Whimsy and Woe!

August 21 2017 saw the release of my latest illustrated book ‘Whimsy and Woe’ , written by Rebecca McRitchie and published by Harper Collins Australia. This book took quite a while in the making, so I’m happy to see it out and about in beautiful hardcover presentation.

Funnily enough, though, it was the decision to go hard cover that actually hastened my deadline. I thought I would have a couple of months to complete the 50+ illustrations; in the end I had about 4 weeks! Luckily I had most of the rough sketches sorted by that stage, so the process of completing the pen + ink drawings turned into a bit of a production line.

(Before + after: L: digital rough sketch  / R: finished art / pen and ink)

Some notes: All of the internal  illustrations are pen and ink on paper, scanned digitally; in some cases the images were edited digitally after completion. Interestingly, my rough sketches were primarily done on an iPad Pro, using Procreate.I decided to go with pen and ink for the finished art  to reflect the ambiguous ‘Victoriana’ era of the text. Hopefully after the next book I will have enough images for an exhibition as well.


The ‘Victoriana’ theme is also reflected in the layout of full page images with borders, referencing old chapbooks / illustrated novellas of the era. An interesting throw back in these digital times 🙂

All in all, given that the story doesn’t sit in a defined moment in history, some modern embellishments (e.g.. car / style of dress) are used, but generally is meant to be around the turn of the century before last (1895-1910).

Whimsy and Woe!

Greetings from Australia!

Produced in conjunction with the Jacky Winter Group and Thames and Hudson, I got to interpret the iconic emu for this ‘Greetings from Australia’ sticker book- in a scene inspired from trips through Woomera and further into Western Australia. I used a combination of collage (cut up newspapers), paint, and digital brushes and textures.

Greetings from Australia!

‘Do Not Forget Australia’ – out now in paperback

dnfa-paperback

Originally published in Hard Cover by Walker Books in 2012, it seems the story of the two little boys growing up on opposite sides of the world in WWI has struck a chord with the public and is now available in paperback. The story tells of the connection of the town of Villers Bretonneux in France and how there came to be a school who pledged “Do Not Forget Australia”.

I think it is quite a timely story for us to remember at this point in time when, as Australians, we seem to be getting more and more insular in regards to the way we treat our less fortunate fellow humans living overseas. I hope this wish for a more compassionate world is part of it’s appeal.

‘Do Not Forget Australia’ – out now in paperback