Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A Question of Voice

By Anne Marie Perks with Bridget Strevens Marzo
Illustrator Masterclass Series last event for 2011

Bridget Strevens-Marzo
Author illustrator and SCBWI International Illustrator Coordinator Bridget Strevens-Marzo began the afternoon with a slide show.

The first image was to inspire us, an image from the French Book Fair in Paris, Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse, always the first weekend of December. My own experience of this fair a few years ago was an amazing, creative experience being inspired by French publishing for Children. We all briefly mused on an Illustrator’s Masterclass Series trip to Paris.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Converting a Picture Book into an Interactive App

By Paul Morton

Just finished work on the conversion of Ga Gunk to become an interactive app. The artwork for Ga Gunk was finished a couple of years ago and has been seeking a publisher ever since. It's a very short, sweet little story that features two cute little froggies. They fall in love one magical moonlit night under the shooting stars.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Great Expectations at the SCBWI Conference 2011

By Candy Gourlay
First published in candygourlay.com

I've just come home from a most moving weekend. It was the annual conference of SCBWI British Isles* - an organization of writers and illustrators that has had a huge impact on my creative life. 

This year my book Tall Story won the inaugural Crystal Kite Prize for Europe, the only peer-given prize for children's books.  I was awarded the trophy at the conference and asked to deliver a speech.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

New artwork style for Bug Belly

By Paul Morton 

 Following some enthusiastic feedback from a couple of publishers and a consensus that they'd like to see non-digital artwork ("or would I mind someone else illustrating it") I've bitten the bullet, given up on the wacom tablet and enjoyed myself with coloured pencils and collage. Here are some of the results and if you click on this LINK to ISSUU you'll see my updated picture book dummy that is ready to do the rounds again.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Itsy-Bitsy Book Cover

By Lynne Chapman

Remember the issues we had with Waterstones not liking the yellow cover which I originally designed for Baby Goes Baaaaa!? Well, I thought we had sorted everything with the new duck-egg blue cover, but I suddenly remembered something...

Thursday, 20 October 2011

The Bic Picture Competition: What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

By Mike Brownlow

Last month I had the pleasure of being invited to be a judge in the annual competition run by BIC -- the BIC PICTURE -- to find talented young artists amongst Britain's primary school children. My fellow judges were children's TV presenter Kirsten O'Brien, and colour expert Cecile Parenton, who heads the children's division of BIC. The winners have just been announced.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The Halloween Forest

By John Shelley

Although this won't be released until next year, here's a sneak preview of my upcoming Halloween themed book for Holiday House in the US. The Halloween Forest, written by Marion Dane Bauer, is a fantastical romp in a spooky bone forest. Fingers crossed it will find a publisher in the UK too. Woooooo!!!!!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Young readers phonics book

By Anna Violet

How Anansi Got His Stories has just been published by Oxford University Press (Oxford Reading Tree Traditional Tales series), and I'm very excited, because I did the illustrations for it. It is the first time I have been published in children's books, too.

Anansi is a trickster spider from traditional West African/Caribbean tales. The other characters include a leopard, a snake, hornets and a sky god.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Viv Schwarz character design and comic workshop

Viviane Schwarz playing with shapes. 
By Anne-Marie Perks

Viviane started the session talking about coming to graphic novels from picture books. In her last book, co-written with Alexis Deacon for Walker Books, A Place to Call Home, Viv used panels and speech bubbles.

As soon as Walker got a graphic novel department, Viv proposed her graphic novel, Sleepwalkers, a wonderful imaginative story in which children can leave a letter under their pillows asking for help in stopping their nightmares.

No line!

By Mike Brownlow

I've just received the proof copy of a book I wrote and illustrated for OUP earlier in the year -- a re-telling of the Elves and the Shoemaker. It was a bit of a departure for me in that I decided to do away with a holding line, which for a long time has been the way I've preferred to work in Photoshop. I rather liked the result. The pictures felt fresher somehow.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

'Baby Can Bounce' artwork - head down...

By Lynne Chapman
When last I showed you my artwork on the book, I was about to start the hedgehogs. I got on with them early last week:

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Norwich Solstice Scrawl Crawl

By John Shelley

On 21st June several SCBWI regions around Europe participated in a Summer Solstice Scrawlcrawl. Inspired by illustrator sketchcrawls but expanded to encompass writers too, coinciding sketching and writing events ran in Paris, Stuttgart, Amsterdam, Madrid, Athens, London and several other locations. Some fascinating images from all corners of Europe were the result, many of which have been posted to the dedicated Solstice Scrawlcrawl blog.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Creative Typography in Children's Books

With Gillian McClure and Lisa Kirkham


Lisa and Gillian showing a spread from Gillian's next book.

It is always nice to see everyone stream up the steps into the large room at St George’s through the Little Russell Street entry we’ve now become accustomed to. The huge blocks of carved lintels laying

Monday, 16 May 2011

Illustrating Michael Rosen

By Mike Brownlow
I was very pleased to be asked to illustrate a story by Michael Rosen for a book that’s being put together on behalf of the Bristol Children’s Hospital.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Sketchcrawl: York by Sam Zuppardi

On 7th May SCBWI members in the York area got together for their first Sketch-crawl and Scrawl-crawl (for writers). Twelve members of the North-East group walked the city walls and worked on drawings and writing inspirations, reports say it was an enriching experience.

Here are some sketches made by one of the participants Sam Zuppardi.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Bologna Book Fair 2011: The World of Storytelling is Changing

By Bridget Strevens Marzo


Well I promised to write it up for SCBWI BI so I took pages of notes at the 2011 Bologna Book Fair's first ever Tools of Change for Publishing Conference entitled "The World of Storytelling is Changing". 
Big thanks to Bologna's Roberta Chinni and Neal Hoskins, of  Winged Chariot Press who specializes in beautiful children's translated picture books for  organizing this new conference.  Big news at the Fair afterwards by the way, in case you missed it on the Bookseller, was that WInged Chariot  has joined forces with Walker Books

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

New Idea: the Tour de Sketch

By Lynne Chapman

On Sunday, we tried out a new sketching idea in Derbyshire, just outside Sheffield. Instead of our usual monthly SketchCrawl, we tried it on bikes. A group called Pedal Ready, associated with the Peak Park, sponsored us by providing free bike hire, which was great, because it meant everyone could have a go. 24 people turned up at 9.30am at Hassop's ex-railway station.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Sketchbook project: on tour in the U.S.

By Anne-Marie Perks

In this post I thought I would share a peek into the sketchbook I submitted for Sketchbook Project 2011. The theme I chose was Nighttime Stories. I knew I wanted to work in black and white with touches of one or two colours, and I knew that I wanted a narrative thread to hold it all together.

At right is one page of my storyboard thumbnails outlining the theme loosely to a Native American myth on bringing the first light to the world.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Thursday, 10 February 2011

SketchJam in Sheffield

By Lynne Chapman
Last week, we had another go at the
SketchJam idea. It was rather louder on the ear than the old fellas we drew last time: this time it was a rock band!
I'm not really one for rock music these days, but it turned out to be brilliant fun, and I was amazed at all the rock classics that I knew. I'm not really one for rock music these days, but it turned out to be brilliant fun, and I was amazed at all the rock classics that I knew.


When the music eventually wound up and I finally made a dash for the loo, I looked at my watch and realised it was midnight - we'd been drawing for nearly 3 hours!

There are more drawings on my blog if you're interested.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Sorting the mess and 'deskavation'

By Bridget Strevens Marzo


Last year was busy, crazily so at times, and there was no time for pondering projects.  
Just one commission which I've mentioned before.  A cube-shaped bookshelf of seven mini board books of rhymes, Ma Petite Biblioth√®que de Sept Comptines √† Chanter, published next month withBayard
My illustrations to Mini Racer by Kristy Dempsey, are also due out in February 2011 but they were mostly done in 2008-9.

Sheffield Sketchcrawl Number Four

By Lynne Chapman

Around 30 people turned up on Saturday for the
4th Sheffield SketchCrawl: some old hands, several brand new faces, all different ages. This is Bryn Hughes, who seems not to feel the cold at all, choosing to paint outside as usual - brrrrrrrr!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Introducing SketchJam: Sketchbooks & Beer!

By Lynne Chapman

No, not exactly a SketchCrawl this time. SketchJam is SketchCrawl's younger brother, so to speak. It's a brand new, musical idea that I tried on for size this week.

Remember how the snow scuppered our
chance to draw an orchestra recently? Well, I've been mulling things over with my good friend and fellow artist Martin Hinchcliffe (who also did this lovely painting). We've cooked up another way to draw live music.


SketchJam's world premier (!) started at the Cubana in Sheffield on Thursday evening, where we were entertained by soul and jazz from the 50s and 60s, played by Simon Peat on the Sax, with Joel White on vocals and keyboard.


It was wonderful, and I was bobbing up and down (while also trying to draw!) to all the old favourites I remember my mum and dad playing when I was young. Unfortunately though, as you can see from my sketches, we couldn't really get close enough to the musicians, plus it was a bit dark and VERY warm, so we moved on after a bit, just down the road a way, to The Grapes:


Our merry band of 7, some old hands from previous SketchCrawls, but some new faces too, huddled happily over sketchbooks and beer in a cosy side bar, drawing the locals:


We thought we had missed our chance, yet again, on the music front, but we discovered at 9.30 that we had struck gold: a knot a old folks in the corner suddenly whipped out guitars and spent the rest of the evening taking turns singing wonderful folk music!


We had a smashing evening and all drew and painted our socks off until about 11.00. It was so casual and friendly, bantering with the singers and generally chilling out to music and drawing. What could be better?

Email me if you live in my neck of the woods and fancy coming to the next one.