Timeline - Some career highlights
Every freelance illustrator takes on a variety of jobs to survive, certainly initially, and I am no exception. Although all are noteworthy, to list every job and client would be as wearying to read as write, so here are just some that stood out for me.
- Studio Artist at Character Magic Ltd (see Bio)
- First freelance job: Tonka ‘The Best Christmas Tree Ever’. Client: Brown, Wells, and Jacobs Ltd; Publisher: Scholastic.
- Became a contributor to: Disney’s Princess Magazine. Client: Egmont Creative London; Disney’s Winnie The Pooh Magazine. Client: Ulkutay Design; Publisher: Egmont
- Various greetings card designs. Client: Camden Graphics
- Over this period I found myself increasingly full-time with Winnie The Pooh, with various books & regular contributions to periodicals. Clients included: Disney Publishing, Egmont, Pearson Education, Paul Windle Design, Ulkutay Design.
- Received Disney award! International interest for work on Winnie The Pooh followed. Client base expanded rapidly.
- Disney Classics: some background pencils for books of The Little Mermaid 2; Cinderella 2; Jungle Book 2. Client: Disney Publishing Worldwide, Burbank
2003 (to 2015)
- Principal artist on Winnie The Pooh Magazine. Approximately 160 issues over almost 13 years. Client: Egmont Creative
- Colour artist on the Brother Bear Storybook. Client: Character Building Studio for Disney Publishing Worldwide.
- Principal artist on new Classic Pooh publications, emulating the style of E.H. Shepard. My favourite titles from this period: 'The Magical Pop-Up World of Winnie-The-Pooh'; 'Four Seasons with Winnie-The-Pooh'; 'My Pooh Playhouse'; 'Hooray for Winnie-The-Pooh'; 'Winnie-The-Pooh and The Trouble with Bees'. Client: Egmont Books Ltd
- Provided artworks for two Classic Pooh style guides. Client: Disney Consumer Products EMEA
Other clients during this period included: Pearson Education; Parragon Books Ltd; Paul Windle Design; Doodlebug Design
2009 (to 2013)
- A collection of Young Readers Classic Pooh storybooks for America. My favourite titles from this period: 'Pooh's Clean Up' and 'Pooh's Snowy Day'. Client: Penguin Group (USA).
- Created an Artist Training for Classic Pooh (see Bio). Client: Disney Consumer Products EMEA
2012 (to 2015)
- Returned to the world of Disney princesses, providing pencils for a range of books supporting Disney TV Animation’s ‘Sofia the First’. Client: Character Building Studio for Disney Publishing Worldwide.
- Having enjoyed a good working relationship with the company since 2009, I was intrigued when Penguin (US) asked me to try out for something very different. I took on the role of Copy Artist for their popular children's title Ladybug Girl. As I say in the folio pages, it was a challenge - trying to draw exactly like someone else, but my varied experience and Disney training helped me produce art that fitted in.
Writing this reminds me that I've always progressed like that, accepting opportunities that put me out of my comfort zone. As a result, all are challenging (especially as, for me, there is only ever one standard i.e. the best I can do); but they enable me to grow as an artist, to work with some interesting people, and to survive during difficult times.
- I was asked by Disney Publishing Worldwide to design a new treatment for Disney's version of Winnie The Pooh. Their idea was to try and find a middle ground between the animated version and the original E.H.Shepard, or 'Classic', style. There could be a little flexibility with character models too. If successful, the plan was to create a new range of publishing in the world market. Sadly, although my work was received with enthusiasm, it was not given the green light, but it was a thrill to be asked to do something that might have had far reaching influence.
- January: Ladybug Girl 'I Love You Bingo'. Client: Penguin Random House (USA)
- May: An approach from Nickelodeon changed things up a little.
- September: The end of an era. As a result of declining circulation, new art creation for Winnie The Pooh Magazine came to an end. I continued to produce cover art, but interior pages were thereafter constructed from art pool. An all too common symptom of the post-recession marketplace. From my point of view it was an amazing 13 year run, working with some lovely people, but on to pastures new.
- October through December: Disney Classics. I pencilled books for Lion King, Bambi, Lady & The Tramp, Jungle Book, Monsters Inc, and of course Winnie The Pooh. Client: Character Building Studio for Disney Publishing Worldwide.
- December: Returned to Disney's 'Princess' Magazine as a story artist. Client: Egmont Creative.
- January through March: Pencils for Disney TV Animation properties 'Elena of Avalor' and 'Whisker Haven'. Client: Disney Publishing Worldwide.
- May: Commissioned to produce Copy Artist work for Rosemary Wells' Max & Ruby. Very different for me and fun stuff! Client: Penguin Random House (USA)
- June through December, varied commissions including:
Some colour art for Dreamworks' 'Trolls'. Client: Penguin Random House (USA)
A Disney Classics Baby range. Client: Parragon Books Ltd
Sofia the First - 'The Mystic Isles'; Winnie The Pooh - 'Frankenpooh' updating a great story concept for the loveable bear; Lion King - 'A Dark and Scar-y Night'; Beauty & the Beast & Tangled - 'Disney's 1000 Words'. Client: Character Building Studio for Disney Publishing Worldwide.
-June: 20 years as a freelance illustrator.
Watch this space…