Firstly welcome to my news and blog page!
My Story: This first post is about my journey to becoming an Author-Illustrator for Childrens Picture Books, how its unfolded to date and what drives my passion.
I hope you enjoy the posts. You can find me on Instagram and Facebook too, come and say hello. Here’s where you can find out about new artwork being created, latest updates, inspirations, and the odd picture of Peppi-Bella, my little panther of a black cat.
I’m creating my first children’s picture book, a book I see adults loving too. Over the last year it’s become clear alongside being an artist I’m an author-illustrator. I’ve written the story for the book and in process of illustrating it more storylines for further books have sprung through.
I like to see a project through thoroughly and its been a really interesting process learning how to storyboard, create characters and background imagery, and explore how the text will appear throughout the book. I studied some time ago Graphic Arts & Design BAHons at Leeds University. It was a liberal course to say the least and my work was bordering on a fine art direction. However when I look back I was creating stories, I printed a set of images and words onto dress making patterns via an architectural printer and made these into a dress, along with printed images onto a pair of shoes. They looked great, here was my first story.
Jumping forward a decade or so, I needed to downsize on my studio set up, I created a studio in the spare room at home. I decided to try working on a smaller scale which felt instinctively right. With it I had a desire to start creating child characters for a winter snow scene, a little girl came first, along with lots of wild animals, then a boy, from there the seed was planted. I waited for the story to come through and on my birthday last year, bingo out came the storyline. It’s increased momentum since, along with my own growing library of children’s picture books.
I’m passionate about letting children be children, especially in a world of increasing stresses. In the creative making for the book and other stories that have come through, theres been something about wanting my stories and images to support children’s natural wisdom, their sensitivity and enjoyment.
I’m also fan of mindfulness and reading a good children’s picture book cultivates similar qualities, its full of inspiration, nurture, has my full attention and I get a lovely feeling of spaciousness and calm when I read one, simply nothing better. I feel children and adults alike can benefit from regularly reading or being read a beautiful picture book.
My favourite picture books as a child were: “First Day Of The Holidays”, “Molly Mouse Goes Shopping” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”. I enjoyed reading and looking at the pictures again and again.
I look forward to sharing more with you as the story unfolds.
Winter warm wishes to you all, SOPHIA ☆
Artwork: "My Special Black Cat" mixed media © Sophia England