I'm feeling really excited as it is only 5 days until I travel to Bologna in Northern Italy for Bologna Book Fair 2017. It will be my first visit and it is a celebratory 50th year for the fair. I've always wanted to go. Of course Bologna is a beautiful city with good weather at this time of year and amazing sights, scenery, restaurants and cafes. However I plan to spend two days at the fair and chat to lots of folk and perhaps make some opportunities to show some of my work. So this week has been about preparing a selection of stories and illustrations to take with me. It's been quite a challenge to be selective about the best pieces of work for a small, light portfolio. I've also had a postcard made up with my current favourite character - a performing cat called Tip-Top. Here he is eating his favourite meal of sausages, mash and peas in the Tip-Top tent. I'm also developing a dog character to make up a sort of dynamic duo. So on with the preparation and decisions.
I finally finished putting my Etsy store online. There are 14 products including gift wrap, cards, prints and other bits and pieces. So take a look if you like all things kittens, rabbits, bees, daisies and much more - there's a direct link on my Contacts page! Do take a look.
In October 2016, the Kings Point building in Reading was demolished. In the late sixties this was an award winning architectural design that I greatly admired. In recent years, it became derelict and was only noted for the street art 'face' painted on the windows. I always called it the 'Face Building' from that time onwards and was rather fond of it. I was sad that it came down for many reasons and I decided to make an image or two for posterity. I first did a sketch/collage - then a much larger image using basic marker pens. Finally I added sienna acrylic paint for the buildings/street furniture that remain standing.
I have had quite a lot of interest from various parties including Reading Museum. I plan also to depict the old Civic Offices and the Metal Box building. Both were demolished in 2016 too. I think it's interesting to try to portray these 'ghost' buildings as part of the changing skyline of Reading.
I have started to put together an Etsy online store to sell my giftwrap designs, hand painted cards, hand painted collectibles and prints, all related to my book illustrations. It's taking a while to get everything photographed and packaged and set up. I'm naming it after the pussy willow/kitty catkins image from my book 'Bunny Bunny Catkin' so the shop will be called Kitten Tree. Some product samples below. More news soon!