the palette to ensure consistency and creating the files in InDesign ready to publish. I also engaged a proofreader to check through the wording for me. She really helped by suggesting edits that would help the rhythm of the text.
I absolutely love working with my small team. I love the independence of being able to make our own decisions. I love how I can quickly tweak an image if I need to. Although this is the second picture book I've published, it's the first one I've illustrated and I'm very much feeling my way. Seeing the reviews start to come through on Amazon, seeing how the book is resonating with people, really makes me happy. I'm already starting to sketch book number three. Building my tiny empire one picture at a time.
"What a brilliant book. Beautiful illustrations, very quirky, and would keep a child entertained for ages, whilst learning their alphabet. A great stocking filler too. Highly recommended."
"This book is such a sweet treat (pun intended). The characters are full of life and mischief and you basically want to sit with them and join in the fun. Inventive, colourful and joyful. Each turn of the page brings a smile. Wonderful!"
"What's not to love? The joy of choosing your favourite cake without the guilt of the calories. Such a beautifully illustrated book and one that I'm really looking forward to sharing with my young nephew".
I'm so excited today to be announcing the title and revealing the cover of my brand new picture book An Amazing Alphabet of Cake! The book will be available to buy on Amazon in a couple of weeks time and if you'd like to be one of the first to get your copy make sure you sign up to the newsletter on my home page...Read More
"This book is very sweet, with a lovely flowing rhyming story and beautiful illustrations that bring the story to life. Definitely one to add to your Christmas book collection!" It's SO lovely to see our first review for Angel's Great Escape: A Christmas Story on the Toddler Things website...Read More
I love hearing about other's experiences of publishing and seeing projects take shape. This video from writer, poet and vlogger Jen Campbell gives a lovely insight into her experience of working with illustrator Katie Harnett to create Franklin's Flying Bookshop. Having worked with Kristyna Litten to create Angel's Great Escape and now putting together my own illustrated picture book, it's comforting to see that I'm approaching it in the same way. I'm intending to share a lot of detail about how I work soon but in the meantime I hope you enjoy this inspiring treat.
I decided recently that I would stop doing commissions for a little while as I'm working full time on events at the moment and want to dedicate any spare time I can squirrel to my new picture book. BUT. Then a good friend of mine asked me to draw something special for his parents' golden wedding anniversary so how could I say no?...Read More
While life is busy with the day job and my second picture book is taking shape behind the scenes in the hands of my wonderful book designer, I am enjoying having little pockets of time to sketch and create illustrations...Read More
I was talking to my sister today about how my love of illustration seems to have almost come from nowhere. I started drawing about three years ago to get through a tough time and it's stayed with me as something I use almost as a meditation...Read More
I spent this morning hiding out with the BBC 6 Music People's Playlist on Spotify and a big mug of coffee giving my Etsy shop a little refresh. I've added some new products and also gathered up some of my older stock to create some Lucky Dip Paper Treats Grab Bags, which are a real bargain!...Read More
"A book is a little theatre." - Shirley Hughes
The wonderful Shirley Hughes celebrates her 90th birthday today and I'm marking the occasion by re-reading Helpers, a book from my own childhood that is still on my bookshelf for the little ones to enjoy...Read More
It made me quite emotional today to learn that Michael Bond has passed away at the age of 91. His creation, the wonderful haphazard Paddington is one of my first and fondest childhood memories...Read More
I can't quite believe I only discovered my love of drawing about three years ago. I remember around that time noticing a comic day challenge hashtag on Twitter which led me to Frannerd... I started watching Fran's vlogs and it sounds strange to think of it now but until that moment I knew I loved doodling but I hadn't really thought about what illustration could be...Read More