Friday, 18 April 2014

Gromit Unleashed - Bunty 'Portrait'

Hello, I had the pleasure of painting one of the giant Gromits seen around Bristol last summer as part of Gromit Unleashed. Mine is called 'Bunty' and was covered in scenes of Bristol and plenty of bunting! It was inspired by the colourful, summery, street party culture of the city:

My sponsor, Unum, commissioned me to paint a 'portrait' of Bunty to remember him by. They now have the original A2 sized painting in their office, but there are A3 digital prints available to buy through the Gromit Unleashed website and in their Bristol shop:

This was going to be a blog post to advertise the prints for sale, but they went on sale yesterday afternoon, and this morning they have sold out! But no doubt we will arrange another print run soon, so keep an eye out or sign up to the Gromit Unleashed newsletter for up to the minute info!


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

London book fair ...Robert Starling

So, I've just got back from the London Book Fair!
It's been a busy couple of weeks, balancing school work with getting my portfolio together and finishing some dummies.

I wasn't quite ready for how swish and bright the fair would be; bright lights, huge displays, everyone suited and booted. I had my coffee, got my business cards ready, and set off amongst the stands. A lot of people there are already booked out all day with meetings, so you can't just go and talk to them, but I enjoyed chatting to some of the publishers, especially those for kids.

On Tuesday, the highlight was watching Stephen Baxter talk about his work with Terry Pratchett. He talked about the five book plan they have, and how they went about writing and editing these stories. If you haven't read 'The Long Earth', it's a great book - thoughtful and full of imaginative fantasy but grounded by the characters. It captured the loneliness and peacefulness of pioneers and explorers really well. Anyway, it was great to hear him talking about it and how the two of them found a way to combine their often different ideas.

At the 'Children's Hub', there were presentations throughout the day, on different aspects of publishing. We had talks from an illustrator at the very beginning of their career and from another well established. There were also talks on inspiring children to read, and on developing books into apps. The Author HQ was very busy all week, queues to get in. A lot of the fair is more relevant to authors of novels, or non fiction, and there was a lot of focus on the wider business - the selling of rights, translation, global markets. It was really useful however to see how the rest of the industry works since this is where our stories will go next.

The most important part for me was the opportunity to have my portfolio looked at by someone in the industry. I joined a whole flock of slightly nervous looking illustrators, all clutching their portfolios, and took a raffle ticket. We were to be randomly allocated to one of four professionals who would give us 10 minutes of feedback. I got to see Dustin Brooks of Digital Leaf and he gave me some clear constructive feedback on my work, which has given me focus and a clearer idea of where to go next. I really enjoyed talking about my work - it's great to take the characters out on the road! Having someone else to look at your work can be really revealing. It's interesting which pictures other people tune into - it's not always the ones I expect - but it's really rewarding to see someone else's reactions.

Now, it's time to get the paints out, put the coffee on, and sift through the doodles and ideas I've been sketching up over the last few days.

Robert Starling

You can see some of the work I took, here:

Monday, 31 March 2014

Grizzly effort

Many of you may know of my penchant for drawing bears, so I thought you'd like to meet the latest grizzly effort. It was recently completed for a highly important client (nephews Bearthday card).


Friday, 21 March 2014

Brillustration's window at Blackwells, Park Street, Bristol.

Here are some images of the amazing, if rather exhausting day we had drawing in the window of Blackwells bookshop in Bristol .
It has become a bit of a regular day out for us. The lovely people in Blackwells promote all our picture books and in return we decorate the window ...Brill style. whats not to like :0)

First off I did some lettering and then rushed out to take a photo...
It has become a bit of a tradition that I elbow my way towards the chunky felt pen and "volunteer" to do some writing.
Then the picture book 'dream team' of Sarah Warburton  and Mark Sperring move in.
( Hats off to Mark who also organized the day.)
Mark and Sarah have a host of books between them and have made the lovely "Mabel and Me" together..I hear on the grapevine there may be another collaboration too!

Then we were added to by Sean Julian. who started with some of his rather surprised birds loping across the window..see if you can find them.
Sean is an Author/Illustrator and undisputed king of the furry bear and woodland animal story. Such as you can see by his portfolio (I have added links to all the illustrators at the end of the post).

Then we were joined by super creative Author/Illustrator  Paula Bowles, who has a new book called
"Little Lou and the Wooly Mammoth" published by Bloomsbury on the 8th of May!
She is the one in yellow.

By the afternoon we were joined by
Louise Cunningham, Illustrator, surface pattern designer and hand lettering artist extraordinaire.. (cheekily I had already nabbed all the hand lettering for myself ha hah hahah!) and June Goulding the super talented award winning Illustrator and mine of Brillustration info.

 And by the end we had a full compliment of illustrators in the window with the addition of up and coming Author/illustrator Rob Starling.
It was a really fun if not a rather exhausting day and a pleasure to brighten up our favourite "REAL LIFE" book shop.
Blackwells, Park Street.
Another Brillustration event !

cheers, Lauren Tobia. ....Rob Starling

Monday, 10 March 2014

Brillustration is back to draw in the window at Blackwells park street.
we will be there to draw in the window and to sign our books.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Doings transpiring at the Hungry Caterpillar Play Cafe...

Hello!  As I've been quiet for ages (and because I'm doing something really exciting!)  I thought I'd chip in with a quick post.  Just before Christmas I designed the logo and sign for the Hungry Caterpillar Play Cafe, a new cafe opened by two good friends of mine....and which has been packed out as far as I can tell since day one!
I'm now very chuffed to say that they've given me the chance to be a sort of artist in residence there - decorating the walls (within reason...) with whatever I feel like. Today was day one!

Here's where how the day started (way too early)            ....where I was at 10 mins later (it's a rabbit.)...

...and where I was to by lunch.  Please don't mistake my 'trying to look like I'm concentrating on drawing when I actually have the lid on my pen' face for extreme fatigue..I was full of (complementary coffee) beans.  I will post the finished item soon as well as any other interesting goodies.  In the meantime I'm off for a little cry...that shadowy rabbit made me think of Watership Down and now I can't get 'Bright Eyes' out of my head.  See you *sob* soon!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Brillustration Bristol, Beer...whats not to like!

Hi this is a shout out to any Illustrators in the Bristol area who would like to meet up and have a drink with other illustrators..its pretty low key
..just come and meet other illustrators, who also understand the business of working in ones dressing gown ! maybe get involved in the odd event ?..or just come and pick each others brains ..

obviously if you have a ball called Wilson you can talk to ..that's cool and you probably don't need a brillustration beer!

or maybe you do.

We meet on the last Tuesday of the month ether at the tobacco factory in Southville
or at Renatos kings street.
This Tuesday its Renato's
kings street 7.45 onwards.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

we do respond to tweets @brillustration
and Illustration type students and new illustrators are always welcome