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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
I knew I’d love The Grotlyn. It’s nostalgic — think Janet and Allan Ahlberg’s Happy Families or Burglar Bill, only with an edge, and a thrill of the macabre. Dickensian London is captured so beautifully, it’s already filmic in it’s composition.
Artist Partners are proud and very excited as the latest picture book produced by the world renowned illustrator David Roberts and published by Walker Books and written by Sally Lloyd-Jones has just been published. His Royal Tinyness is a stunning book and has already being reviewed and applauded by one and all - with plenty of co-editions already sold ....
Gary Blythe's wonderful artworks from The Moon Dragons (written by Dyan Sheldon), published by Andersen Books are being exhibited in print form at the exhibition "Here Be Dragons" which is a new and exciting exhibition at the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath commencing on 22 July 2017.
This stunning cover illustration for Enid Bagnold’s, National Velvet is by the very talented Graham Carter, commissioned by Egmont for their Modern Classic series.
We just love Euan Cook’s cover illustrations for Gabrielle Kent’s fantasy series, Alfie Bloom - published this month by Scholastic.
Euan’s eye-catching images and lettering beautifully reflect the spell-binding adventure stories about eleven year-old Alfie whose dull and lonely life is transformed after discovering that he has inherited a castle full of wonders and an ancient magic hidden inside him. However, dangerous forces are after his powerful magic and it’s up to him, his family and his friends to keep the magic safe.
Elys Dolan’s first illustrated young fiction title has just been published by Oxford University Press, Knighthood for Beginners, the first title in a new three book contract for Elys. And it has been receiving some great reviews . She is currently out on a publicity tour for this new title.