Box of Delights: Profiling Ashling Lindsay

Ashling Lindsay has an immediately recognisable style. She understands how to use colour, and how to compose her subjects within the space on a page to create unforgettable scenes. The Night Box is everything a children’s book should be, with a thoughtful and poetic voice — comforting anyone who feels slightly less than bold in the dark. It is the perfect way to help a child to feel secure and comforted as the evenings draw in over the long Winter months. Ashling is still very set on honing and developing her skills as an artist, so much so that despite already working as a picture book illustrator, she has gone back to art school to continue her studies in the fine arts.

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Ashling, where did you study, and did the course help to shape your style, or was it something you found organically?

I did a BA in Graphic Design and Illustration at Ulster University Belfast – and am now back there working towards an MFA. I’m not sure how the style I have came about, I think I just drew a lot and got to know what I liked and what I didn’t. For me what’s most important is that the image communicates what was intended.

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What drew you to illustrate for children?

I’ve always been really into picture books – some of my favourites are The Shrinking of Treehorn by Edward Gorey, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and Moonman by Tomi Ungerer. I remember being read those as a kid, and when I realised that making them was an actual job that people did – I wanted to do it too.

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Your colour palette is beautiful, calming and very recognisable. How did you develop this, and is there a reasoning behind that particular palette – as in, was it very thought out, or did it occur naturally?

I try to come up with a palette that feels right for the text and usually spend a lot of time working it out. I do have my personal favourites though, and am definitely guilty of trying to make them work whenever possible!

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Can you tell me about any outside influences on your work – such as films, books, places, people?

I can’t say for certain what outside material has influenced my work – I do read a lot, and I definitely watch a lot of films. Book wise my favourite writers are probably Virginia Woolf, David Foster Wallace and maybe Proust – I say maybe because I’ve only read one of his books so far, but it was a good one. And with film – I really like David Lynch’s stuff, all of Studio Ghibli and a lot of Wes Anderson’s.

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What’s next on the horizon for you in terms of picture books, and where would you like your career to be – say in five years time? 

I’d really like to try writing and illustrating a whole picture book myself. And I would also really like to work with a writer from the very beginning of a project – to come up with ideas and story together – to make a more collaborative book.

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With my thanks to Ashling who is represented by The Bright Group

You can also follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Regarding Diversity: Profiling Artist Alleanna Harris


Every October in the UK, for the past 30 years, we’ve remembered Black History and commemorated achievements made by people of colour. Not so long ago, America saw its first black President. From that incredible shift in history came quite a blow, as in the US, Trump came to power, whilst over in the UK we battle on in the face of Brexit.

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Artist Interview – Anna Koska

 

Specialising in fruit, vegetables and the natural world, Anna has illustrated over 100 books and worked with chefs, writers and publishers from around the globe.

Over her 25 year career Anna has honed her skills in watercolour, pen & ink, oils and most recently, egg tempera. Her methods may vary but the joy of her artwork is constant; each piece she creates is a celebration of the fruit, vegetable or animal she has captured with her inimitable flare.

 

Anna achieves all of this against a backdrop of rural living, all recorded in her daily instagram post, which her 5,000 plus followers have come to adore. Her illustration work is inextricably linked with her way of life, Anna meets the ups and downs of a self sufficient lifestyle with a smile, embracing each challenge as it comes. An attitude she has also applied to her illustration career.

Constantly evolving, honing her craft and listening to the market, Anna's determination has secured her place as one of the UK's leading natural history illustrators. We spoke with Anna about the beauty of working traditionally, her seemingly idyllic lifestyle and the joy she gets from her work.

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The Stars, The Sun, and a Little Owl: Behind the Book with Karl Newson & Migy Blanco

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Illustrator Migy Blanco has teamed up with author Karl Newson in creating a beautifully illustrated story — perfect for bedtime reading.

Migy Blanco’s colour palette is so warm, he transports you to countries with tropical climes, creating pictures it’d be nice to step into for a while — especially if you live in a built up city like London.
Shortlisted for the Waterstones book prize in 2016 with Lorraine Carey for Cinderella’s Sister and the Big Bad Wolf, also published by Nosy Crow, there will be great promise forHere Comes The Sun. 

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What do Caterpillars Dream of? Meet Bright Artist Clive McFarland

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Since Clive McFarland was little he only wanted to draw things. He grew up in Northern Ireland and studied at Liverpool School of Art and Design. Surviving endless paper cuts, he passed his degree and, after a series of other jobs, finally began working as an illustrator.We chatted with Clive about his latest publication, Caterpillar Dreams, a beautiful tale of a caterpillar who dreams of seeing the world beyond his garden. Caterpillar Dreams was met with rave reviews!

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