Arena have represented Joe Lillington for two years and in that time he has emerged as a go-to illustrator for historical non-fiction books for children. With his forthcoming book Ancient Warriors written by Iris Volant and published by Flying Eye Books hitting the shelves in August, Joe takes some time out to discuss his process and where he finds inspiration over on Arena’s blog here. The interview includes time-lapse videos of some of the work in progress he did on the spreads from Ancient Warriors.
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).
“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.
Rachael Saunders' wonderful new book ‘Go Wild on the River’ published by the lovely team at Nosy Crow is out now. ‘Go Wild on the River’ is the second in the series of adventure handbooks for young explorers.
Lindsey Spinks’ stunning Illustrated book covers have finally been revealed for Cressida McLaughlin’s new romantic e-book series The House of Birds and Butterflies published by Harper Collins UK.
Kristyna Litten is back with her third picture book creation for Simon & Schuster and she doesn’t disappoint. Ziggy and the Moonlight Show is a touching interactive game of hide-and-seek - exploring the world of animals, colours, patterns and shapes.
The Pirates of Scurvy Sands is Jonny Duddle’s swashbuckling sequel to his bestselling The Pirates Next Door and it’s OUT NOW! We welcome back the loveable pirate family the Jolley-Rogers who invite Matilda to get away from Dull-on-Sea and join them on a voyage across the sea. They land on the pirate holiday island of Scurvy Sands, run by pirates and exclusively for… PIRATES.
There is something extremely calming about Fiona Woodcock’s artwork — I would describe it as the hygge of picture book illustration — because each time I read one of her books, I feel so relaxed and content, gently swept up by the subtle colours and textures she creates. A Dot in the Snow is beautiful, uncomplicated, peaceful — and yet dramatic in composition of scale and landscape.
Illustrator Fiona and author Corrinne Averiss have been nominated for a Kate Greenaway Medal for Dot, and so here, Fiona talks about her creative process.
A Dot in the Snow, published by Oxford University Press and nominated for a 2018 Kate Greenaway Medal.
FW: As soon as I heard the title and Corrinne’s concept for the book — the idea of a little polar bear spotting a dot in the snow, I was totally captivated and knew I wanted to work on it.
My initial brief was to do something “artful,” which as an illustrator is a real gift!
I spent my Christmas watching wildlife documentaries to get my head around bears and snowy scenes. This was invaluable and helped to spark off compositional ideas for the landscape spreads.
We decided early on that it was important to highlight the environmental impact on the melting polar ice caps with the cracking ice spreads. This influenced the character design of the young polar bear cub Miki and we resolved to have him on all fours, rather than anthropomorphised on two legs. This slightly naturalistic approach seemed to help place him in the snowy world, where he has to contend with all the perils of the harsh environment.
I did lots of printmaking experiments to create the landscapes, printing with rubber stamps, and polystyrene from a pizza base was great for ice. I then composited all the elements digitally.
As well as the relationship between the characters, I was keen to capture their relationship with the environment, the filmic potential and the sense of space and distance covered on Miki’s epic adventure.
Corrinne sent me a link to this Björk track which she listened to whilst writing the book. It then became my soundtrack whilst illustrating it and we played it on a loop at our London book launch at the Bright Emporium!
My huge thanks to Fiona! LM
If you’d like to work with Fiona, you can reach her via her agent, Arabella Stein here.
If you’d like to know more about Fiona and her picture books, click the link below.