"I feel like everyone should know about Beijing Tai Tai... it's the
Eat Pray Love
for mothers." - author Dee White

Thursday, 18 December 2014

#illo52weeks - Week 52: FIREWORKS

watercolour and fine liner

The end to an absolutely incredible year--the 52-Week Illustration Challenge for 2014--has ended with a bang ... FIREWORKS!

I don't even know what to say about the Challenge and this phenomenally creative year.

What started with this ...

Week 1: EGGS

... and a desire to reconnect with my art, became a life-changing experience. My latent drawing skills have improved exponentially this year, proving that practice really is a phenomenal skill-building tool. And I'm now closer than ever to my dream of illustrating some of my own books.

But my illustrating is only one thing. There's more.

When I first wrote about this self-challenge on my blog, I never, in a kabillion years, expected it to become more than a little art project--mostly on my lonesome, maybe with two or three author/illustrator friends joining in.

When a friend suggested I create a Facebook group--well, the rest is history. The Challenge is now a phenomenally supportive creative community that has forged true friendships, collaborations, working opportunities ... and it's even changed lives.

The group now has over 2.5K contributing members, an admin team of 12 and has enjoyed countless local and international artistic opportunities. Contracts have been signed, art has been exhibited, books are in the works (including my book with Jess Racklyeft--Smile Cry--out 2016), people have left full time work to create full time, and we'll even be exhibiting in Perth (with Arts Brookfield) in March 2015. Learn more about this here.

Our Challenge Blog features weekly picks, fabulous tutorials from amazing artists, and a series of testimonials (put together by the amazing Nicky Johnston) that will have you either reaching for the tissues or running for your paintbox, busting with inspiration.

And the very best news of all is that the Challenge will run again in 2015, with our new themes, chosen by members, right here.

I want to thank my amazing admin team who have become dear friends--these amazing women have so much dedication and talent--it makes my head reel. My partner in creativity--Nicky Johnston, and also these amazing girls--most of whom I never knew before the Challenge began ... Natalie Daniel, Odette Teerink, Leonie Cheetham, Heidi Cooper, Penny Fisher, Jess Racklyeft, Lisa-Marie Kerr, Sally Fawcett, Sophie Pittaway and Patricia Ward. It's been a joy getting to know these girls and I so look forward to our future together!

I also want to thank two very special girls--Dee White and Sheryl Gwyther--for inspiring me to return to my art. It's been a very long time since I picked up a paint brush and the joy it's brought me is indescribable. I feel like my entire world has changed and I'm so excited about the impossibly shiny future--doing what I love.

I hope you, dear reader, can do the same.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

An Aussie Year wins ACT Writing and Publishing Award for Children's Book

with my beautiful Ella

So happy to share some news--An Aussie Year has won the ACT Writers Centre Writing and Publishing Awards for children's book!

This was a true labour of love, and the first picture book I worked on with my darling friend Tina Snerling. I'm so proud of this book!

Thank you, ACT Writers Centre, and EK Books and Anouska and Tina. I'd like to thank my mum... my family... my friends...




Saturday, 13 December 2014

Friday, 12 December 2014

Highly Commended for Picture Book Illustration


I was absolutely thrilled to learn I've received a Highly Commended nod for illustrations for my picture book When I Was Little. This is for the Australian Society of Authors' Emerging Illustrator Mentorships and in fact, I was the only person to receive an award for picture book illustration.

Illustrating my own picture books has been a lifelong dream. It's all quite surreal--and means the world to me because it's confirmation I'm heading in the right direction.

Thank you, ASA!

#illo52weeks - Week 48: FOX

watercolour, white pen and fine liner

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

An Aussie Year Shortlisted for the ACT Writing and Publishing Awards 2014

So excited to see An Aussie Year receive this shortlisting nod for the ACT Writers Centre's Writing and Publishing Awards 2014. Winners will be announced at the Christmas party on Tuesday 16 December, so fingers crossed! Good luck to my colleagues Joy and Maree, too!

#illo52weeks - Week 46: CIRCUS

watercolour and fine liner


Sunday, 7 December 2014

Tickle the Imagination Issue December 2014 - out now!


Tickle the Imagination magazine December issue is out now! You'll love it. Make sure you check out my Bookshelf.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Professional Development Workshops with SCBWI


Super excited to be running two SCBWI professional development workshops in Perth next March. I'll be in town for the 52-Week Illustration Challenge exhibition at Brookfield Place, and will be running two special events ...

Book Marketing and Self-Promotion
Saturday 7 March, 1:15pm – 5:15pm


To Self-Publish or Not Self-Publish
Sunday 08 March, 10:15am – 12:15pm

Both will be held in the Geographe Room at the State Library of WA, 25 Francis Street, Perth.

You can learn more about what's involved right here. Hope to see you!
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