Sunday, 3 July 2011

Pop Up Festival of Stories

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind !!! No time for blogging, too busy being totally immersed in the world of the  Pop Up Festival of Children's Stories ..... have you heard of this amazing event ? Well, take a look at the website Pop Up Festival of Stories  and see all the exciting things that are happening

It all started off a year ago with the director,Dylan Calder, a man with seemingly limitless energy and vision, and several other interested authors and illustrators in a back garden in 
East London.

His idea for a festival of stories was too exciting to not want to be involved, and I went away buzzing with thoughts and ideas......One thing lead to another and I was asked to be one of the Curators, along with Michael Rosen, Catherine Johnson,Philip Ardagh amongst others.... and what a line up!!! I'm so intrigued to see how their ideas have been transformed into reality too  

It began like this- my initial vision for Immi's Igloo 

And has grown and grown....dancers from The Place,the London Contemporary Dance School, perform 'Immi's World', a piece choreographed by Eithne Kane.Live music  performed  and composed by Ben Graves of the Guildhall School of Music.... Illustrator friends are holding workshops and generally inspiring everyone, children are decorating Immi's Igloo (the dome space where the events are being held )Margaret Bateson - Hill will be holding everyone spellbound with her stories of faraway lands.It should be a very magical place to be !

I've had fun designing the set and being very hands on, as you can see from the hive of activity outside the studio( that's me and Ivan making icy pools!) It's just like illustrating a bigger book really! Students Previn and Darunee from St Martins are involved,and right now are constructing ice blocks and paper snowflakes and icicles ...and an igloo will be appearing pretty soon.Mike Bishop has composed the music. Izzy Simmonds has worked her magic again with the costume design - and without giving too much away, there will be a very special guest! On the day it's the children's turn to become illusrators and they'll be covering Immi's Igloo with their own drawings, which should all be very exciting! 

Nearly there ... it's all happening on Sunday July 10th in Coram's Fields,London WC1,11am-5.30pm. Come and say hello if you can, join in the fun and see if it has turned out just like I imagined ! 


Monday, 30 May 2011

.......The story so far

 It's been a busy year and this has been on my 'To Do' list for far too long, so now's the time to catch up !
Let's start with the publication in Summer 2010 of a book I illustrated  by Anne Faundez , The Day the Rains Fell.....with a book launch and reading in Brighton alongside Green MP Caroline Lucas

Another fun Summer event was the launch of The Starlit Festival in Shoreditch, London with The Children's Laureate Anthony Browne....and playing The Shape Game !

Then my new book Immi came out in October.....Very exciting! celebrated with a book launch party at the wonderful Victoria Park Books - thanks Jo!  

If you weren't able to make it, just watch the film to see what you missed! (With thanks to Ivan Allen)


It's December now and  blustery day in Brighton, this time to do a reading at yet another inspiring  bookshop - the very special Book Nook. Not only to find shelves filled with some of the best books around but where you can also eat cake ! And very,very good cake too !

Immi's world seems to be getting bigger and bigger , and now I'm designing and installing shop window  displays ! It's just like doing a very big book ! Here's Immi spending Christmas  at  the very wonderful Tales on Moon Lane in Herne Hill, South London... a real storybook bookshop !

And it kept on snowing and snowing all through the New Year, keeping Immi happy in her icy world. And we were happy too in our winter wonderland ... well , most of the time! Another chance to do a window display, this time back home in Stoke Newington in a shop everyone should visit - Olive loves Alfie in Church Street.

 You can find it next door to the sleeping lions and snowy angels of Abney Park!


 January was busier (and colder) than ever, doing illustration workshops and events at schools all over the country and meeting so many expressive and creative children who always leave me feeling very inspired too!

 Once Upon A Wartime : Classic War Stories for Children exhibition opens in February at The Imperial War Museum. Included as part of the exhibition is an original piece of artwork I did for Mary Hoffman's classic book 'The Colour of Home'. If you've ever thought this museum was about the glorification of war , then this may be a reason to visit and to have a quite different and often very moving experience. I'm doing an illustration workshop there in August, but more about that later .....

With March comes World Book Day..... always a busy time  but it has now become not only a day but weeks of events ! Immi has been shortlisted for The Cambridgeshire Children's Picture Book Award so it was great to visit schools in the area too. And we'll find out who the children chose in July !

Managed to get to the Bologna Children's Book Fair . So many books ... too many books ! Inspiring of course, and sometimes overwhelming but always worth it !

 I've been busy writing and illustrating over the last few months so being at the book fair gave me the chance to see my new book 'Sea Horse' on Gullane's Children's Books stand. I'll tell you more about that very soon now that I've almost caught up with everything !