Famous Failures

I love this video.  In my story Percy stops becoming afraid of failure when he sees his parents have tried and failed and it's alright.  He sees they have eventually found success in the things they were passionate about because they just kept trying. 

It's impossible to learn anything without failing.  We can remind children that it's ok.  Fail more.  Fail bigger! And revel in what you learn as a result. 

To download an activity sheet for kids based on this click here.

First Review!

Delighted to hear that the first review for The Perfect Percival Priggs is out!  Thank you very much to Kirkus Reviews for their thoughts. 

"The mayhem itself is solid slapstick, and the buildup is well-paced. . . . Decidedly delightful."
—Kirkus Reviews

You can read the review in full here.

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Eircom Spider Awards

Delighted to hear our Buntus Cainte/Learn Gaelic app for Talk Irish/BBC has been nominated for an Eircom Spider Award in the Irish Language Category.  Hooray!

"Established in 1996, the eircom Spiders are now in their 19th year making them the longest standing and most prestigious internet awards in Ireland. They reward Irish businesses and community organisations for their creativity and innovation and provide an important opportunity to recognise and showcase online excellence."

We'll be keeping our fingers crossed for the Awards Ceremony on Thursday, 20th November in Dublin!

MA Children's Book Illustration Graduation Exhibition - London

Here are some pics from our graduation show in the Candid Gallery London.  We had a great time and far too much wine was consumed!  I’m really going to miss my wonderful classmates and tutors :( booooo!  I wish I could do it all over again! 

It’s been such an amazing experience!  I was very proud to have my work displayed alongside everyone, there was so much incredible work.  Simona Ciraolo was the very well deserved winner of the Walker Books Sebastian Walker Award.  Well done Simona!

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Back row - left to right - Ailsa Burrows, Wen Dee Tan, Carol Reynoldson, Hrefna Braggadottir, Jo Weaver, Renata Galindo. Front row - left to right - Hannah Carby, Ciara Houlihan, Kim Morris, Carolina Rabei.

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Left to right - Renata, Hrefna and our fabulous tutor Marta Altes :)

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Lovely ladies June and Yeykung :)

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Carolina and Marta enjoy a well deserved drink!

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Awwww!  Fabi, Hrefna and Jo :)

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Back row - left to right - Ryan Medlock, Michal Shalev, Carolina Rabei, Fabi Santiago, Ailsa Burrows, Ariane Hoffman-Mayinar, Hannah Carby, Renata Galindo, Hrefna Braggadottir, Sasha Haddad, Lila Veerapen.  Front row - left to right - Ciara Houlihan, Izzy Phoenix, me, Jesse Colon. 

MA Children's Book Ilustration Graduation Show 11th-15th February 2014

Well, the MA I’ve been undertaking for the past year and a half is finally coming to an end.  It’s been an amazing experience and I’ve enjoyed it so much.  I’ve learnt so many new things and made some wonderful friends.  And next week we get to celebrate! 

Our graduation exhibition opens in the Candid Gallery in Angel next week.  If you happen to be in London between 11th-15th February do pop in.  It’s the Tenth Anniversary of the course, and this year there are sixty-four students graduating from over twenty different countries!  It’s well worth a look.  I have seen their work and let me assure you it is beeeeaaauuutiful!!! 

You can look at the MA show website to get a sneak preview.  I can’t wait to wander round and get to enjoy it all with a glass of wine :)

I’ll be there Thursday afternoon from 2-6pm and on Saturday.  If you fancy popping in for a chat I’d love to see you :)image

Tim Walker - Storyteller Extraordinaire

I find the work and vision of Tim Walker endlessly inspiring.  A Vogue photographer who trained under Richard Avedon in New York, he’s a consummate storyteller who takes inspiration from classic tales such as The Princess and the Pea, Swan Lake, The Wizard of Oz but gives them his own particular Alice in Wonderlandlike twist.  I adore his photographs which are so rich in mood, beauty and narrative.  I want to step into his world, where everything is achingly beautiful and crumbling.  Where everything and nothing makes sense. 

Here is a wonderful quote from him which I think applies as much to illustrators as photographers. 

"When I think about it, photographs, to me are really a kind of dream state…and, as you tour your imagination you want to photograph what you are seeing…BUT…the only way you can do this is by BELIEF…really utterly/absolutely/passionately firmly believing…you are so very keen to show what you’ve seen that somehow it becomes true, and the pictures become a souvenir, a piece of proof brought back all the way from the daydream.”

I had the good fortune of visiting his exhibition in Somerset House last year and spent hours ooohhing and ahhhing over the giant props, full size prints and wandering transfixed from one piece of art to the next.  If you missed the exhibition get the book Tim Walker: Storyteller.  You’ll be happy you did. 

And check out his website for his most recent work based on mermaids. 

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Percival Priggs is going to be perfectly published :)

I am delighted to say that my first picturebook The Perfect Percival Priggs is going to be published in Spring 2015 by Running Press Kids in the USA!  I am SO delighted and thrilled!  Big big thanks to my amazing agent Kathleen Ortiz for making it all happen and for Lisa Cheng for taking it on.  I’m so looking forward to working with her :)

You can read more about it here in the newsletter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. 

I am just getting used to the idea of blogging about things :)  I will have to start doing it on a more regular basis.

Here’s a little pic of the Priggs family.  Aren’t they awfully neat and tidy?

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