Four months of not nothing

I have not done nothing since May, not quite.
Talk to the mouse
For one thing, in August I got proofs of The Girl with the Parrot on her Head:

The design and printing are lovely, thanks to Walker, and it will really be a book on February 5th (pre-orderable even now!).

In the meantime I am finishing my second book, which now goes by the name of ALPHONSE, THAT IS NOT OK TO DO! Here are Natalie and Alphonse watching bad TV:
And telly was awful
This book is mostly face acting and involves a lot of drawing the same monster MANY TIMES:
Who invited elephants? And the one with the orange dot gets it:

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Further bears

Just some bears, three but not The Three. Or at least, I didn’t think of Them until now.

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Sneakery peekery

Here is first smidgen of the screenprints for my second book for Walker: it’s about some monsters called Natalie and Alphonse, and will hopefully be published in 2015.
Natalie and Alphonse
Natalie won’t always look this concerned, but, like The Girl with the Parrot on her Head, this book does sort-of feature an angry little girl – and a cardboard box. Hum. So, next book: cheerful little boy and the gelatinous dessert. Or, peaceable giant squid and the macrame lampshade.

Natalie and Alphonse grew out of these red and blue monsters, or shrank out of them in fact as they have got quite a bit younger. I am only just beginning to make the pictures and there is an awful lot to work out. When I last made a lot of simple monster-on-white prints, I found I was getting quite obsessed with their few bits of furniture or fruit: now it’s the same with Alphonse’s pushchair – he’s got five upholstery options. Oh but, I do very much like to draw monsters. NYAHAHA!

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Napkin Bolognese II

Following on from last year’s snakes and skates, here is what a heap of illustrators, in Bologna for the bookfair, got up to during dinner at Trattoria Rosso (Bar 51 now has cloth napkins – pah!). First a shape game that turned into a story:
Then some shape-game people:

Then just some folks:

And some weirdery:

I don’t know why the class of 2012 (Zack, TrudiBecky) are being so possessive of that second-to-last one – they were surely outnumbered by 2013 (Vic, Suzanne, Steve, Elena, Emily, Hannah, me), if not by staff and very welcome outlanders (Paula, Ariana, Saskia).

It was lovely to see Cambridge illustrators’ books – just published and not quite published – all over the fair, two graduates in the Illustrators Exhibition, and too many hundreds of other beautiful books to get excited about. And it is Quite Grand to see your own book there for the first time too. It is sometimes a bit intense though, and you worry that maybe someone has gotten hold of your squeegee and you better go home and see.

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Banoffee jam

Another jam comic – that’s me first, followed by Becky.
Comics jam

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Fortunately/Unfortunately

Fortunately, last year Becky and me played this game by post. Unfortunately, only Becky could draw bears:

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BEARS BEARS BEARS

Is most of the text of Bears, by Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak – that’s a good book. Anyway, here are some bears:
Bears of the long nose genusI have never been very happy with the bears I’ve drawn before, so I thought I’d investigate the world of long-nose bears. And I like it.
Bears of the long nose genus
Okay so some of them are geese. The maths is because he rode over a list I was writing.
Bears of the long nose genusThen I screenprinted one bear for birthday purposes, though I’m not sure he’s got a proper grip on that balloon.
Brown bear with balloon

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Monsters again


Eeshk, because I finished a book, I now have to make a new one – this is like actual work with my brain, or should be. It is quite scary to be back in the early development stages again, after over a year, although (with a lot of help from most excellent people at Walker) it is just beginning to feel like it might possibly be possible in the end.

These monsters were originally invented for our MA show catalogue, but now they need another book to live in. For one thing, a brand new mountain of amazing graduates is about to take over the world: their London show is at Candid Arts, Islington, from 11th-15th February.

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COMING not very SOON: a book!

Apparently I am delivering my first book to its publisher tomorrow, so I thought it might be time to say I have a publisher. Walker will publish The Girl with the Parrot on her Head in 2015, which is just grand and the luckiest thing. It does not make me feel like this:
The Girl with the Parrot on her Head carrying a monsterI haven’t written on here about this story since January 12th, 2012 when I handed its first incarnation in for marking as part of my MA. I re-started work on it with Walker last February and it has been dead innerestin turning it into an Actual Book. It even has endpapers – though they are of course inferior to John Burningham’s Avocado Baby masterpieces, which are my favourite ever. I am going to miss Parrot Head, especially this colour parrot red:
Colours used in The Girl with the Parrot on her head

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Christmas jam

Would probably be full of things I don’t much like – orange peel, plastic cherries, giant sultanas like squidges of snot, mmhmm – unless it was a comic, such as this one Becky and me are making for advent (though even this may contain sultanas). Becky goes firstmost, me next, and then we take turns for ages like persons trying to get their pink or orange cheese well into the beginnings of Boxing Day. Happy Advent to You!
Advent comic

13th panel, by Becky

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