I was very surprised and excited to be invited onto Dr Phil Hammond’s BBC Radio Bristol show, the Happy Hour on Saturday 23 June, to talk about my work and the things that make me happy! As coincidence had it, I was joined by a friend, the very colourful character (you’ll see what I mean if you take a look at her Instagram page) that is music journalist and writer Sammy Maine.
I talked about Ocean Emporium (which hit the shops on 28 June!), the curious creatures of the sea, why walking is the best remedy, how much I love my baby, why I’ll never be able to rival Mary Berry, and the restorative power of bookshops. You can take a listen here while it’s still available on catch-up.
I was thrilled to be featured in the latest issue of Project Calm, a beautifully illustrated magazine promoting mindfulness through craft and creativity. In this issue, you can cut out my seed packet bookmarks, featuring line drawings of cow parsley, bluebells and winter flowering cherry (and accompanying quotes!), and stash whatever you like inside them.
I was also very pleased to be asked a few questions about my work practice, which you can read in this little interview, where I talk about my love of bookshops, taking photographs and therapeutic desk tidying.
The issue also features a stunning front cover by one of my favourite illustrators, Boyoun Kim (I bought one of her beautiful screen prints for my partner’s birthday, and I happen to think she’s a bit of a wizard when it comes to colour, and creating pictures you want to climb inside of).
I’ve given my Artworks portfolio page a bit of a spruce! Head over here to have a look at some of my latest projects, including some of the Heath & Heather tea range and some brand new book covers for Puffin.
Excitingly, you can now buy a whole range of products featuring illustrations of Britain’s beautiful national parks, which I worked on with Love Your National Parks back in 2016! The range features poster images of the Broads, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Lake District, New Forest, North York Moors, Northumberland, Peak District, South Downs and Yorkshire Dales. Treat yourself to a new mug, set of postcards or laptop case (among other things) here. Working on these images really made me want to abandon my desk and put my walking shoes on to visit each and every one of these stunning locations! I have since made it to Dartmoor to troop around some stone ruins.
I heard word earlier this year that the elephant I illustrated for Fortnum & Mason’s beautiful champagne packaging has been re-licensed!🍾
This was a really fun one to draw, as I was actively encouraged to include as much detail as possible! I loved penning all of the fine lines in his wrinkled skin.
I recently teamed up with the lovely people at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to illustrate a new product range for the opening of Shakespeare’s New Place, which comprises a beautiful Tudor knot garden, restored for the first time since it was created in 1920.
I used the garden plans and flower varieties to create a contemporary illustration of the knot garden, which appears on the Shakespeare’s Garden product range. Products in the range include a canvas bag, cosmetic bag and soaps, cushion, notebook, tea towel and more.
This summer, myself and nine other Bristol illustrators teamed up with local writer Emily Koch to illustrate her beautiful haikus celebrating the diversity of urban wildlife.
The exhibition is currently on show at the Grain Barge until 11 October.
I was given Emily’s kingfisher poem to illustrate, which was lots of fun. The kingfisher is joined by a fox, a duck, a playful dog, a squirrel, some sneaky seagulls, a beautiful toad, some ally cats, a robin, and a butterfly. The illustrators on show are:
Dave Bain, Dawn Cooper, Sarah Dennis, Anna Higgie, Harriet Lee Merrion, Lindsay McDonagh, Bett Norris, Laurie Stansfield, Rosanna Tasker and Amy Timms.
If you can’t make it to the Grain Barge this autumn, you can view and purchase all of the prints on Etsy, here.
That’s right! The Insect Emporium has officially been published by Egmont. A few of my family members were thrilled to spot it when shopping in the Tate Modern this week.
There’s a sweet animation on Egmont’s Facebook page offering a preview to some of the book’s contents (which I hope to post shortly!) and celebrating its release. You can view it here.
You can also purchase a copy online here, but do keep an eye out for it in your local independent bookshop!
I was so pleased to discover the line art version of the logo I designed for Bramble & Wild being used in such lovely ways, that I thought I would share some snaps from their Instagram page.
Grace’s beautiful blooms and stunning arrangements look ace in these kraft bags, adorned with the gold foiled line art logo.
I was also excited to see some of the shop’s beautiful stationery, with the logo peeping out…
As well as beautiful flowers, you’ll find lots of little gifts to entice you in. If you’re local, and you’re not familiar with Bramble & Wild, I urge you to go! It is a wonderful florist situated on Frome’s historic Catherine Hill, which is peppered with amazing independent shops, and certainly not your average high street.
It’s National Insect Week 2016, which gives me the perfect opportunity (excuse) to share some bits and pieces from my upcoming book with Egmont. Insect Emporium publishes in September 2016, and is bursting with insects of all shapes, sizes and origins, each with their own stories and curious behaviours. (Pictured above is a crop from my original artwork for the cover. The final approved version can be found here.)
This Mediterranean fruit fly is one of the many colourful creatures I had the pleasure of illustrating for this book. Below is a crop from the pull-out print which accompanies the book.
‘Insects are nature’s great survivors, found almost everywhere on our planet. They creep through undergrowth, lurk in cracks, dart underwater and soar through the sky. From the aerobatics of a dragonfly to the mighty construction of a termites’ nest, this book explores their secrets. Prepare to discover a spellbinding world within the Insect Emporium.’
– Susie Brooks
Egmont have just released a beautiful little animated teaser trailer for the book, in which some of the insects come to life! You can take a look at it here.