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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: studio, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 162
1. help! we need to find a new fleece station studio!

Hello, everyone! It's the Fleece Station here. We've had a wonderful six years working together in the Old Police Station in Deptford, but our lease is running out and we need to find a new space. We need a new studio and we were wondering if you could help us!

There are three of us (and Gary's dog), and we all write and illustrate children's books, and were wondering if you know of a space that has:

* natural light
* electricity
* good Internet
* a loo
* a sink or somewhere to get drinking water
* space for four work tables and some bookshelves and cabinets (250 square feet or more, ideally)
* warm enough for working in winter, or with the possibility of adding some extra insulation
* 24-hour access
* reasonable security

Ideally we'd love to be near other creative people working and some sort of communal space and/or shops and cafes nearby, possibly in Deptford (our top-choice location), New Cross, Lewisham, Greenwich, London Bridge, Maze Hill or Blackheath. We've run into a few places that don't want to host us because we're not fine artists and our work is commercial, so we're going to have to find a place that doesn't mind having us working in there most days as our main money-earning job.

We will probably need to move out by next November, but we thought we'd better start getting on some waiting lists, and we could move in sooner if a new place came up.

If you're reading this and haven't heard of us, here's Gary Northfield! His most recent books are Julius Zebra with Walker Books and Gary's Garden with David Fickling Books, but he's done loads of others, and created comic strips for The Beano and The Phoenix Comic, among others.

I'm Sarah McIntyre and my most recent books are Dinosaur Police with Scholastic UK, Pugs of the Frozen North, with Philip Reeve and Oxford University Press, and Jampires with David O'Connell and David Fickling Books.

And here's Elissa Elwick, who's working on the first of four Little Adventurers picture books for Walker Books with writer Philip Ardagh, and who previously published The Princess and the Sleep Stealer with Macmillan.

And here are the books we've worked on, mostly in our studio together. What we do in our studio is mostly drawing, painting, digital artwork, scanning, printing, storing our books and drinking lots of tea.

Gary and I have been joined by a few other studio mates in the past, including Viviane Schwarz, Lauren O'Farrell and Ellen Lindner. You can see a bit of Fleece Station history in this video from 2012, right before Elissa joined us.

We'd be very grateful for your leads, if you know of a space, or if you can spread the word to people who might know!

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2. Lights... camera... autocue?

I am setting up recording equipment at the studio so I can film clips now and then, to supplement the workshops I'm running with The Kraken Studio (That's our studio).
It's fun.

Here's the camera and the studio ipad...

...which is a remote and monitor now. There's a microphone, too, and some lighting, but most importantly...

A video posted by Viviane schwarz (@schwarzviv) on

...the autocue, which is pure ancient open source goodness - plus some duct tape.

Good thing I've been collecting assorted electronics for the studio over the last couple of years!

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3. #clouds #studio #nature (at 17th Avenue Studios)

#clouds #studio #nature (at 17th Avenue Studios)

Original post by Brian Bowes via Emergent Ideas: http://ift.tt/1Kaoji8

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4. Sewing Pop-Up Card 1351

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5. What it looks like after I’ve already culled 7 bags of...

What it looks like after I’ve already culled 7 bags of trash. #studio #cleanout

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6. Studio Crush: Hum Creative

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Recently, I had the pleasure of stumbling upon the work of Kate Harmer, and became an immediate fan. Kate Harmer is an incredibly accomplished designer, creative director and owner of Seattle-based boutique design studio, Hum CreativeHum Creative focuses on brand and identity development, but their services run the gamut of logo design, illustration, custom typography and more. The studio got its start back when Kate realized that her freelance career was getting to be a bit too much for one person to handle, only a few years after she had graduated from an MFA design program at RISD.

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One of my favorite aspects of this studio is their client base. You might recognize clients like Death Cab For Cutie, She & Him, B.J. Novak, 826 Seattle, Penguin Books, and more. Many of their clients are based in the Seattle area, and it’s obvious that Hum focuses on bolstering their local community.

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hum great idea

hum 4hum SLUBP_Cool


Find out more about Kate, the team, and all that Hum Creative has accomplished so far.

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7. “Considering” #pencil #Sketch #studio #watercolor...

“Considering” #pencil #Sketch #studio #watercolor #drawing (at 17th Avenue Studios)

Original post by Brian Bowes via Emergent Ideas: http://ift.tt/1a2UxkQ

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8. mystery drink taste test challenge

One of my favourite things about reading a book is getting to go on adventure to somewhere new and exciting. And sometimes I don't like the book and it turns out to be a bad adventure, but sometimes it's BRILLIANT, which makes it all worthwhile. But it's fun to have other kinds of adventures, particularly when I'm working flat-out (finishing Pugs of the Frozen North right now). My lovely studio mate Elissa Elwick sometimes pops down to the shops and asks if I want anything, and we got into the habit of her buying a 'Mystery Drink', something she was pretty sure I'd never tried before. So we've embarked on the Mystery Drink taste adventure tour (also known as 'McIntyre drinks it so you don't have to'.)

First up: sugar cane drink. Sweet, a bit bland. Moving on. Rating on a scale of 1-10: 3

Two more cold teas with writing on them that looks Chinese. Also drinkable, but it gets more exciting. Rating: 5

Oo, now what is THIS? I bought it from the drinks cabinet in a Chinese shop on Deptford High Street, but the small-print English reads 'Deluxe Grass Jelly Dessert'. It turned out to have bits of black jelly in it, a rather nice sweet-ish drink and CHICKPEAS, which is a surprising addition to any drink or a dessert.
Rating: 5

This weekend, Stuart got into the swing of things and helped me taste-test another 'Grass Jelly Drink'.

Hmm, no chickpeas. Stuart said 'It tastes like flat Coca-cola with bits in it'. He didn't mind it, but said he wouldn't buy it himself. I rather liked it, the taste was gentle and nice and the jelly bits made it like something you'd get at a children's party, but more grownup-tasting. Rating: 6

If you buy this one, I'd recommend pouring/chunking it out into a glass or bowl, as all the chunky bits sunk to the bottom and were hard to suck out of the can. (And no, it doesn't taste like Branston Pickle, even if it looks like that.)

I went out to the high street to forage the next Mystery Drink: 'Wuhe Flavour Milk Tea'. I wondered (on Twitter) what sort of flavour 'Wuhe' is, and Alan Wyle advised me that it's a actually a place in Taiwan. So I read up on it:

The famous tea in Wuhe is 'Honey Black Tea', it doesn't mean that you add honey into the black tea. The tea leave is bitten by a tiny 'tea leave hopper', the saliva of the hopper interact with the juice of the leave, cause a scent of honey flavor, hense its name.

And you know what, it's VERY NICE! Well done, little leaf hopper. A lovely subtle sweet flavour and a nice, cold, full-bodied drink. Love this one. I think when you drink it, you're supposed to say 'WU-HEY!'. Rating: 8

Now apparently 'Mauby' is a Thing, but I wouldn't have known this unless I'd tried it and then followed the #mauby hash tag on Twitter. Right at the start, the taste was okay, but a split second later, the most horrible bitter aftertaste hit me and bizarrely, the only way to kill the taste was to keep drinking. But it was a very unpleasant experience. Rating: 2

Here's someone else's experience of Mauby:

Last up: Irish Moss (with oats). I think this was the strangest one. I thought the 'moss' would be something like the seaweed that's in McDonald's milkshakes, where it's just part of the consistency but you can't actually taste it. It would be a nice drink - sort of a thick, cold chai latte - except it has overtones of, well... dirt. You know that slightly unpleasant smell that hits you when you walk into a garden centre? Well, this is like drinking that smell. I don't get it.

But I made myself drink the whole can, just to see if the taste would improve. It didn't, but about fifteen minutes later, suddenly I felt VERY FULL. THEN I got it. This drink fills you up.

And then John Allison tweeted a video at me that he's seen on The Real McCoy on BBC2, and apparently Irish Moss helps with other things, too. ...Eek! Rating: 3 (but 8 for interest factor).

So thank you for coming on the Mystery Drink taste testing adventure with me. If you come across an unknown drink and want to share your taste test experience, tweet photos of it with the #MysteryDrink hash tag and let us know what you think. Or make a mini comic about it!

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9. A studio portrait...

It was fun having a bunch of my fictional illustration buddies drop by the studio. So I captured the event on film... lol!

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10. Tuesday - A Week in the Artist Studio

Monday officially sets the week in motion, and by Tuesday, I feel like I can best determine what kind of week it's going to be. Granted, things unexpected always happen, but this week Norah has a cold, which means a lot of play and a lot of snuggles. I need to keep my to do list simple and not expect to get everything done.

If she has a cold, I'm not too far from one, so self care (napping when she naps, eating well, etc) is just as important for me too.

Today I'm excited because I get to paint three lovely ladies sipping tea. I was going to do coffee (since I'm a coffee fanatic), but I wouldn't have been able to draw the wee tea flags that I adore so much. ^_^

Tuesdays are a day for creating. I do my best to reserve this day for painting or drawing. Sometimes if I am able, I will paint or draw Monday night to gear me up for Tuesday. Somehow that works for me.

Last night I was able to put 4 hours in (!!!) and got some Christmas art finished, and today is the reward by painting something fresh and new!

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11. Wednesday - In the Artist Studio

Made it to the middle of the week, and we're all still alive! Norah is getting some rest, and hubby stayed home, now sick too. Thankfully, I still haven't been hit with it, just a scratchy throat and runny nose..... allergies?

Wednesdays I try to make into web work days and painting if I can squeeze it in. I work on my Etsy shop if it needs attention, my personal website, and the Iowa Watercolor Society website...which I volunteer my time to do.

Today it was updating my Etsy shipping profiles to now allow calculated shipping costs. Yay! I really hate over charging people for shipping, and now I don't have to worry. Thank you Etsy.

I have also discovered today that I may need to invest in covered trash baskets.  >_<

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12. All Done!

The art for The Story I’ll Tell is finally done (!) and now in the hands Lee & Low books. It was an exhausting April because I insisted on re-painting several pages that I had already finished in order to improve them. (Changes, in watercolor world, often mean re-doing the whole thing.) Eventually, though, I had to call it quits and just send it off.


Apparently the kitten wishes to be shipped as well.

I can’t wait to see how it will look when it’s all done. So far I’ve seen a preview of the jacket design and couldn’t be more excited to share it with you. Soon… soon.

Even though I don’t have any art to show you now, I do have some fun photos!

First off, the studio. Here’s where the magic happens. I only have the one desk, so I move the drawing board and put the computer there if I’m scanning stuff or doing things online. The board on the wall (far left) is blank now, but it usually holds the book’s latest thumbnails so I can see the whole project at a glance. I update the bulletin boards often for inspiration and reference. The large format scanner is a brand new addition. I feel so professional! (Compare to my studio setup five years ago, which involved a travel watercolor set, a folding camping table, and a hand-me-down PowerBook from 2002. And no scanner whatsoever–I took photos of my paintings back then with a crappy old digital camera.)


The studio, looking tidier than usual.

Sometimes I think that thumbnail drawings are the most important part of the process. They don’t look like much and most of them end up in the reject pile, but that’s where it all starts. I love to draw these while sitting at a cafe.


Too many to fit in the frame.

I make my own dummies at various stages of the process to see how it’s flowing with the page turn.


The cat finds the dummies amusing.

More info about the project should be available soon. I’ll keep ya posted.

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13. High-Res Scanning - Grappling a Monster

Yes, it's definitely a bit of a monster, scanning all the artwork which I have selected from my archive of sketchbooks. I haven't counted how many individual sketches I have picked out to go into my urban sketching people book, but it's quite enough to keep John and I busy.

Originally, we had thought that John would do all the scanning for me, but I am working on the computer so much at the moment that he's having trouble getting sufficient time on the scanner. 

So we tried a bit of teamwork this week, which really speeded things up. I found the low res version of each of the images on the computer, which was tagged with a reference number to remind me which sketchbook it was in, then John ferreted through the sketchbook piles to find the right book...

...then he flicked through the book to find the sketch. We had marked the possibles with post-its right back at the beginning of the project, so that helped too:

John held the sketchbook down flat on the scanner bed for me, while I set the scan parameters, then saved and filed the final file, while he was trying to find the next one in the sketchbook piles. All very dull, but it's got to be done (and over 400 times...).

Then of course, I still had to spend a while on each of the images later, correcting the tonal balance and touching up anomalies, like unwanted marks which had transferred from the opposite page or other sketches showing through from the reverse. I also have to get rid of unwanted text  - my publisher is keen to remove any text that is not essential, so it doesn't create problems with co-editions.

We've made a fair old hole in the job now and I feel much better for it. I was originally going to wait until all the layouts were back, so I would know for certain that all the sketches I have chosen are in fact going into the book. It's possible that, by doing the scanning early, we have scanned some artwork unnecessarily, but I was getting a bit concerned, as time is passing and the deadline is looming. It's one of those tasks - very hard to know if you've allowed enough time for it, because it's impossible to judge how long you'll need. At least this way, hopefully I won't get caught out!

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14. How an #ink #drawing starts. #Sketch #studio #bookart (at 17th...

0 Comments on How an #ink #drawing starts. #Sketch #studio #bookart (at 17th... as of 5/24/2015 3:05:00 PM
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15. How an #ink #drawing starts. #Sketch #studio #bookart (at 17th...

How an #ink #drawing starts. #Sketch #studio #bookart (at 17th Avenue Studios)

Original post by Brian Bowes via Emergent Ideas: http://ift.tt/1KfhZrP

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16. My Furry Companion is Back!

No, I don't mean John (who is actually getting less furry every year, though don't tell him I said that), but Maddy, my friend's cat. We have been 'babysitting' her for years, including on the occasion of my friend's honeymoon, when Maddy nearly plunged to her death by trying to jump out of the velux in the studio. I only just grabbed her back legs in time.

These days she is a very old lady, so is far less trouble. She is not above stealing my chair as soon as I get up to make a cuppa though:

Even though she just sleeps all day, it's kind of nice to have her in the room with me. I do miss having an animal, but John and I are too keen on gadding about, so it wouldn't be fair. 

Our friends all know we are a soft touch with pets though, so don't need much persuading to act as kennels. One friend got stuck in temporary accommodation some years back, so we had her two cats for months. That turned into quite a challenge: poor Clyde expressed his disorientation in pee, on almost every carpet in the house. I expressed my feelings about this in an illustration:

We did have our own cat once. We stole Smudge from a neighbour. Well, not quite literally, but she came into our house more and more, so we put a collar on her with a message, asking who owned her. The man round the corner turned out to be allergic to cats (Smudge had been his wife's, who had moved to Ireland), so he was very pleased to officially hand Smudge over.

Unfortunately she wasn't an ideal addition to the studio. She once nearly ruined one of my pastel illustrations, by jumping up on my desk. I think Maddy's days of leaping across the room are behind her, so that's reassuring.

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17. More inky beginnings! #studio #bookart #Sketch #drawing #ink...

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18. More inky beginnings! #studio #bookart #Sketch #drawing #ink...

More inky beginnings! #studio #bookart #Sketch #drawing #ink #illustration #poetry #bordercollie #dog (at 17th Avenue Studios)

Original post by Brian Bowes via Emergent Ideas: http://ift.tt/1G9HRYz

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19. We are starting early, and we’re starting with cookies....

We are starting early, and we’re starting with cookies. #LifeIsShort #studio (at 17th Avenue Studios)

Original post by Brian Bowes via Emergent Ideas: http://ift.tt/1A10Sme

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20. StrawberryLuna studio : a dynamic duo

Post by Jeanine

StrawberryLuna_IF_01 StrawberryLuna_IF_02



I’ve been a long time fan of the super talented design, illustration, and printmaking team known as Strawberry Luna. My art crush on this husband-wife studio might have a little to do with the fact that some of my favorite rock bands are among their impressive client list. And because they hand pull their beautiful silkscreens the super old-fashioned way. Or, because they hail from my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. But, mostly I just am in love with their distinctive and smart graphic style! Best known for their silkscreen prints and posters, they also work on custom illustration and design projects including CD & vinyl packaging,web-ready icons, t-shirt designs, and logos & identity packages.

Their impressive client list includes Belle and Sebastion, Camera Obscura, Andrew Bird, Feist, Bright Eyes, Death Cab for Cutie and many, many more.

It was hard to choose just a few favorite pieces to share, so be sure to stop by their website and Etsy shop to see more!

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21. Holy Ghost Cats! Progress on The Boyler Kat. #cat #comics #ink...

Holy Ghost Cats! Progress on The Boyler Kat. #cat #comics #ink #studio #illustration (at 17th Avenue Studios)

Original post by Brian Bowes via Emergent Ideas: http://ift.tt/1GFLgNH

0 Comments on Holy Ghost Cats! Progress on The Boyler Kat. #cat #comics #ink... as of 3/11/2015 4:10:00 PM
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22. How to Make 35 Concertina Sketchbooks!

Although my residency doesn't start until the autumn, I wanted to get the sketchbooks made well in advance, in case of difficulties. So, a couple of weeks ago, a HUGE roll of watercolour paper arrived in the post. It was 10m long and over 1.5m wide: a bit of a nightmare to manoeuvre, but perfect for making concertina books, as you don't need any joins (usually the trickiest bit).

This morning we got stuck in!

We had to pull a 6ft table up alongside my work bench, just to have somewhere big enough to cope with rolling the paper out so we could work with it. Everything had to be scrupulously clean too - another nightmare.

I had worked out that I would get 7 sketchbooks out of the roll's width, each a max of 2m long (so they would not be too unwieldy to exhibit at the university, when I'm done at the end of the residency). Given the roll's 10m length, that meant 5 sets of 7, so 35 books in total.

I decided to cut a couple of the 2m lengths from the roll first, to make things more manageable. I had intended to get the lighter weight paper I usually work on, but at the last minute went for the 140lb instead, so the finished lengths will be more sturdy. Trouble is, that weight means the paper is really springy, so absolutely everything was a two-man job. Thank goodness for John!

I thought long and hard about the order of things and realised that it made sense to do all the scoring (for the folds) before cutting the paper into the separate books. That way I could score across all 7 books at the same time, with only one lot of measuring. The books are going to be 14cm x 21.5cm, but you only need scores for alternate folds (because the folds go in 2 different directions), so we began by measuring out 28cm intervals down each of the 2m lengths.

The book-binder's devise I used on my last sketchbook experiment seemed a bit thick to be accurate enough for a long concertina (where any errors quickly multiply), so I sanded the sharpness off a bamboo pen, which was perfect. We didn't have a ruler long enough to straddle the complete 1.5m width, but John dug out a really long spirit level: 

That too needed a jolly good wash but, once clean enough, it saved a lot of time at the scoring stage, as we only had to measure up each edge of the paper and not in the middle too.

I had tried to use the spirit-level as a straight-edge for cutting across the width, but that was a BIG MISTAKE. It's depth interfered with the handle of the knife and so I have one rather raggedy cut, before I realised the problem. Ah well - it's a learning process.

Next job was to mark the width with the 12.5cm intervals, ready to cut the paper into strips for the separate books. It would have been really easy to mis-measure, so again I was glad to have my man-servant with me, double-checking as we went along. I was still rather nervous when I actually began cutting: 

We had to get 3 separate cutting mats lined up along the bench, because of the ridiculous size of the paper. It worked a treat though. By mid afternoon, we had curls of watercolour paper perched all over the studio, ready for folding:

I worked down the length of each book, folding at the scored lines we had created every 28cm: 

I lined up the in-between folds by eye, working without pre-measured scores, so that I could try and make sure the concertina didn't wander too far off square: 

The thicker paper took a bit more man-handling and got chunky quite quickly, which was another reason I limited the length to 2m: 14 'pages' of 14cm. 300gsm paper certainly has very strong opinions of its own, so the experience was a bit like wrestling an octopus at times. The folded books are still pretty springy and rather keen to explode - I have put them under heavy books to see if that tames them at all.

So that's the papers for 14 books done so far. I'll tackle another batch tomorrow, while I remember how we did it (and while the studio is clean). Although I must also get on with my book. Eek!

Plus I also have to make a cover for the sketchbooks. Instead of individual covers for each book, which would take ages, I was given a great idea by my sketch-buddy Lucie Golton: a detachable cover which you use again and again. She made me one as a present a while back, so I can copy her system. Thanks so much Lucie! 

I'll take some pictures as I make the cover, as well as showing you the finished item, but that's for next time.

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23. Concertina Sketchbooks: the Clever Details

I have now finished my 35 sketchbooks, ready for my residency at Manchester's Morgan Centre. I don't know if anyone out there is going to have a go at making the books for themselves, but in case you are, here's the final stage of the process.

The cover is more or less done, but two things are missing - we need the card insert, to hold the paper concertinas we created in place, and we need a way of fastening the book closed, because the paper will try to escape and inevitably unravel itself in the most inconvenient places you can imagine.

The insert is very straight forward. I bought a pack of A4 black card from WH Smith, 240g, which was perfect. The insert width needs to be approx 10mm narrower than your back cover board. The height, needs an excess of 30 - 40mm to fold over, both top and bottom. The centre between the folds should measure 5mm more than your concertina-paper height (which should also be about 10mm less than the height of the book cover). Score the excess and fold (gently, rather than tightly):

Test that this does in fact sit neatly into your back cover (I made lots of measuring errors during the course of making the books - it's best to double-check everything).

I tried using double-sided tape to stick the insert into the book at first. I figured that it would be less messy than PVA when trying to position the folded card, but it started to peel up after just a couple of hours, so I went back to PVA. 

I glued the top flap first, positioned it (folded under) on the inside back cover - 5mm from the top and outside edge - then put it under a couple of books to dry (squeeze out and wipe any excess glue first!)

I did the bottom flap once the top was secure. One trick: I was aware of the potential for excess glue to squeeze out underneath at this stage, unseen, and accidentally glue the insert shut, so I slipped a strip of waste card in between, before pressing the glued flap down. 

Again, put books on top to dry, or it springs up.

The end of the concertina-paper can now be slipped under the card and slipped out again when you want to replace your paper. Ingeniously simple solution for refills. I can't take the credit I'm afraid: my clever friend Lucie Golton designed it.

Many people use ribbon to fasten books. I didn't want to drill holes in the cover through, as it acts as a mini drawing board when I am using the book, so I wanted it unsullied. John came up with the Velcro system. I was going to buy Velcro tape, then discovered these nifty little guys:

Perfect. You pop one fuzzy spot onto the book, back and front, then attach the loopy halves onto a short strap, which I made from vinyl to match the spine. 

I just cut a piece of vinyl twice as wide as needed and 10mm longer each end, cut across the corners, then folded it in on itself, using PVA again. 

The beauty of the Velcro is that, when the book is in use, if the unfastened strap gets in the way, you can detach it and stick it back on at 90 degrees. You don't lose it, but it doesn't keep flapping and springing around the edges your paper.

If you found this project useful and want to check out other handy posts, try using the Hot Tips label on the right. I add the label to anything I think might be helpful to other people. It's a bit of a mix, with other ways of home-binding sketchbooks, but also tips for building up an illustration folio, how to do a school visit, create a 'Flat Plan' to plan out a book, or how to use  / where to buy particular art materials. All sorts. 

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24. ardagh & elwick: the secret is out!!!

So FINALLY we're allowed to share the exciting news!!! Guess which amazing duo are combining forces and BURSTING into children's book publishing as a duo!!?!!

You may have spotted photos from our studio and guessed already that SOMETHING IS UP...

Yes, PHILIP ARDAGH and ELISSA ELWICK have a four-book picture book deal with Walker Books! They'll be called 'Little Adventurers' and they're already working on the first one, due to come out in June 2016.

Here's what Philip says about working together:

I'm really enjoying working with Elissa on Little Adventurers because it's such a collaborative process. Being a children's book author can be a lonely business. I began my professional writing career in an advertising agency, partnered with an art director. When I write for radio I work with producer, engineer and actors. The same for TV. You're one of a team. With my previous books, I've enjoyed working with my illustrators but they've joined the process late in the day. The words have been written, the story complete. With Little Adventurers - the basic premise of which was Elissa's in the first place - we're forever exploring ideas, reshaping, and playing around with text and pictures.

The line between writer and illustrater is blurred. We're both interested in pictures and words. And - with additional input from Deirdre and Maria in editorial and Jack in design at Walker Books - we're coming up with something none of us could have created on our own. And, on days I'm working in the Fleece Station, Elissa makes us nice lunches. What's NOT to love about our Little Adventurers collaboration?

Edit: Look! Just tweeted in from the Bologna Book Fair by lovely writer Lucy Coats! By Charlotte Eyre in the Bologna daily version of The Bookseller (with a mention of the then-secretly-titled RAILHEAD by Reeve). Oh, and here's a link to the Book Trade announcement!

I'm proud to say that I was there at Elissa and Philip's very first meeting, at the Discover Story Centre in Stratford, east London. Philip was in his usual fine form, photo-bombing his heart out. And yup, there's Elissa!

I asked Elissa how they kept in touch, and decided that working with this VERY SILLY MAN might be a good idea:

BECAUSE HE WAS SO ODD! His imagination comes spilling out! We kept in touch over Twitter and he'd occasionally throw out ideas for existing characters I had and our working collaboration kind of stemmed from there.

So what's your background, Elissa? I heard you were once a champion skateboarder!

ALL LIES! It wasn't very long, I managed to blag myself some sponsorship for a little while when I lived in Northampton. But when I went to uni, I got way more into drawing and now my skateboard collects dust. I studied BA Illustration at Bournemouth and my first picture book deal was with Macmillan, The Princess and the Sleep Stealer. I also worked as Resident Storyteller and bookseller at an indie bookshop in Clapham called Under the Greenwood Tree. That was a great experience because I got to learn about the children's book industry from the other side of the counter.

What medium you use to make your pictures?

I use a mixture of pencil, watercolours and my computer. It's been so much fun bringing the Little Adventurers to life. Here are some early sketches.

Ardagh & Elwick will be working with editor Maria Tunney and designer Jack Noel. In the run up to Bologna Children's Book Fair, she was on the phone with Jack, and I managed to get a few words with him, to ask what they liked so much about Elissa's work:

I love Elissa's work because she makes everything look adorable; she creates her own sweet world. She's created these four characters and it's really nice, the relationships between them.

Gary Northfield and I love having Elissa in the studio, she's always up for a laugh and a cup of tea (and doesn't get upset when I accidentally eat all her biscuits). Here we are at the launch of Gary's Garden, both wearing themed Chompy-the-caterpillar clothes:

Philip's already quite active with our studio: I worked together with him on the Discover Storycloud project and he wrote a nice quote for the front of Gary's new book, Julius Zebra (also with Walker Books).

Here's Elissa at her desk in the studio. When she's done a good run of work, she rewards herself by watching a short animation. (And here, with homemade pot noodles.)

It won't be so much of a secret, they've already been seen about town together and posting photos of themselves with SLEBS:

So Elissa, this seems like an amazing prospect! But what will be one of your greatest challenges, working together?


You can follow Elissa on Instagram at @elissaelwick on Twitter, also as @ElissaElwick, and check out her website, elissaelwick.co.uk.

And Philip on Instagram - @philipardagh - and Twitter - @PhilipArdagh.
So keep an eye out, this team is set to pull off some pretty amazing stuff...

Be sure to check out their new joint blog!

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