Writing a Children’s book was never really an ambition. But I always loved children’s books, especially the ones that had an underlying meaning and of course beautiful illustrations. As an 11 years old I was lucky yo have a teacher who encouraged her students to illustrate every piece of work and I think this is where the seed was planted. The origins of the story for Cloth Ears and the Circus started in tiny sketch book about 8 years ago and it started with an idea about an animal, donkey, rabbit, monkey etc. He had to have shrinking ears and this would of course affect his life negatively. This character would have to learn how to overcome this and live his life successfully.
The Art work formed the story and it allowed the creative child in me to have such fun developing characters and places, all from my imagination.
Here is some of the rough work and starting points for the illustrations for all the stories
For some reason the second stages of work is done on brown paper… I think it’s because I am able to show the bright white highlights better. Also for this development I worked on A3… all the digital work starts off on paper… its the best way for me.
As a young girl it was my mission to be good at drawing. So I had to draw with total realism, fa
A few months ago I was sorting out some old art work when I came across a series of old pen and ink drawings I did when I was 22ish. A life time ago.. but seeing them with fresh eyes I wanted to congratulate my younger less confident self., I wish I could of told her these are good.. you can draw.. I sold loads of prints but forgot about them years later. I still have the originals that have turned a bit beige..but so pleased I have them.
So I thought my 49 year old self might give it a go.,, could I really do all that detail again with my old lady eyes…. and less patience… well I could!!luckily my experience and confidence made the drawing enjoyable and the process faster.,
I actually love the technique of pen and ink. It feels really natural.. and I am now exploring new themes and the feedback has been great.. I have already sold some prints and have got a few commissions It’s such a contrast from all the Cloth Ears colourful images but a welcome change…. and I love a bit of change.
After spending lots of time creating illustrations for Cloth Ears, it’s been lovely getting back to print making. The whole process of making the tile is sooooo therapeutic and then you can just have so much fun printing on different surfaces…. but I confess the time consuming tile making is my favourite part.
Initially I tried to use a clear polymer tile…. easy to trace a design through. But other than that, I didn’t really like it at all. It was very difficult to cut and almost possible to create detail…, I like detail.
God bless the Lino tile..especially when you find a piece of floor covering, ready for the skip the turn out to be the softest, easy to cut Lino in the whole world… interestingly the blue permanent marker I used… turned red on contact. Fabulous!!!
Really happy with the finished result.. and because I always cut one tile that I can use over and over again. I usually I inject colour by painting the background or by creating a collage… looking forward to that bit.
When cloth ears began it was all about print. Well to be honest it was all about the tile. There is something really satisfying about making a Lino print tile. I just love the detail you can create. Once created its there forever….. a piece of work in its own right.