After Christmas was our final major project, for which I wrote my own brief. I had written my dissertation on an area of the children's book industry and really wanted to take this opportunity to create my own first picture book. I illustrated 12 double page spreads to complete a 24 page book, all about a street called Nansen Row and the perfectly ordinary, yet equally interesting, people who live there. The text told the reader about the characters, who they were, things they liked, little quirks about their personalities.
This was inspired by a life long intrigue into the lives and homes of others, and the unique quirks that make up the many characters around us. One particular inspiration that sticks in my mind is Shirley Hughes. I really can remember being very young and looking at her books and noticing how hers were different to other picture books - they had ordinary people in, with stories about their lives at home, still making realistic, every day events just as captivating as the weird and magical story lines in other picture books.
Anyway enough waffling, I'll just show the pictures now!
I love books where there are little things to spot and bits to read in the pictures. That is what I aimed to achieve with these pictures, as well as include small, subtle things that older children or adults might notice more and find funny.
All the ways I tried of colouring the pictures seemed to distract away from the detailed line work. In the end, I let the pictures stay in black and white, it was a gut instinct and the best thing to do, as I wanted the intricate details to remain a prominent feature. I've been told since they have a graphic novel style about them, which was a good thing to hear because I liked the idea of older children and adults looking at the book.