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Black illustration

This week the world has changed.

I’m ashamed to admit that although I know about discrimination and white privilege across all industries, it feels so huge that I’ve been complacent about doing or saying anything. This weeks events have shifted that and I can see now that even the smallest acts add to the whole system of change. And wow, things really need to change.

I’ve always been passionate about voting. Knowing that women died for my right to vote. I’ve made sure my daughters know how important it is too. There’s a lot of complacency around that too. People believe they are just one person and can’t make a difference. Of course that’s not true.

1%of all children’s picture books feature central characters who are black!

That’s and incredible statistic from a reputable source. One of the best posts I’ve found on this is this one by A Mighty Girl. She reviews and celebrates a huge number of really great picture books including these pictured above. You don’t have to look far, but you really do have to look for books with central characters who are black. They certainly don’t appear frequently on the bookshop shelves in Australia. It fact the above statistic is no doubt much much smaller here. Magabala Books is a wonderful publisher of books by indigenous authors and illustrators. Fremantle Press also have a wonderful selection of books by indiginous authors.

The illustration industry is no different.

Black illustrators are massively under represented. #drawingwhileblack is a fantastic celebration of black illustrators. In the field of textile and pattern illustration Spoonflower have a post from a few years ago celebrating their designers of colour. Here is Australia one of my favourite designer clothes stores Kablooie is owned and run by a hugely inspiring woman. If you’re looking for fabulously colourful clothing for women it’s truely amazing.

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Speech Pathology Children’s Book Awards 2018

I had some delightful news today. The short lists for the Speech Pathology Australia Children’s Book Awards 2018 is out. I was delighted to see my name on the  5-8 year olds list for ‘My Super Special Granny’, just a above Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton. Then I looked a little further down and there was my name again!  Horray!

A few hours later I looked through the 3 – 5 year olds list and there I am again! Wow, I need a lie down.

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Playtime!

I’ve had a day day of messing around and experimenting. I listened to a gorgeous podcast interview between Wil Anderson and Bryony Kimmings yesterday (Wilsophy). She said something fabulous about being an artist, something along the lines of not understanding why artists are so self important and claim that making art so so hard…..it’s not hard, it’s just playing and experimenting. Loved it.

So today I played and experimented, and it was totally appropriate because I had this to do for the Illustrators Australia 9×5 Exhibition titled ‘Playtime’

This was watered down acrylic and graphite on wood sealed with gloss varnish.
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Storytelling

This week I have been exploring a change in colour pallet and using pencil instead of ink for lines. I’m happy with the results. It’s also been Book Week in Australia and there’s been a flood of gorgeous pictures of kids dressing up as their favourite character.

These images are drawn directly from personal experience and memories. Some of my best memories are of holidays with my sisters. The other picture is a remake of a picture I did a while ago based on my eldest child love of climbing. She competes in rock-climbing now, but when she was younger a large tree in the back garden was her refuge when things got too hectic for her.

Storyteller

Storytime

Thumb Blister!

The 52 Week Illustration Challenge continues! I’m enjoying it so much and my books of pop-ups are growing every week. This is Week 29 ‘Love’   Week 3 ‘Retro’ The inspiration for this was 50s dress pattern covers. i’m not sure it’s very successful because it was hurried a bit. …