Saturday, 28 September 2013

A Fresh Start

September 2013

It's all been happening recently.
I gave up working in a primary school in July which was a difficult decision because it was a job I loved. I did this to concentrate on my art career. Ive given myself a year to see where I end up. Yes, it's scary and exciting all rolled into one.

Now the summer holidays are over and my children are back in school..and so my fresh start has begun.

I can now be in my studio full time surrounded by other amazing to be part of such a talented group of people. Jeweller, surface designers, costume makers illustrators and a photographer. Its so exciting and I feel really lucky to be doing something I love surrounded by lots of fabulous creative people. I get to draw all day!!. Have I mentioned I love drawing? Thought so.

So this is my year to try to find a way to make money from what i love doing...that's drawing by the way.

What have I done in the last few weeks?

I was lucky enough to go to the Nosy Crow Conference in London "Everything You Always Wanted to know About Children's Book Publishing(but were afraid to ask)

It was a fantastic day, packed with information. Kate Wilson the Director of Nosy Crow introduced many interesting speakers including Lucy Mangan from the Guardian who talked about why books are important.   Tracey Corderoy, childrens author, gave an inspirational talk about school visits and presenting your book to your audience. There were question and answer sessions delivered by authors and editors. John Reed spoke about branding and media tools. Melissa Cox, New Title Buyer at Waterstones, spoke about what she looks for in a new book.

This day was a light bulb moment for me. I could see  that the choices Id made in my life have been for a reason. The time spent working in primary school, staying at home with my children in their pre-school years, reading with my kids from 3 months, all the silly crazy stories ive made up for them and all the years of drawing, painting doodling and all made sense. Illustrating childrens book is what I want to do.

Ive been thinking a lot recently about using photoshop to get pattern and found objects into my work. So this is what Ive been working on over the past few weeks. I want to combine my love of line drawing line with my love of pattern. I been seriously getting to grips with Photoshop.
So over the last 2 weeks Ive created 6 new card designs...(nearly finished) and a book illustration with my new photoshop techniques.
The path has been a bumpy one, Ive made lots of mistakes and on occasion the air may have looked slightly blue...but Ive learnt such a lot...about my work and..about myself.


  1. I Denise,
    I love seeing your illustrations. Reading your post this morning, sounds like we are following a similar path. I work in a primary school and I'm working towards fingers crossed illustrating children's books too. I keep thinking about starting to get into Photoshop again but the monthly fee keeps putting me off. Good luck with the learning curve..:)

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