Authors for Refugees

It's been a busy few months, working on brand new samples for my agent, school starting back and life in general. And eating lots of pizzas! 

One thing that's really great is that I've donated an illustration for the wonderful charity auction, Authors For Refugees. Authors for Refugees is "...an online auction to provide urgent aid to refugees held in camps around Europe, and to unaccompanied minors with a legal right to come to the UK."

The auction ends on the 2nd October, do check it out, it's for a really worthwhile cause!

Said illustration, up for grabs :) 

Said illustration, up for grabs :) 

DrawTogether, show solidarity!

The current state of the UK is pretty sad, something that I never thought would be seen here. I have many European friends, many whom I consider to be family and the salt of the Earth. No one deserves to be subjected to racist behaviour, we are all one, we all bleed the same and cry the same. To show my support and solidarity with this I was lucky enough to see that there was a movement whereby you pin a safety pin on your jacket or coat. This would indicate that you were someone who could be someone's "safety", if there were being subjected to unkind behaviour.

Here's my illustration to show this.

#DrawTogether     #Pinclusive     #OneLove     #TogetherDraw @DrawTogether

#DrawTogether     #Pinclusive     #OneLove     #TogetherDraw

@DrawTogether

#NationalDoughnutDay! First Friday of June! 2016!

Well, almost a week has gone since starting back at my "normal job" as a LSA at school and man, am I pooped!

I did however (a few days later though) manage to squeeze in this fun illustration!

Happy National Doughnut Day!

Big Heart Auction!

I am so very pleased to say that an illustration of mine, "A Bear on a chair with a pear" is up for auction! The auction will help much needed funds for Chestnut Tree (@ChestnutSussex) a wonderful children's hospice and Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival's community work.

The online auction (on eBay) goes live on the 1st of July until the 19th July, 2016!

More information here: http://www.bigheartauction.org.uk/

#BathBookBed

I stumbled upon this all by accident, but I noticed that BookTrust had launched a new campaign for a fun way for child to get to sleep. Bath, book, bed!

ON Twitter there was a flurry of wonderful illustrations being produced to back up this wonderful cause, all thanks to super Illustrator Penny Neville-Lee (@PennyNevilleLee)!

Here's my illustration_it was also featured on the BookTrust blog!

#3000Chairs and #BathBookBed

The months get busy, as so does school and drawing can be pretty hard to do when you've worked a whole day with Year 5's!

I try and draw every day, even if the drawings are bad. Sometimes, they are good and sometimes they are done with a strong meaning behind them.

The first drawing I produced was for the touching poem, "The Day the War Came" written by Children's author Nicola Davies (@nicolakidsbooks) and was about the 3,000 unaccompanied Syrian children to whom the UK government decided not to give a safe haven. Nicola Davies asked people who were outraged to draw, paint, visualise an empty chair and share it on Twitter using the hashtag #3000chairs. Illustrator Jackie Morris (@JackieMorrisArt) was the first one to do so and what a touching illustration it was.

I had a go and here is my contribution:

London Book Fair!

Well, April was the month that I went to the London Book Fair. It was boiling too.

I managed to see two publishers. It was pretty scary there, so many people deep in banter and making deals left, right and centre!  I also walked past Philip Ardagh and man, is he tall!

I also took my dummy book....here's a sneak peak:

img141 copy.jpg

Wow, this hasn't been updated for a long time!

Well, things have been pretty busy. School has been busy and that isn't the half of it. I've been busy working on new samples, trying to hone my craft and get to a stage where drawing and making pictures and telling stories doesn't take too much out, but puts more in. Weird right? I think it's wanting to go back to being a child and having that ease of thought, line work and colour. I think it's working :)

So, going back, here's what's happened so far:

2015:

I was honoured to have a print of one of my illustrations featured in the annual SCBWI Illustrator showcase! The showcase was also exhibited at the 2015 SCBWI-BI Conference!

"...tigers eat penguins!"

"...tigers eat penguins!"

The online gallery can be seen here, there are a whole heap of other wonderful illustrations by wonderful Illustrators!

http://www.scbwishowcase.org/

More SCBWI! I was also lucky enough to win the SCBWI-BI illustrationcompetition to re-imagine a Roald Dahl character! I choose Crocky Wock!

....how fun it was to draw this!

Busy, busy, busy...!

August 2015. 

Well, it's been a good wee while since my last blog. I've been busy here. Working at school has been busy and I then had to leave early as I had to care for my mum. Since then I have been trying to juggle being a stay-at-home-Carer-Illustrator type person! 

The past few months I've been trying to push my illustration style, with the advice from my lovely Agents. I've been trying to produce work that's of a sophisticated manner, but at the same time retaining my inner creative Yeti. I've been trying to use less black ink line work and instead, use colours instead. This has brought upon work that I feel looks more fresh, clean, vibrant and more 'airy' (Is that a word?!) I've also tried to play on my strengths_drawing animals and jungle scenes. Maybe I was a jungle/forest dwelling creature in a previous life, who knows!  

I've also adopted a new way of working, pretty much like what Sir Quentin Blake uses, a light box to trace the initial drawing. This is considerably much more fun and saves me producing a drawing that has masses of eraser marks on! 

http://www.quentinblake.com/index.php/about-drawing/how-i-draw

I've also been busy trying to produce new, fresher work for my agent and am nearly there. 

Here's a wee sneak peak:

Also, I've produced and donated an original illustration for a cause that I believe is truly great, AccessArt. The Access-Art-Share-A-Bird-Project invites artists and creatives to create a piece of art, a bird be it a drawing, a model etc. The piece of artwork is then sent to a school close to the artists residence together with an inspirational messenger from the artist. There main goals are:

  • To celebrate and highlight the diversity of artists and makers in the UK today.
  • To demonstrate the importance of visual arts education for all.

I think that this is an AMAZING cause to be part of and hope it can help raise more awareness for art to be taught in our schools. 

Here's my illustration that I donated, drawn with an actual Blue Macaw feather that I made into a quill pen!

Happy Easter!

Just a wee quickie of a doodle here for #Easter!


Bonkers, bonkers, bonkers!

It's been a wee while since my last blog, things have been bonkers!

Working as a teaching assistant is really, REALLY tiring. All the energy I have is kind of zapped out by the end of the day. But, in all fairness, it is good to see when children learn something new or draw so well and read so good.

During Christmas I was busy working on new samples and the work continues. Still need to finalise and get some picture book work done.

During February my wonderful agents managed to secure me a commission for a Chinese picture book. Here is a wee sneak peak at some of the artwork!

The Little Chick Who Cannot Go Home

Then, the first book I worked on thanks to my lovely agents (@advocateart01) is going to be published on the 15th April, 2015!

The publishers I worked with, more lovely people, Arcturus Publishing (@Arcturusbooks) sent me an advance copy of the final book!

And by gosh, here are some wee pics!

"Turn the Wheel: Times Tables"

The Yeti Who Slept on Our Settee

Well, in-between the hectic week so far at school (going on two school trips!), I've been reworking the design for Mr. Yeti, one of the main characters in my picture book idea, "The Yeti Who Slept on our Settee"....



Stars On Canvas - My Canvas is up for grabs!

So I was really lucky to be able to submit a canvas for the Stars On Canvas online charity auction, in aid of The Willow Foundation (@Willow_Fdn). These guys do an amazing job and organise amazing days out for seriously ill adults aged 16 to 40.

There are many, many, many other wonderful canvasses up for grabs, so do check it out!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Original-one-off-art-by-Rikin-Parekh-Stars-on-Canvas-/171530552735?pt=UK_Art_OtherArt_RL&hash=item27f004859f