Rachael Saunders latest children’s book, Mix and Match: Farm Animals is published by Walker Book

Mix and Match: Farm Animals, published by Walker Books, is the newest addition to the Baby Walker range and is perfect for little ones who love animals. Both stylish and interactive this book within a book introduces children to farm animals and their noises and the mix-and-match game makes learning fun.

Rachael Saunders has previously worked with Walker on a number of titles including Pop-Up Crown Jewels and Pop-Up Kings and Queens. and we are thrilled to see the series being so successful with another title due for release in the spring, Pop-Up Palace Pets.

Rachael Saunders is represented by The Artworks

Rachael Saunders latest children’s book, Mix and Match: Farm Animals is published by Walker Book

Mix and Match: Farm Animals, published by Walker Books, is the newest addition to the Baby Walker range and is perfect for little ones who love animals. Both stylish and interactive this book within a book introduces children to farm animals and their noises and the mix-and-match game makes learning fun.

Rachael Saunders has previously worked with Walker on a number of titles including Pop-Up Crown Jewels and Pop-Up Kings and Queens. and we are thrilled to see the series being so successful with another title due for release in the spring, Pop-Up Palace Pets.

Rachael Saunders is represented by The Artworks

Behind the Book: Santa Claus vs The Easter Bunny by Fred Blunt

To kick-off the Christmas season, we’ve gone behind-the-scenes of Fred Blunt’s new author illustrated picture book ‘Santa Claus vs The Easter Bunny’, published by Andersen Press. A fun, festive revenge tale — of the chocolatey kind — which pits the scheming Easter Bunny against the jovial, and completely unaware, Santa Claus with mounting hilarity.

Fred tells us about his creative process, how he created the two loveable characters at the heart of the tale, and how he builds humour into his artwork through fun narrative details.

‘Santa Claus Vs The Easter Bunny’ is a brilliantly fun, festive tale, what first sparked the idea for your story?

It was a simple drawing of the Easter Bunny picking up a milk bottle from his doorstep, with Santa saying hello to him next door. No idea why I drew it, but funnily enough that scene ended up being the opening spread of the book. After that the story told itself.

Can you tell us about how you created your artwork for ‘Santa Claus vs The Easter Bunny’? Does your creative process ever differ from book to book?

The art for this book was created digitally, by scanning in line work and coloured areas, arranging them over rough guides on screen. It’s a bit like creating a silk screen print, but on screen (monitor screen). It was quite a laborious process to be honest, but I wanted to get a hand drawn feel, but with the kind of zing you only get with digital colour. I try to approach each book differently, depending on the story, feel and characters. Some books are more line orientated, where this book was more about limited flat colour, and reduced line work — in the hope of a bright fun feel. I always try hard to keep the personality and spontaneity of the initial sketches, through to final artwork, no matter what approach I take.

 

What is your favourite spread in the book, and why?

I quite like the spread where Bunny is filling the Merry Manufacturing machines with warm liquid chocolate! It was fun drawing the ridiculous factory machines and challenging to create the night time atmosphere with the limited palette. Also, Bunny is so fun to draw when he is being wicked!

Comedy is a key component of a Fred Blunt book, how do you create humour in your artwork?

There are lots of ways of injecting humour, from little details that hopefully get noticed by the kids — like the chocolate coming out of the machine, looking like a dog poo! Also details that parents reading might enjoy, like having Sir Trevor McDonald make a cameo! But most of the humour comes from the interaction between the characters. I like to think of the characters as actors and they hopefully tell the story in a humorous way with their expressions and body language.

Santa Claus and The Easter Bunny are both well-known fictitious characters, how did you go about putting your own spin on them?

Fictitious! What do you mean? I’m not sure really . . . the very first Bunny I drew was wearing a roll neck sweater, which seemed right somehow. As the story developed he started wearing paisley smoking jackets and he would sit in 1960’s style egg chairs, for no other reason than it felt right. I also didn’t feel that he should be a normal bunny, so he became more of a bunny man for some reason. With Santa I wanted to make him the most roly-poly Santa imaginable and I think he could be a contender for most rotund Santa to feature in a picture book? In my head Santa talks like Brian Blessed, all over the top shouty exuberance, which becomes apparent in his body language and expressions. The Nordic pattern on the suit was an attempt to make him stand out from all the other Santas out there. The characters didn’t really change that much from the very first scribbles. I think first instincts can be the best ones.

What one piece of advice would you give to an aspiring picture book author / illustrator?

Be true to yourself. Tell stories that come from you — don’t try to make generic books that fit in, because ultimately they will be dull.

Fred brings ‘Santa Claus Vs The Easter Bunny’ to Seven Stories for a live-reading and drawing event

What are you currently working on? Can you tell us about your next upcoming title?

I’m poised, ready to start work on a picture book, written by a really great author — really exciting stuff, that I can’t mention for the moment. My next author illustrated book will be called Gnome and published by the amazing Andersen Press again. Oh, and I’m working on some animation development at the moment too, with my friend and collaborator Michelle Robinson, which fingers crossed will see the light of day at some point.

You can view more of Fred’s artwork here.

Get in touch with Fred’s agent Arabella.

 

David Roberts

Artist Partners also produced another Christmas Card image  with an image to good to miss which  was  an illustration that  David Roberts produced for  the very successful  picture book entitled: Wind in the Willows published by Oxford University Press.
For more of David’s delightful and charming images please do visit the Artist Partners website http://www.artistpartners.com/portfolios/david-roberts/
Artist Partners wish you all a very merry Christmas.

Time to Snuggle Up with Kristyna Litten

The latest DFS TV ad features some wonderful new character designs by Kristyna Litten, the ninth advert in the Aardman-designed campaign for the sofa manufacturer. Time to Snuggle Up welcomes in “the Cosy Season” with DFS’s Autumn & Winter collection starring Pumpkin, the little cat and connoisseur of comfort. As burnt orange leaves fall and swirl about her, she peeks through the windows of a terraced street watching people curl up with their family on DFS sofas. This spurs her on to get out of the cold and back into her home to curl up on her very own comfy spot on the sofa. 
Kristyna created nine new characters for Time to Snuggle Up but there were many more variations created before the final line-up was decided upon. 
Kristyna Litten is represented by Arena Illustration.

Behind the Book: Monty & Sylvester by Carly Gledhill


Carly Gledhill’s artwork style is immediately recognisable for her quirky characters and playful layouts, full of humour and heart. This spring her debut author-illustrated picture book ‘Monty & Sylvester A Tale of Everyday Super Heroes’ published with Orchard Books.

We spoke to Carly on creating her first picture book, and delve deeper into what inspired this imaginative, witty tale, and the loveable duo behind the story, best friends — and unlikely heroes — Monty and Sylvester.

(more…)

Miguel Ordonez’s latest book Going to the Volcano

Just published this long awaited wonderful picture book created by the very talented illustrator Miguel Ordonez (having previously worked on the Jimmy Fallon best selling titles - Dada and Mama) and written by the fabulous and award winning author Andy Stanton (Mr Gum and many other wonderful books ) the book entitled: Going to The Volcano is published by Hodder Children's Books. This very talented duo have produced a fabulously funny, colourful and quirky picture book.

For more of Miguel's imaginative characters and creative work please go to the website : http://www.artistpartners.com/portfolios/miguel-ordonez/

Laura Hughes wins Oscar’s Book Prize 2018

Laura Hughes wins the highly esteemed children’s book award with author John Dougherty for their laugh-out-loud picture book ‘There’s A Pig Up My Nose!’.

We are delighted and immensely proud that Bright artist Laura Hughes has won the Oscar’s Book Prize 2018 alongside author John Dougherty with their original and witty picture book ‘There’s A Pig Up My Nose!’, published by Egmont.

John’s loveable tale of a little girl, Natalie, and a nose-dwelling pig, Ernest, is full of hilarity and surprise, beautifully married with Laura’s playful artwork. It’s a joy to read as you follow Natalie’s increasingly absurd attempts to get a pig out of her nose — even hanging upside down whilst being walloped with a blow-up rhino doesn’t seem to do the trick. It’s silly, utterly heart-warming, and with plenty of laughs — and OINKS — along the way.


The Oscar’s Book Prize is an annual award celebrating the best books for under-fives from the year. Previous winners have included Bright artist Benji Davies who won in 2014 with ‘The Storm Whale’. You can read more on the award here.

HRH Princess Eugenie awarded the Oscar’s Book Prize at St James’s Palace on Monday 14th May. From left to right: Vicki Willden-Lebrecht (MD, The Bright Agency), author John Dougherty, artist Laura Hughes, Emma Dods (Senior Commissioning Editor, Egmont), Laura Hughes, Rebecca Essilifie (Art Director, Egmont).


Laura Hughes:

“I am absolutely honoured that ‘Theres’ a Pig Up My Nose’ has won the Oscar’s Book Prize! The award was set up in memory of 3-year -old Oscar Ashton who died of an undetected heart condition, and as well as being a wonderful and touching way to pay tribute to a young reader, the prize also aims to highlight the importance of reading together with young children. Low literacy levels among children starting school is an increasing problem, and the organisers of the award are doing great work in bringing awareness to this issue. It’s a privilege to have been involved in this very special award.

“The first time I read John’s story I absolutely loved it and knew right away that I had to illustrate it! ‘There’s a Pig Up My Nose’ is a warm and quirky tale about a girl who gets a pig stuck up her nose, so I knew that I had to keep the illustrations bright and light-hearted. I used a slightly different process in creating the artwork than I usually do, with some parts coloured directly from my roughs (something I generally avoid) to keep the illustrations loose and energetic.

“For the characters in the book I took inspiration from the diversity of the people I see every day in London, so for example, the doctor is based very loosely on one of my own GP’s. I live in Walthamstow and will often sit and draw in local cafés. I think it’s really important to get out of the studio and draw from life whenever possible to keep your work fresh and relevant.”

You can also watch Laura’s interview with the Evening Standard here.


“I am absolutely thrilled that Laura has won the Oscar’s Book Prize and it’s wonderful to see her grow from Kingston University graduate and Bright intern to an award-winning illustrator. Laura brings such exuberance and flair to her artwork — she is a true talent and I’m so proud of all that she has achieved.” Vicki Willden-Lebrecht

Laura Hughes’ past titles include ‘The Birthday Invitation’ (Bloomsbury Children’s Books), ‘The Chocolate Monster’ (Faber & Faber), and ‘We’re Going on an Egg Hunt’ (Bloomsbury Children’s Books). Her next picture book, ‘Quick, Barney, RUN!’ (Faber & Faber) is publishing this summer on the 5th July. You can see more of Laura’s artwork here.

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