The life of an illustrator involves a constant search for work and new projects. To keep things entertaining for me and perhaps make things more entertaining for the art directors who receive thousands of art samples a month, this year I decided to create some custom addressed envelopes for each publisher.
Posca pens and a little imagination was all it took to hand letter them and become part of a long tradition of mail art. Apparently mail art developed in the 1950’s and 60’s stemming from the Fluxus movement but I’ve certainly found examples of decorative envelopes going back to the 19th century.
Stuffed with printed illustration samples of recent work, they should be winging their way to companies both in Britain and the US as I write this. Wish me luck that my work gets noticed and some juicy commissions come my way!
Ps: I was recently asked for permission by Leeds Trinity University for these images to be used as examples in a Visual CV class for the Digital Narratives and Social Media course. A lovely compliment and I wish I could attend. It sounds fascinating!
It’s a nativity book with a difference – told from the perspective of the animals round the manger! There is a legend that describes how, at midnight on Christmas Eve, all creatures are granted the power of speech and these poems are told in the voices of the cat, the cow, the spider and the llama (?!) amongst others.
I really enjoyed illustrating this book as I was allowed to pretty much design it myself. Given that kind of freedom, I can produce images that totally represent my style – classic but contemporary without any preconceptions of what watercolour illustrations should look like.
Lee Bennett Hopkins has collected together a beautiful and sensitive set of poems for ‘Manger’. He is a renowned poet and anthologist in the US with the honour of being recognised in the Guinness Book of Records as ‘the world’s most prolific anthologist of poetry for children’ ! In fact, I have even heard him described as the ‘Pied Piper of Poetry’. I had several e-mail conversations with him and it has been a pleasure to work with him.
Thanks so much to Eerdmans for asking me to illustrate this project. You can find out more information about ‘Manger’ and also buy a copy from their website here.