Well, now that I have a cover…

A few nights ago I sketched a little ghost story scene in my Moleskine and today I gave it a bit of colour, just for fun.

THEN, because I have this very long history in graphic design and well, once a designer always a designer, I couldn’t fight the urge to turn this newly coloured sketch into a book cover, just for fun.

All I have to do now is write the story! Ha.

In the meantime, I thought you might like to see the progression…




The stuff I do for fun.


Now that the wonderful madness of a book launch is over, and now that I have just (yesterday!) completed all artwork for the next picture book I am illustrating (called “Phil Pickle”, written by Kenny Herzog and published by Peter Pauper Press in the US) AND now that I have just (today) finished writing my very first 96 page lower middle grade book, I can relax a little and focus on some fun and quick personal illustrations before the next wave of work rolls in.

Usually in the evening, when I’m not working, I tend to scribble away in my sketchbook. I find it quite therapeutic and relaxing, especially this time of year when its cold and the heating is on. I get all cosy on the sofa and draw. Its wonderful!

And then because I like to see things finished, I usually pop the sketch into photoshop and give it a bit of colour.

Here a few I’ve done this week. Coloured version:
(click on images to enlarge)





And here they are as my cosy sofa sitting sketches:

greymonkeyKellyCanby greyFireplaceKellyCanby greysailorKellyCanby greyBeautifulKellyCanby

I’m pretty sure I can’t go a single day without drawing!

Alrighty, it’s time to get serious and down to business!

Some exciting things are happening soon.
One of those being that I have signed-up, registered, and paid for a three day children’s book writers/illustrators retreat with SCBWI.
That happens in June.
Three days on Rottnest  Island with children’s book writers and illustrators, I can’t even imagine the kind of fun (maybe chaos) a room full of people like this could create but I’m looking forward to it. Very much.

Thing is though, I have also signed up for a portfolio review on this retreat, by some fairly significant people in the industry too, and…I don’t yet have a portfolio!! Sure, I have my graphic design portfolio but, A) It’s probably a little old now and, B) It’s not really relevant, so scrap that. And sure, I have 365 illustrations I could pop into plastic sleeves and call a portfolio but, maybe only a very very small handful of those are actually even slightly near good enough for this kind of level. Nope, work now has to be great!

No pressure.

A bit of pressure.

Ok. Feeling some pressure!

But heads down, bums up and lets get stuff done.
What I’ve decided to do is start by going back through my Moleskine and picking out sketches that have potential, then basically, I’m just going to make them lovely…I hope.

Also, tonight I am making a chocolate, salted caramel birthday cake – unrelated but hey… CHOCOLATE and SALTED CARAMEL in a CAKE!

If it turns out good expect pictures and a recipe tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s my first “folio piece”…? Maybe? I think it could be.
I redrew and reworked and recoloured this one and I think I like it, I think it feels very children’s bookish.

(click on it to enlarge it, if you want)


You’ve seen something similar before, if you’ve been following my 365 project, but that was a quick, done-in-a-day version. This one I’ve been working on for three days and I’ve added all sorts of bits and pieces. Also, the previous version was all coloured digitally, this time around I hand painted most of it.

It’s amazing how many bits of paper it takes to make just one picture… ALL THESE!


Anyway, my first finished piece! What do you think of it…?

Day 365 of 365 illustrations

So, you guys, it’s all over!

This is it. Day 365.
Now I know I technically still have one more illustration to do as I started this project on a leap year, meaning there should be 366 illustrations, and I will do that 366th one, you can count on it, but it just feels right to make a big deal of Day 365, you know, given it’s a 365 project.

So tomorrow is just a bonus day.

Today, we celebrate!

I can hardly believe it’s here, to be honest. For a while it looked like a long loooong road ahead but then, all of a sudden, BOOM, three hundred and sixty five days. Just like that. Done. It’s been interesting looking back over all the illustrations, I can pretty much remember exactly what I was doing on the day I drew that days drawing and now I have a visual diary of my whole entire year. That’s quite cool, it’s been a year like no other.

For those of you who have been asking, “what’s next?!”, I say “more stuff!”… just not “more stuff” very single day. There will definitely be more stuff from me though. I have a head full of plans and ideas and dozens of sketches for this little book I have in mind. Maybe this years challenge is to get this baby published!

Actually. That is this years challenge.

So watch this space!

And with that, I give you, todays illustration.
You’ll have to pay attention to find it (or, them, there’s a few), as they’re embedded in a little thing I’ve created to fanfare my finale. Get the ticker tape ready…

Aaaaannnd ACTION! (press play on the video below ;-))



Now, before I get a little choked up, I just want to say a HUGE THANK YOU!
Thank you for the follows, for the comments, for the shares, for all of your wonderfulness.

It’s been lovely having so many of you join me for the ride xxx



Day 358 of 365 illustrations

First things first … a sneak peek!

I started colouring yesterdays illustration, I’ve only done a little bit so far but its looking kind of fun, I think. I have high hopes for this one.

And now todays illustration.

There’s actually two. Two little ones as I’m trying to fill up my Moleskine so that I can crack open the new one I got for christmas. Plus, colouring the one above took up most of the time I had for drawing today soooo, quick pencil sketches, thats what we’ve got!



I need to start thinking of a big way to end this project, only 7 days (plus 1 for the leap year) to go. WHAT will I do?!

Thinking caps, on.