Pop-up Flashback – small book selection

The video shows pop-ups from the second children’s theatre production I co-created for Wordpepper which finished it’s final tour earlier this year. The show was presented by Half Moon Theatre in association with Apples and Snakes.

I made 19 pop-up books in total for the show, from very small to extremely large constructions which opened up to form the set. The video shows a small section of the smaller ones. These presented a type of illusion, being made to look like full books but often containing only one pop-up design to illustrate a moment in the show.

Stopsley Primary

First school of the year tomorrow at Stopsley Primary in Luton for a 2 and a half day project in pop-up book design.

Day 1 will consist of learning the basics. Each of the 3 Year 4 classes will learn techniques which they will then share between them before my next visit. Images show the ‘manual’ I’ll be leaving to guide them and to show the starting point for day 2 when we develop the books further.



Park Theatre Exhibition

IMG_5798smlGiven my work on two children’s theatre productions presented by Half Moon over the last 3 years it seems fitting that the current venue for my touring exhibition is also a theatre. Park Theatre in Finsbury park has kindly agreed to host the show for the month of December to coincide with their production of Rapunzel.

The other connection for me is that the pop-up books seem quite theatrical in their own way. Just like stage sets, all is not what it seems, the illusion can be broken by deconstructing the constructions or going behind the scenes.

Motor Mouse sp 05 forest

The work on show are examples of flat illustrations from the books or those pop-up spreads that can be easily merged.

The artwork is produced using a combination of traditional and digital media. Most start as pen and ink outline drawings which are then scanned and further developed in photoshop where the colour is also added. Because of this, the final artwork exists in digital form only.IMG_5801sml
What you see in the exhibition are signed and numbered archival prints, produced at the London Print Studio on 290gsm A2 Ilford Gallerie Pearl paper in editions of 25 using Epson Ultrachrome pigment inks.

The exhibition runs until 10 January 2016 and can be found in the theatre’s stalls and mezzanine corridors. All the prints are for sale.

Its magic big and small with side panels



What I like about Illustration Friday is that it gives me the chance to revisit some of my past work. This week’s word is ‘Treasure’. The picture shows, what else, artwork from pop-up picture book no.2, Pirate Treasure Hunt, published by Tango Books.

pirate treasure hunt cave

cave spread treasure

What the Thunder Said

Imain girl 01‘ve always wanted to try my hand at a theatre poster and was finally given the opportunity after a chance meeting with Alan Ward at the Museums at Night event in May. As a result of our brief encounter, Alan, from The Theatre Centre, asked me to design the poster for one of their upcoming productions.

What the Thunder Said, a new play by award-winning writer Ed Harris, is based on a series of conversations and workshops with children about violence in five inner-city areas. These children spoke as victims, witnesses and sometimes perpetrators.

As the play hadn’t been completed, I used a rough sketch supplied by Ed as my starting point. I also loved the line by one of the children, ‘Sasha gets so angry her skin, bones, hair, teeth and nails turn red’, and initially explored the idea of interpreting this literally. Superheroes and superpowers were also mentioned and influenced the use of the red around the girl as an expression of her anger.girl 09

I was aiming for the feel of a comic book or manga style to connect with the age group and the fairly limited palette was a result of this. A lot was decided through trial and error – I did like the way the people at The Theatre Centre took ownership of the design and took a very active part in the development of their poster.

The decision to make the child look upwards towards the clouds tended give it a slightly more realistic feel and there was the added challenge of making the girl angry and frustrated without looking ugly – we needed to feel sympathetic towards her. The finished drawing of the girl has a touch of the David Shrigley about it – especially the fists – which I think is good as it does gets across a nice a sense of awkwardness.

web flyer web with logo RGB

For more information on What the thunder Said, please go to the link:

what the thunder said