Archives for category: Events + Exhibitions

Illustration Seminar Emma block and Stacie Swift

Before the bank holiday, I took a seminar Insider’s Guide to a Career in Illustration run by two lovely illustrating ladies, Emma Block and Stacie Swift at the gorgous Smug lifestyle store.

I have been a fan of Emma’s illustrations for a quite a while (remember the Lemon Teacake recipe from her Tea & Cake book) and it was lovely to discover a new illustrator in Stacie.

Here are a few of the topics they covered:

  • Portfolios – What should you really have in yours? Quality over quantity.
  • Events, Craft & Trade Fairs – The benefits of attending events such as Top Draw, Pulse, Bologna Children’s Book Fair.
  • Online Tools – social media, your website, networking
  • Your products – sourcing suppliers, wholesale pricing
  • Freelancing – agents, licensing, royalties
  • The ‘boring’ stuff – tax returns, invoicing
  • & more!

Emma and Stacie were really generous sharing their knowledge and answering any questions. I have personally found, there is very little support and business advice in succeeding in the ‘real’ world as a creative professional. Luckily Emma and Stacie have more seminars in the pipeline, delving deeper into more specific areas such as using social media with your illustrating business. Oh, I nearly forgot… you get to eat cake too!

The whole of Campbell Children’s Books department (an imprint of Macmillan) were also at the seminar! Insiders info – they are looking for illustrators interested in board books for very young children at the moment!

– Katy x

Kate Crumpet visits Clara Button at the V&A

Thank goodness I went to see Clara Button and the Magical Hat Day: A Fantastic Journey in the V&A. I have thought of Emily Sutton’s artwork as simply wonderful since I first saw her fabric songbirds years ago. A chance to see her original illustrations for Clara Button and the Magical Hat Day children’s picture book had me jumping on the bed with excitement.

The illustrations were hidden along a dark corridor in the V&A, next to the prints room on the first floor. It is always amazing to see illustrations ‘for real’, they look so different after being scanned and published. Emily uses a lot of pen in her work for drawing fine lines, combined with ink colour and body colour paints (gouache). I liked seeing the few bits of collage added to an illustration, or even to cover up a mistake!

Clara Button in London

Emily Sutton Illustration Ollie's Jungle Dream

Emily Sutton Clara Button Illustration Exhibition

After so much excitement, a cup of tea under a sparkling chandelier in the museum’s cafe was needed – just like Clara, Ollie and their Mum in the book.

– Miss C x

V&A cafe chandelier


Wildflowers and Apples

After quite a long blog hiatus (sorry about that!), I can’t wait to share with you our trip to Mary Arden’s Farm – she is Shakespears Mummy you know!

Mary Arden’s Farm is a working farm, with volunteers kitted out in 16th century garb, going about their farmyard business. We were greeted with many a ‘me lady’ and ‘good sir’ as we watched biscuit and bread making demonstrations. Pumpkin carving, plague necklace design and archery were activities we had a jolly good try at too.

Pumpkin Patch

Fresh farmyard eggs

Wooden fire bellows

Rare breed farm animals were cosily feasting in their pens and enjoyed a pet and scratch behind the ear, whilst chickens ran amok across the courtyard.

Rare Breed English Goat

Rare Breed English Cow

I am so glad we made a visit, as the farm closes for the winter until March, but your ticket is valid for the whole year.

And the best thing about the day? Curly Pigs of course!

Curly Pigs

– Miss C x

P.S. Have a wonderful Bonfire Night tonight for those of you in England, I am making my Stop Feeling Chilly – 3 Bean Chilli to go atop jacky spuds after we return in from the cold and fireworks.

Miss Crumpet and the pumpkin

Chris Beetles Gallery

Like a modern day Ali Baba, lured by the promise of illustrated riches and artistic treasure, I recently found myself ringing the bell at Chris Beetles Gallery (whispering ‘Open Sesame’ under my breath). Often independent specialist art galleries can make me feel a little uncomfortable, like visiting a wealthy Great Aunt, more out of duty than love, and being told not to touch anything.

However, after being ushered in out of the cold, I was left to wonder around, oggling at the illustrated works, room after room. Even in the hushed library atmosphere I felt comfortable to ask questions of the Gallery staff, who otherwise quietly beavered away in their mysterious duties. Here are some of my favourite discoveries…

Charles Keeping

The Piggery Illustration

Gillian Tyler

Gillian Tyler Illustration

Jane Pinkney

Jane Pinkney Illustration

Amanda Hall

Amanda Hall Illustration

If you can’t make it to the gallery order a fully illustrated catalogue of The Illustrators: The British Art of Illustration 1837-2012.

– Miss C x

Illustrations at Chris Beetles Art Gallery

This Christmas has been filled with dreamlike restfulness. Most of my time has been spent either taking leisurely walks through wintry banks of cloud or lying with a warm mince pie in one hand and a fairytale book in the other.

My fairytale binge started with a trip to The Enchanted Forest exhibition at The Gallery at Foyles (where Mr C and I saw the Mark Hearld exhibition). Featuring some of my favourite illustrators; Emma Block, Lesley Barnes, Laura BarrettNatsuki Otani, Yelena Bryksenkova, Emmeline Pidgen and Karolin Schnoor. The illustrations on show were a mix of originals and prints depicting classic fairytale stories, it was so lovely to see the different styles of artworks up close. I skipped out of the gallery in my red duffle coat, à la Little Red Riding Hood, and the world seemed to have a little more magic in it than before.

The Enchanted Forest Exhibition

cinderella illustration

The fairytale theme continued with a first time viewing of Tangled (the classic Rapunzel tale with a sprinkling of girl power and a little artistic license), I have had Disney heroine theme songs on repeat in my head ever since.

I actually felt like a fairytale Princess (albeit a geeky one) when my new Wacom tablet arrived. Can you guess what the first thing I drew with it was?

Princess and Rose Bushes

– Miss C x