01st March 2010 I've been promising to update this website for almost as along as I can remember, but 'proper' work gets in the way. So, with that in mind, I've been thinking about starting a blog. I signed up for my blog about three years ago (!!?), and I've finally figured out how it works.....So, if you want to see more up-to-date artwork, how I do colouring-in and stuff, works in progress and find out what's going in the (not very exciting) world of Duddle, then CLICK, or follow the Blogspot link below!
25th September 2009 The Pirate Cruncher is finally here! Hoorah!
The book arrived on the slow boat from China and has finally arrived in the bookshops. Now available from all the big internet book stores, and hopefully your local, friendly book shop. Or direct from Templar's online shop. Just ignore the 3-star Amazon review and buy it!
interestingly Amazon messed up last week, and said the book was 'no longer available' the day before publication. I'd ordered a copy to send to a friend, and my order was cancelled and I've heard nothing since. So if you had already ordered through Amazon, and they cancelled your order for no good reason, please log on and buy it again! Or buy it from Waterstones or W.H.SMith! Or Borders! Or Templar! Or your local bookshop! Or anywhere you can find it! Go on, you know you want to....
To celebrate publication, I'm going to start a blog I signed up for a long, long time ago. There'll be some spreads from the 'Pirate Cruncher' coming first, so folk can have a look at the colouring-in before parting with any hard earned cash! And when I get a spare couple of hours away from work catch-up and nappies, there'll be various sketches and progress shots to show how the book gradually came together. And then when I get a few spare days, I'm going to a big update of this website to include all the illustration work I've completed in the last couple of years! I'll post a link very soon...
10th September 2009 A new mini-Duddle has arrived! Rosie Duddle arrived at almost exactly midday on the 10th September, weighing a rather teeny 6lb 13oz. Daisy chose the name because she heard it in the playground next door to the hospital. It's all gone a bit flowery in the Duddle household. Flowery and full of sticky nappies.
And I do own other shirts (see AOI Images entry below!), honestly.
1st September 2009 The original 'Pirate Muncher' has been chosen for the 'Spectrum' exhibition at the Society of Illustrators in New York! I'm so chuffed to get a piece of work in this show, which runs from September 1st to October 17th. My silly doodle is surrounded by the work of some of my heroes and inspirations and it's a real honour to be included.
I'd love to attend the private view on the 11th, but there's a new mini-Duddle due to arrive on the 10th! It's not really the done thing to jet off across the world the day after a new baby arrives, so I'll stay here and be a good Daddy. It's a busy month.....
The digital painting of 'The Pirate Muncher' was a development of an earlier sketch for an online contest, and was intended as a portfolio piece when I first went freelance. When I met the team at Templar I took along a few ideas for my first children's book, but they really wanted me to develop this piece into a story, hence the publication this month of 'The Pirate Cruncher'.
31st July 2009 Early last year I illustrated a book by Kate Thompson called 'Highway Robbery', published by The Bodley Head, an imprint of 'Kids at Random House'. The book was published in October 2008, and the illustrations were entered into the AOI's 'Images 33' competition. 'Images' is the UK's leading illustration competition, which every year publishes an annual and organises a touring exhibition. I was incredibly chuffed to win the Silver Award for Children's Books!
I was invited to the show's opening at the London College of Communication and was presented with a certificate by renowned illustrator Peter Till. All in all, a rather splendid evening!
25th July 2009 I've been a bit quiet online for the past six months or so. I've let my updates here slide again, but I've been rather busy! Amongst other illustration jobs, I've been working on two BIG jobs. A couple of months ago, I put the finishing touches to my first picture book, 'The Pirate Cruncher'. If you follow the link you may notice that Waterstones can't spell 'Jonny'. Hmmpf! And if you head over to Amazon you'll see the books is ranked 999,152 in Books! I didn't know that many books even existed!
As well as doing all of the colouring-in myself, I also wrote the book, and I'm very very very excited about the whole thing. The book will be published in late-August (or early September) by Templar, who were incredibly supportive while I toiled away, especially Mike Jolley, who art directed my doodlings, and Libby Hamilton, who edited my mumblings. I've got a set of proofs atop my drawing board, but I'm hoping to get hold of my first real-life page-turning copy this week, when I run some illustration workshops for children at Newcastle City Library. They're fresh off the press and being flown from China right now... I can't wait!!
And maintaining the pirate-y theme, I've been working part-time on a fantastic feature film project (since March 2008). It's always been a dream of mine to work on a movie, and watching a short news item on Brian Froud's designs for the Dark Crystal (when I was at primary school!) was one of the first memories I have of being truly inspired. So when Aardman Features invited me to work on some character designs for a movie project I was hugely excited. It started off as a few weeks' work, but I've been scribbling away for over a year developing characters for a stop-motion movie adaptation of Gideon Defoe's "Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists".
For anyone who's not read the book, try and grab a first edition while you still can. Gideon's pirates are a daft bunch of hopeless ham-lovers who stumble across a young Charles Darwin and astound the scientific community of Victorian London with a funny looking parrot. Gideon wrote the book to impress a girl, so he deserves everybody's support.
Working with Aardman has been a wonderful experience so far, watching my character designs turn into beautiful clay sculptures, and then become working puppets. I've learnt a huge amount in a relatively short time, thanks to the very clever folk at the Aardman studio. The movie is due for release in 2012, so it'll be a little while before I can show anything here......
So, going back to something I mentioned earlier, I'm going to be running four illustration workshops at Newcastle City Library next week (on the 30th and 31st July). The workshops are aimed at kids between 7 and 14 years old, and inspired by some work I did last Autumn for this year's Summer Reading Challenge.
These will be the first workshops I've ever done so I'm a bit nervous. I'll be waffling on about the work I've done in the past, how I do my colouring-in and what inspires me. The children will be doing some drawing and colouring-in on paper, and using the library's shiny new iMacs. I'll post some photos here, when I get back....
01st June 2009 There are two more 'Beastly Business' books on the shelves! A little while ago, Simon and Schuster released the third book, 'Bang Goes a Troll!', and this week sees the release of book four, 'The Jungle Vampire'.
As usual, they're a fun read, with monsters, action and gore, but I think that 'The Jungle Vampire' includes the best illustrations I've done for the series. I'll be working on the next one this Autumn. A few weeks ago, I also received some re-packaged copies from the USA, where the books 'Werewolf vs. Dragon' and 'Sea Monsters and Other Delicacies' have recently been published.