I was thrilled to be one of the artists chosen to take part in the Animating Lordship Lane art trail last month. I was commissioned by Fantasy High Street to create a window display for Just Williams toy shop that responds visually to the business. My piece, Take the 5th Exit, is a toyshop interpretation of the road itself. I cross the roundabout where Just Williams is located daily and thought this would be the perfect place to introduce a new imaginary exit from the roundabout at the bottom of Lordship Lane.
On this road there was a unicorn on rollerblades, a pirate in a helicopter, a dinosaur riding a scooter and an elephant driving a pick-up truck. I also included possibly East Dulwich’s most famous character, the giant Walrus from the Horniman Museum. He was traveling to the Horniman in the pick-up truck.
It was a fantastic project to be involved in and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working on large scale artwork. Fantasy High Street also held a Family Fun Weekend on the 3rd and 4th of September where I ran a drawing workshop in which children created their own illustrated characters to travel up Lordship Lane. It was an awful lot of fun!
My new book, "Ludwig the Space Dog", is out! After having illustrated 40 books so far, this is the first book I've written myself. It's about Ludwig, a dog who lives with his friends in the two dimensional world of books.
But he has read so much about the world and the universe, that his big dream is to fly into space, and to discover another dimension.
And one day, a visitor from another dimension pays an unexpected visit...
Well you will have to read the book to see if his dream comes true...All Ludwig's dreams and the other worlds he wants to discover are in 3D and can be seen with the enclosed space goggles. It was a very interesting process to learn to produce 3D imagery, and I still love putting the glasses on and off, now you see it (in 3D), now you don't.
The book is published by Templar, who are known for doing well designed and produced books, so I was very happy when I got my printed copy the other day.
I have created some cut out figures, which will be part of some shop window displays, and who will all be there for the Bristol launch on Friday 30th sept from 6pm to 9pm, and Saturday 1.oct from 12pm to 4pm, at Centrespace, 6, Leonard Lane, Bristol, BS1 1EA. Come if you can.
Let your dreams lead your life, let your dreams come true!
My new book, The doughnut of Doom, is out now! But what is it about? Well, it's another ordinary day in Food Town and Nancy McNutty, peanut butter sandwich and rookie reporter, desperately needs a big break. So, when news comes in of a monster doughnut on the rampage, she's straight on the case - she knew there was something dodgy about the superfoods down at Lemon Labs! And boy, is that doughnut hungry! It's EATING everything in sight and not even the police, the ﬁre chiefs OR the military can bring it down. Whatever will President Bacon do?
If you want to ﬁnd out how they defeat the doughnut you’ll have to read the book but today I’m going to take you on a tour of Food Town, pre doughnut destruction of course.
First stop on our tour is The Peanut Press, Food Town’s premier newspaper and the workplace of intrepid reporter Nancy McNutty. It’s editor is chief is Big Cheese who’s rumoured to be a pretty awful boss.
Next stop is Micro Tan. This is the place to go if you want to looked sun-kissed for the summer, but be careful not to overdo it.
If you want some classier entertainment you might be better off visiting the Food Town Theatre. Here they put on highbrow productions such as Ham-Let and A Midsummers Ice Cream.
If night life is what you’re after then the best place to go is the Chocolate Bar. With DJ Mushroom in residence the best nights out are always found here but be careful of the Allsorts, they’re wild.
Stylist Andy Floss will give you an all new look.
Want to see some local landmarks? By far the most famous is the Empire Steak Building which offers panoramic views of Food Town, That’s when it’s not occupied by a giant monster doughnut, of course.
Many tourists visit the Food Town park to see the iconic statue of local hero General Gauda, who distinguished himself in the Cheese Board wars of 1883.
And ﬁnally it’s worth stopping by City Hall to see if you can catch a glimpse of President Bacon, now in his second term. He’s always around for a photo op.
The Doughnut of Doom by Elys Dolan is published by Nosy Crow.
You can ﬁnd out more about Elys and her work at elysdolan.com and elysdolan.tumblr.com or follow her on twitter and Facebook at @ElysDolan and facebook.com/elysdolanillustration.
2nd book published by Templar, after „Fish food“ (by Andy Mansfield), which won theSheffield Children’s Book Prize 2014, Baby Book category, the
1st book written (and illustrated) by Henning Löhlein...
Ludwig is a dog, who lives in a flat world of books. He loves to read and play with his friends. Ludwig is a curious dog and every night he dreams about flying past cheese moons and sausage planets. He has read everything there is to know about flying, space and the universe. He dreams of discovering another world. Will his dream become true? An adventure in another dimension, with 3D goggles.
On every page there are 3dimensional elements, which become more and more numerous until the end of the book when Ludwig flies in space, the whole universe can be seen in 3D. Children know 3D films from the cinema, but having a 3D book illustrates very well that the illusion is happening in their head.
I had great fun making this book, and working out how to do the 3D elements. It has already sold co edition rights to Germany, France and Italy, and the follow up book has been commissioned by Templar. So get ready, Ludwig the Space Dog will launch on the 9th September. There will be a launch party in Bristol at Centrespace Gallery (BS11EA) Friday 30.9.2016 from 6pm – 9pm, and Saturday 1.10.2016 from 12 to 4pm. Come along for an experience from another dimension, and fun for the whole family.
On July 8th St Mary’s School had their book festival, several local authors were there to talk to the children and in the afternoon four illustrators from FMI went to educate and entertain the girls; Bee Willey, Tom Morgan Jones, Elys Dolan and Nicola Pontin, all volunteered to come to Colchester.
Click on images to enlarge
Bee had copies of her new book Dreamer, soon to be published by Otter Barrie Books. It is a wonderful, lyrical story written by Brian Moses, with a boy dreaming of a world free of pollution and trouble.
In the Art Room, Bee read Dreamer to a group of girls and then helped them create a frieze using the themes from the book. Considering the short amount of time available, it was a terrific result. Colourful and exotic animals spread across the wall, they all had a great time.
Tom, Elys and Nicola were all in a large marquee, busy with different age groups. They read from their recent books and then got the children to join in with different activities.
Tom’s group all drew portraits of Shakespeare, based on the book, The Boy at The Globe, that he has recently illustrated for Barrington Stoke.
Elys read them her best selling Steven Seagull Action Hero, and then had an observation quiz for the girls based on the book.
Nicola, read her book about the Baker Troll and then had all the children designing their own Troll characters.
A local photographer took some great shots, which appeared in all the local papers.
It was a really fun afternoon and the local Colchester bookshop, had a pop up shop, selling copies of all the new books to the children and parents at the end of the day.
Frances McKay Illustration is delighted to announce that Charlotte Cotterill, a new graduate with an MA and a merit in Children’s Book Illustration from Cambridge School of Art, is joining the agency from June 2016.
Charlotte says; ‘In 2011 I began my degree in Illustration with Animation at Manchester Metropolitan University and I graduated with a first class honours in 2014. I love making picture books and have worked on 4 stories that I have written myself in the last 2 years as part of my university courses. I am inspired by my own experiences and my observations of the world around me.
I create images using coloured pencil and then add washes in watercolour and ink. Recently, I have also been developing artwork created in lino print, I print using black oil based ink and then add colour digitally in Photoshop.
I also have an interest in freelance illustration and have created work that has been displayed in Manchester Central Library as part of a competition from Manchester City Transport in 2014. I completed a two week work placement with Hallmark Cards in July 2015, and I designed an image to feature as the cover illustration for the March 2016 ‘Cambridge Edition’ magazine.
I grew up in Nottinghamshire with my family and a love of reading, drawing and playing the clarinet. I live and work in Cambridge.’
At last! Finally… Drumroll please…. We present… ‘BLOCKS’
My picture book 'Blocks' has been published by Nosy Crow. Hurray!
This story of toddler rivalry and reconciliation is now ready to be shared with pre-schoolers everywhere, but reaching this day was a story in itself, taking a little over four years.
I thought I would share how it came about.
2011 MA illustration project: Devise a sequential narrative. That’s what I was working on, so when I awoke with this in my head I just scribbled it down. Job done. Or so I thought.
I planned it to be wordless, tweaked it a tiny bit, and drew it up for hand-in. I even trying out screen printing along the way, enjoyed creating my first ever dummy book, and didn’t think too much about it - other than noting my tutor had an aversion to the boggly eyes on the children!
2012. I had heard about the Macmillan Prize but never thought about entering, but with only a few days to the deadline I decided to ditch the boggly eyes and redraw the entire 32 page book with coloured crayon, and enter.
Weeks later, I got the call from Macmillan. Blocks had won first prize. Which was very nice indeed.
They really liked it, but to publish it, the team at Macmillan had to sign up co-editions. Somehow the whole wordless thing just didn’t work. So I popped it back in the drawer and I went on with my course, developing my practice as they say, a very different style emerging along the way.
2013. The end of the MA course was approaching, and having spent all my time on the final project, I had almost forgotten about the little wordless book, but at the eleventh hour I had dug it out, dusted it off, had a rethink and drew it all over again, but with soft pastels, and included it in my show.
Being concept driven, the style changed, but the sequence, basic composition and use of limited colour, which are essential to the story, stayed exactly the same.
2014. It was on the suggestion of Kate Wilson at Nosy Crow that a re-working of Blocks in my newer style, with the addition of some very limited text, might just be what was needed.
So, always one to take heed of good advice, I did just that. And this is the one which is now a proper book.
The published version is the fourth time I have drawn these characters, each time very differently, but now they have names (Ruby, Benji and Guy) and the book has words, and just the right amount. I am quite attached to them all now!
So just as some author/illustrator projects are snapped up and published with little or no no editing (you talented lot know who you are) so others, like mine, take a more meandering path to get to the finishing line.
The editorial input from the team at Nosy Crow to guide and direct me to the finished product has been invaluable, and I would like to take the opportunity to thank both Frances and Kate for spotting something worth nurturing in my student work.
I am sure that my next books will be a little more straightforward, and speedier in getting to the finishing line!