Some more of my character designs, for the king of hearts and a card soldier. The group wanted the king to be tall and thin, with grey hair and a long beard. You can’t see this very clearly on the courtroom image due to his position in the scene, so I thought I would show him here too.

This is another of my favourite scenes. I have made this one a little more chaotic, I thought it would be fun to have the accused thief the knave of hearts sneaking away and one of the animals stealing a tart, both taking advantage of the queen being distracted by Alice.

This is a design created by one of the group at the workshop, showing how the cards running to capture Alice could start turning into leaves as she wakes up on the river bank.

Alice waking up. I couldn’t resist adding the blue caterpillar again hiding in her apron pocket. I liked the idea of a bit of wonderland still being with her after she had woken up.

Each image on this scene is printed out on a separate piece of A4 paper, which will then be stuck on a wall inside each library and arranged into the scene above.
After the children have followed the images of Alice in Wonderland around a trail within the library they will get to this scene. They will then take part in an activity where they can colour in a card soldier template to cut out and add to the scene, then colour one of the white roses on the bushes red to help their card before the queen arrives.

This is my design to decorate an owl sculpture for the Big Hoot, a large scale art event on the streets of Birmingham in 2015.
I started by researching things to do with Birmingham. I had no idea just how many interesting things were connected to the city, or how many inventions were created there. I ended up with quite a long list, and didn't really want to leave any out. The postage stamp was invented in Birmingham and covering my owl in stamps gave me the perfect excuse to include them all!

I worked on decorating my owl at home, in my living room. I got used to having him about and had a bit of empty nest syndrome once he was taken away.
These are some photos of work in progress. There's a very big difference between an A4 drawing and painting onto a 3D owl that's bigger than you are, so it took a bit of planning, working out the stamp sizes and where to place them. Also the A4 template just had a front and a back, but the real owl had sides too so I got to add a few extra stamps. This was a lovely project to work on and I'd happily do another one.

And here he is!
The stamps on this side are:
Birmingham Sea life centre had Olive the psychic octopus (I think she was inspired by Paul the octopus that predicted the world cup scores).

Birmingham also has an International Military Tattoo (that the little owl stamp is dressed up for).

The other owl is dressed as Sherlock Holmes as Arthur Conan Doyle lived here when he had his first work published.

The wizard is there as the writer of Lord of the rings JRR Tolkien spent his childhood here.

Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park has Capybaras (I love these giant guinea pigs).

The satellite dish is there as a key component of radar was created here.

What big eyes he has.......all the better to see you with!

My owl has a canal boat on his head as Birmingham is also known as 'canal city' (it has more canals than Venice)

The top one on the side is a sculpture at Moseley Bog, a place that is said to have inspired the Old Forest in Lord of the Rings
You can find the Emperor Monkey at Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park too (who could resist a monkey with a moustache?!)
Birmingham's Castle Bromwich factory produced over 10,000 Spitfires, including the one at the Thinktank science museum.

Two great bands from Birmingham, Dexys Midnight Runners and Black Sabbath (I had 'Come on Eileen' as an earworm for sometime painting this).

There used to be a King Kong statue outside the old bull ring shopping centre, he looked great from the photos of him I've seen, so I had to include him.

Did you know there is a crater on the moon called Birmingham?

Novacon is an annual science fiction convention that started in Birmingham in 1971 (I'm sure a dalek must've attended at some point)

To me the bull statue at the new bull ring centre looks a bit miffed. I think he gets a bit tired of all the tourists wanting to have their picture taken with him, but it's his own fault for looking so great.

The tower at the bottom is Perrott's Folly, which JRR Tolkien lived near as a child and said it inspired his novels (it isn't actually white, that was a bit of artistic licence on my part-you could say the magical lightening flashes are turning it white).

The first x-ray was taken in Birmingham too.

Birmingham planetarium is definitely worth a visit.

The University of Birmingham has a robotics laboratory, you can also see some great robots at the Thinktank science museum.

This lizard is a Blue-Tongued Skink (one of the best names I've ever heard so I had to include it just for that), it lives at Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park

I was very happy to get my copy of this book, it’s my first book for DK Books that I have been the sole illustrator for which was exciting!

For this commission I worked with another great senior designer, Hannah Moore. Hannah would give me a brief for the illustrations she wanted and then she added the photos and the text. I really like the way she added the photos of the veg underneath on this one.

I'm quite fond of these little bouncy olives

Keeping the illustrations very simple, with any people drawn in a childlike style, was key for this project. It was also good practice for me in drawing in a freer, doodling way.

I loved how playful and inventive Hannah was in adding the photos, the broccoli trees are brilliant (I do love broccoli though so I might be slightly biased)