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.

Carrie May – Dreamweaver

We are thrilled to share Carrie May's debut picture book Dreamweaver written by bestselling author Claire Freedman and published by Templar. Carrie's beautiful artworks are filled with enchanting details and loveable characters, making this a truly magical bedtime story.

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An Unexpected Visitor: Behind the Book with Bright Star Jessica Courtney-Tickle

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Jessica Courtney-Tickle is an incredible talent. Her soft and misty landscapes are dream-like and comforting. The perfect, peaceful way to send little ones off to sleep at night. Her debut picture book is due out in February and published by Egmont. The theme is environmentally friendly as is the material from which the book is made; Egmont use paper sourced from sustainable forests, which is the first message you see on opening the book.

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Meet Rising Star, Jessica Courtney-Tickle…

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Jessica Courtney-Tickle graduated from Kingston University in July 2014. She has a stand-out style, with beautiful attention to detail and the ability to create an incredible light and atmosphere in her work. Jess joins us at The Bright Emporium this month with her newly published book featuring the music of it’s names sake, The Four Seasons,by Antonio Vivaldi. A musical story time is a first for us and we are thoroughly looking forward to it. In speaking to Jess about her inspiration, music is a huge one, making this book very special to her. Here’s a bit more about the very talented Jessica…

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Miguel Ordonez

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Miguel Ordonez is an extremely talented and sought after artist, receiving a lot of attention at the moment; with a best selling book "Dada" under his belt written by Jimmy Fallon and another picture book in progress with Hachette UK Publishing - you can see why when you see his unique style, his vibrant palette and characters!
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Thomas Flintham and Pamela Butchart Win The Children’s Book Award 2016

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Blue Peter Best Story Award-Winners, Thomas Flintham and author Pamela Butchart, continued their winning streak when they were named overall winners of The Children's Book Award 2016, for My Headteacher is a Vampire Rat, published by Nosy Crow.

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Alex T. Smith’s Claude TV & New Picture Book: Claude All at Sea

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This month we're celebrating all things CLAUDE!

We're very excited to announce that Alex T. Smith's Claude will be adapted into an animated series by BAFTA-winning Belfast-based animation studio, Sixteen South, for Disney Junior EMEA. The new series has just gone into production and is due to air in 2017 - there will be 52 episodes for boys and girls aged 4 to 6 and Sixteen South are keen to evoke the unique visual style of Alex's original pictures.

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Just Published: FAERY TALES illustrated by Tomislav Tomic

arena-illustration_tomislav-tomic_faerytales_cover arena-illustration_tomislav-tomic_faerytalesDisappear to faraway lands of wicked witches, evil monsters and brave heroines in Carol Ann Duffy's stunning collection of Faery Tales, beautiful illustrated by Tomislav Tomic. This gift set collection of stories is a published just in time for Christmas, by Faber and Faber. Tomislav has created ethereal images of the Poet Laureate's interpretations of classic stories such as Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and the Pied Piper of Hamelin. He also designed and hand rendered the illuminated letters throughout the book as well as the title for the cover.

Tomislav Tomic is represented by Arena

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