Picture Show

For the school holidays the gorgeous Hill of Content bookshop in Melbourne is hosting a lovely little picture show in its front window of some original children's illustrations. I've got two pieces in there (below) and am humbled to be sharing the window with wonderful illustrators such as

Jody Pratt
Lisa Coutts
Anna Walker
Sonia Kretschmar
Sarah Hardy

Some pieces are for sale and others have prints available for sale. Contact me if you're interested in a print of one of these babies:

In other news, the final painting for my current book is fresh off the press! I of course can't show you too much, but here's a little snippet. :-) I filmed a stop motion of me creating this painting so I look forward to showing it to you when I can.

Hope all is well out there in bloggy land.....


Illustrators Australia is having its annual 9x5 exhibition.... Tonight!

The theme  is 'Rapture'

There will be an auction of all the works and drinks as well as mingling with your friendly neighbourhood illustrators.

You can VIEW, VOTE and BID online here www.illustratorsaustralia.com

Space 39, Lvl 2, Little Collins St, Melbourne
Friday 14th Oct 6pm-9pm

We are also hosting illustration-related seminars all day on Sunday 16th October 10am-3pm -- Should be good!
You can see the piece I submitted here.

A few things (including IF: Boundaries)

Rapture knows no boundaries
Here is my submission for this year's Illustrators Australia exhibition 'Rapture'. I'm really happy with how this turned out and look forward to working with this style of collage much more!

There are a few things I've keep forgetting to tell you about:

< Prints of my Morocccan Orange Salad recipe I did for They Draw and Cook are now available through Great Big Canvas
> I'm donating one of my Japan Tree prints to the Lighthouse Foundation Art Auction - another wonderful annual event

I've just joined ChildrensIllustrators.com, and found out I will be Featured Artist of the Week starting today! yippeee!

< Also,  if you haven't seen it yet, I have a new blog Illustration Station which collates current worldwide opportunities for illustrators. Check it out and check often for lots of new posts!

Cheers x

I-F: Shadow

I can just picture these two flitting in between the shadows and the sunlight at your local pond. I really enjoyed doing the watercolour background on this, and for the first time in a long time I have added some digital elements (the pattern in the background) which I'm really happy with.

This will be by submission for the Illustrators Australia A3 print show, which forms part of the Northern Exposure Festival. The opening is Friday June 17th, so come along if you can!

Untold Stories

Every year, Illustrators Australia hosts an exhibition called the 9x5 where each artist gets sent a piece of wood to adorn-- you can read more about the origins of it here.

This year the theme is 'Untold Stories' and this is my piece. I threw the works at this one and used watercolours, gouache, coloured pencil and collage!

If you are in Melbourne on Sep 17th then please come on down to Space 39 (39 Little Collins street) from 7pm for the opening!

seminars & websites

Illustrators Australia held seminars this past Saturday about contracts, copyright and pricing from and illustrator's perspective. It was a great day!

I learned a lot about PLR and ELR (Public Lending Rights and Education Lending Rights) which I hope get for the first time with the book I have just completed. Basically, PLR/ELR are payments made to australian authors/illustrators to compensate for books being available to view and photocopy for 'free' in libraries and schools, in theory diminishing sales of the book. You can read more about it here.

I was also finally able to meet the lovely Majory Gardner in person. Marjory and I worked on a similar series of books for Five Mile Press (Brimax) last year, and she also has a brand new sparkly website. Do go have a look - it really is beautiful and her bright work just pops from the page!

some other cool revamped illustrator websites to check out too:

such lovely folio sites - they make me realise mine needs a serious update/revamp too!

9 x 5 = 20

The Illustrators Australia annual 9 x 5 exhibition opened this past Friday with the theme of "20" as it is our 20th anniversary this year. It was part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival and it was a fun time had by all! We had lots of people through, lots of food and drink consumed, and lots of artwork sold (including mine, hooray!)

I had a very good night. Lots of good conversations with fellow illustrators which is always such a treat! We are such a solitary bunch aren't we? so good to talk shop once in a while.

Annd, because my artwork sold, I always like to share the love... so I bought Penny Lovelock's piece, who, besides having the best name in the world, is also one talented painter!! See for yourself:

Cute eh? I love the humorous blackbirds. I'd like to frame this and hang it in my kitchen!

I have so many posts about different things that I want to do... children's books I have acquired, the process of illustrating my current book, but I am still working hard at the moment. but soon.... very soon..... I will have a bit more time on my hands, so stay tuned sports fans.


Just taking a break from painting -- house painting -- to report on the IA 20th year exhibition because it was was a HUGE SUCCESS!! (follow the link to see a video of the opening - I am in it ever so briefly but I won't tell you where - ha!) We had so many people through you could hardly move at some points during the evening.. The wine ran out within half an hour (we resupplied) and best of all, we sold lots of art for our members!

Also, I am happy to announce that I have joined Image Zoo, a website dedicated to stock illustration and licensing. I don't know if anything will come of it, but I always reckon the more chances to be sighted, the better. (You can see me here.) A lot of this work is fairly old so I will be endeavouring to add and update as I go.

Ok, my kitchen cupboards are calling. Hoping to get back to some more inspired painting soon.

ps. Happy Canada Day for all the canucks out there (3 days late), and Happy 4th to all the yanks!

20 Years of IA

I don't think I'll have much time for IF this week, because my spare days are being spent helping to set up the Illustrators Australia 20th year exhibition! This year we are part of the Northern Exposure Festival in High Street, Northcote. You can see a preview of the exhibition here.

The opening is this Friday 19th June 6-10pm, and we are having some wonderful casual illustrator talks on Sunday the 21st from 1-3pm. So if you are in the area, do come along!

'Tis the season...

...for Christmas parties!

I went to the Victorian chapter of SCBWI's Xmas dinner last weekend and last night was Illustrators Australia's. Two very different parties and each rewarding in their own way.

The SCBWI dinner was a casual sit down and chat with some (mostly) older ladies who had been in the business quite a while. I felt like a little fledgling learning from the masters. "Yes, grasshopper, you have far to go, so much to learn, but you will arrive at your destination and the journey will be worth it". or something like that.

Then last night was IA's party. As some of you know I am "vice-prez" of IA this year so it was fun to help organise - lots of food, heaps of alcohol! a bit of dancing, lots of Xmas lights, a rooftop with a view, and good conversations. I nominated to be on the committee again next year, in what capacity I'm not sure yet, and a few new faces nominated as well so that was great. ALSO, I made this cake, in the shape of our logo:

now, I have NEVER decorated a cake before - not even your garden variety rectangular, chocolate icing and nothing else cake, so this was quite a challenge - but lots of fun! everyone loved him. Maybe I should start a new business...? haha, I don't think so!

I-F: Wise

I suppose owls are the traditional 'wise' animal, but I would imagine whales to be pretty wise themselves.

There is a funny story behind this illo. A long time employee of Illustrators Australia is leaving, and the committee was asked to each do an illustration of him. The funny thing is, very few of us have actually met him, as he lives about 2 hours outside of Melbourne, so all we know of him is a booming voice on the telephone. So this is my impression of Bernard Wale. (He lives on Phillip island, where penguins also live, just in case you were wondering why the penguin!) The illo is only 50mm x 70mm.

By the way, I have extended the deadline for my children's book giveaway until next weekend! Visit this post to see what to do to enter.

I-F: Clutter & 9x5

This puddytat probably thinks he's clearing out some of the "clutter"! (Or should that be "dinner"?)

This is my submission for the Illustrators Australia annual 9x5 exhibition where the theme is "Year of the Rat" (my title: Year of the rat (crossed out) CAT). Oh, did I mention I am on the committee with IA? Um, oh yeah, did I mention I'm the VP this year? It's but a name really, but I do enjoy being part of an association like that. This year I helped set up the inaugural mentorship program, which has been in the wings for a long time. (I would have liked to set up a mentorship program for ME!)

Anyway, the 9x5 is an annual exhibition where IA members are sent a piece of wood that is 9x5 in dimension to paint, and then they get auctioned off on one fun and exciting night - October 2nd this year, so if you are in the area do come along! It is also part of the Melbourne Fringe festival this year, and you can find out more about it here.

IA's Festival of Illustration

This past weekend was Illustrators Australia's inaugural Festival of Illustration. Hopefully it will become a yearly thing because it was hugely successful. Not only was there the 9x5 exhibition on Thursday night which was great for rubbing shoulders with other illustrators and members of industry and seeing great art, but then the weekend was filled with seminars and talks from interesting and talented people. I was happy to be able to help out with some of the organisation for the weekend, and below is a lil wrap up:

9x5 - some great work auctioned off and some still for sale! Check here if you want to pick up some original art at the bargain price of $195 (australian bidders only). I would have to say without a doubt that this one by Michelle Katsouranis was my fave:

2 days of talks by some damn fine people

first was Bill Wood who talked about his website and how he set it up to mostly target US markets. Interesting, but not very relevant for me personally I guess - he works in a very commercial world.

then it was Mark Wood who was a very dynamic and funny speaker, on all the legal stuff illustrators should know - mostly copyright and our rights. made me realise i should probably have better contracts in place for some of the stuff I do.

Next was Andrea Innocent of Otoshimono who was fantastic. She lived in japan for a while and has carried over a lot of that japanese aesthetic into her art, which of course I love. She also talked about how all her marketing has been online and she has gotten great jobs through doing collaborative projects like Mail Me Art or joining online communities like Illustration Mundo. Very comforting to know that you don't have to spend oodles on promotional postcards and folios (they just end up in the Art Director's heap anyway) - and that if you do something unique, and you put it out there, it's just a matter of time before it's discovered. one of Andrea's pieces:

Phil Small from Watermark talked about the brilliant artists' collective they have and how illustration is more respected and "everywhere" in NZ (and everywhere but Australia, apparently!)

And lastly but not leastly was Nigel Buchanan, a stalwart of Australian illustration. All he did was show and talk about his artwork of the last 30 years, and that was enough. amazing work, go check it out.

Today (sunday) I missed the first two speakers, Dean Gorissen and Beck Wheeler, who both have incredible work in their own way. Dean is quite commercial but incredibly refined and detailed, and Beck's work is innovative and quirky. I bought her children's book (below) which is just so fun.

Next was Barbara Kitallides from Pearl Creative, one of two illustrators' agencies in Melbourne. Interesting to hear her talk about what she looks for in a folio - more of a distinctive style than a diversity of styles, so that clients won't be 'surprised' at the outcome.

Then was an accountant talking about how to please the taxman but still have money for paint and brushes at the end of the day. never simple...

Lastly was a panel of people discussing the state of illustration in Australia, led by heavyweight australian illustrator Ned Culic. again the overarching theme seemed to be that you needed to have your own distinctive style, and once that is defined and unique, that becomes desirable, and I suppose, ultimately, successful.

So the whole weekend was extremely inspiring but at the same time has sent me into a total headspin and identity crisis about my own work. I feel like I need to enter into another stage of experimentation, as i did 2 years ago when I started this blog. (actually, Novemeber 8th is my blogaversary, perhaps I'll have to give it a cake.) Anyway, I think I reached a good point then with my style and have ridden that for a little while now, but I feel like it's time to take it to the next level.

so. deep breath. chin up. plunge.


Every year, Illustrators Australia has an exhibition called the 9x5, where each member is sent a piece of wood (that is 9" x 5") in the mail to paint, decorate, deface, etc., and then they are auctioned off. This is the first year I'm participating, and the theme is Connected.

here is my piece, acrylics and ink on wood.

and I must give credit where credit is due, the idea for this came totally and completely from my hubby. Thanks, A!