Running to the finish line of a book illustration

I’m  on the countdown , nearing the finishing line and hurtling up the home straits – yep I’m finally getting closer to completing the illustrations for my FIRST EVER  book illustration commission – ‘Jessie and the Scaredy Cat Brain ” by the lovely  Dr Allison Waters .

“Jessie ” is a book about a girl with anxiety . It’s going to be used by Dr Waters in her research and therapy to help children with anxiety . Which is just beautiful .

 

 

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In fact , little anxious Jessie, her Scaredy Cat Brain and Happy Cat Brain  have become buddies of mine .

I have to say though , they’ve  at times gotten up my nose and , indeed caused me , their artist designer , to want to say very unkind inappropriate things to them when they have raised my levels of anxiety when the little darlings have refused to sit still long enough for me draw them in a different pose, or when they don’t seem to want stay around long enough for me to find a way of positioning them on the page  .. but they are pretty annoyingly cute and endearing at the same time . I love them . I do . Really .

But , even though this project is drawing to a close , some late nights of work in the art studio are still to be had .

Lets just hope I don’t have to foster out Jessie and her feline friends before I finish .

Orrrrr…..

 

 

Love to all

Sandy

Swings

When I was a kid , I wanted to fly .

I mean , literally , FLY

Like  in the sky , kind of fly

Not in an aeroplane .

Not with wings , like a fairy .

But basically kind of take off , from the ground and , well , soar , up into the blue yonder .

I took to running down the ginormous grassy hills in my school playground , arms stretched out , optimistically waiting for my little legs to lift off .

News Flash :

It didn’t work .

So , the next best thing, was to go on the awesomely huge and cool grey steel 1970’s  swingset  in our backyard and try to tap into the invisible laws of aerodynamics and magic .

I’ll let you decide if that one worked.

And so , when the 52 Week Illustration Challenge topic was “Swing” …

Well, I had to draw this cartoon and stick it right in my illustration portfolio

Enjoy !

xo

Sandy

 

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Cows

Upon the dawning of a  bright and crisp winter’s Saturday morning this morning , my family and I had a pleasant venture out to the countryside , escaping the “big smoke ” of Brisbane , to imbibe the beauty of the Australian bush and most importantly , to watch our youngest play soccer and subsequently stuff ourselves with pastries at the local country bakery .

And for some reason , I have come back from this journey , not only 3 kgs heavier , but with a burning need to draw a cow .

So here is my portrayal of :

” A cow ”

No doubt some of you , my uber intelligent blog readers , will see similarities in my little sketch , to the works of the great 17th Century Dutch pastoral painter , Paulus Potter , who sadly and remarkably , died of the milk borne disease , tuberculosis. Perhaps he should have taken to painting chickens .

Enjoy my masterpiece

Love to all from beautiful Brisbane Australia

Sandy

xxoo

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For Olive – and why I draw for kids 

IMG_0509So, my  blog post today is dedicated  to a precious girl , called Olive , aged 10 . I hope you get to see this Olive .

I’ll explain why ….

Olive, your dad visited our home to do a pest inspection this morning , which was really cool , because our house needed a pest inspection because the teeny tiny  little ants that keep trooping into in our bathroom are driving me INSANE  . I hate them , the little  sods.( apologies  to all any ant lovers out there)

And Olive, we also don’t really want our humble abode to be eaten by another type of ant – termites .And your lovely pest inspector dude dad sprayed our ever growing termites nest in the front yard so they won’t eat up our house ( more little sods ) which is nice.

But, as usual, I digress…

The reason this pest inspection was extra specially cool though Olive, was actually because I ended up having a nice chat with your pest inspector dude dad about martial arts, the tough lifestyle of a chef, ( his former occupation) , difficult rude customers , being a parent, and , you know ,other  boring stuff that grown ups talk about..

And THEN we talked about REALLY awesome stuff like ” life” and ” why there are so many annoying hypocritical Christians in the world ” and “unicorns ”

And , as well as enjoying the chat , your Dad made me reflect , that I am really super blessed to be doing all this illustration work for kids .

I am blessed , Olive, that I have some big publishers now wanting to put my messy scratchy artwork in their files for future children’s books.

That’s UBER exciting

BUT

Even though that’s great – the reason I am REALLY blessed is because I can draw crazy pictures which will be going in books , that will bring happiness to children , just like you Olive-  precious daughter of  the pest inspector dude , who gave up his chefs job which involved long shifts that kept him from his little girl (you) and that had left him too tired to interact with her (you) when he wasn’t working so he left that job, so he could be with you a whole lot more.

Because….

He loves you so much . That was obvious .

So Olive, I hope you get to read this post.

You are on my heart , because I have a 10 year old daughter too and her dad and I love her just as much as your dad does .

Which is why I drew Cupcake Marshmallow Sunshine the Unicorn for my girl  …and for kids just like you .

I draw for you guys

I hope you enjoy   your own limited edition autographed print of Cupcake the Unicorn that I sent home with your Dad today after he killed the sodding ants 🐜

Much love to you Olive

and

all my beautiful readers,

Sandy

SAY WHAAAT ??? An illustrator in a state of shock

So , I’m dumbfounded , flabbergasted, astounded and stoked ( ie pretty happy in Aussie slang) . I came third in the CYA, aspiring illustrators competition .

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I will back track to the beginning of the story –

About 3 months ago I decided  at the very last minute to enter an illustrators competition for the  Children  and Young Adults authors and illustrators conference, 2017 . I thought to myself ” This will be a good experience Sandy . A great way to get feed back on your artwork and illustration style Sandy and learn more about the craft – Sandy . ” So, I coddled together some little drawings , based on the text given . It was a trifle frustrating being only able to enter 3 drawings as I felt like I wanted to do so much more . But , I carried on , doodled away and sent off my drawings with few expectations .

And here I am , 3rd place winner in the “aspiring ( unpublished ) “illustrators section. The stuff of a little female in the western suburbs of Brisbane Queensland Australia’s dreams .

The competition involved illustrating the  first 2 chapters of a children’s early chapter book ” Sam Treasure :In the Whale’s Garden ” by Tina Marie Clarke . As usual my pictures ended up on the comic side . But hey , that’s my style .

So, without much further ado – presenting …….

“Sam Treasure – In the Whales Garden “by Tina Marie Clarke. Illustrations  by Sandy Flett

(The title page didn’t go in the comp but I had fun designing it … pretending I was a REAL illustrator kind of person )

 

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I was so wishing I didn’t have to draw a CATAMARAN !! FAR OUT- that was tough for me …

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This ones my fave – made me think like a kid again – which is not something I find difficult

 

 

 

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I had fun drawing the little creatures in the background observing Grandee  and Sam together at the controls

 

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The End !

In the next few days I’ll chat about my experiences with the publishing editors . It was pretty cool , can I just say .

Ciao

Sandy

In the Whale’s Garden

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So, this little picture was drawn for my portfolio and inspired by the CYA illustration competition that I’ve been shortlisted in . ( still picking myself up off the floor about that one !?!)

The boy, Sam , is swimming with a Whale , in the Great Barrier Reef – much like I will be doing tomorrow when I meet with some book editors about my artwork ie -slightly apprehensive , excited , but hopefully not wet …from fear …

As God is in the business of miracles , I am  saying  my prayers for thick skin to grow in my body tonight .

See ya !

Sandy

Creativity and Jesus

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I just read this verse from the bible , ten minutes ago .

It’s talking about a guy in the bible called Paul who has an AMAZING story of being a murderous angry Jesus hating man , and completing turning his life to becoming a Jesus adoring dude . And this verse is from  about a section of his life when he  was being begged to stay in a certain town to keep on sharing his knowledge of Jesus, (which he probably would have loved to have done) , but instead , set sail for another place , Ephesus , saying as he left “I will come back if it is God’s will “.

His life was run by Jesus …..

I’m an artist , and I love Jesus too . I gave  my heart to Him when I was 10 – and I swear , that since I was that arty creative little girl , to now , being an arty 45 year old woman , Jesus has run  my life .When I have  let him .

“When I have let Him”  …..I haven’t always allowed Jesus to direct the way I live .

I have been anxious , like the little girl scared of the moon at night , worrying about which way my life will go .

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My daughter Tara, used to be scared of the moon  … a water colour illustration I did a few weeks ago for the 52 Week Illustration Challenge .

It’s so easy in our comfortable middle income Australian life , to try to run things our way . To try to control our anxiety ourselves . To try to run our lives by ourselves .

As an illustrator/artist, I have become used to creating my works – a gift I know comes from God . God has given me an amazing opportunity  in the last few months , to illustrate a book to help children with anxiety , written by an Associate Professor in Child Psychology at Griffith a University , here in Brisbane , Dr Allison Waters     . It’s called “Jessie and the Scaredy Cat Brain ” . God has also led me to paint portraits for people , portraits of people who have passed away , of pets they love . I know in my heart these opportunities come from Him – because they do something that blesses people and moves them to feelings of love and peace .

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A page from “Jessie and the Scaredy Cat Brain ” . Jessie is with Happy Cat looking at a situation with her teacher that can make her worried . I’ve put this one in my portfolio .

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Me and the lovely Zhulina with a portrait I painted of her father , an Afghani General who did in a plane crash when she was very young . Zhilina gave this portrait to her mother who now lives in Italy . Zhulina cried when she saw it .

However  ,  this gift of creativity gift that can also lead to a tendency to feel you can create and control your own way in life .

If I ran my life MY way , I would become an illustrator for children’s book that will be published and sold in shops and read by children across the land !

BUT , I also need to prioritise  God , first up , top of my list !

He is my good , kind , peaceful loving Heavenly Father . He wants the best for me . He wants me to share his love with other people .

With you in fact .

And so I have this morning – before I start a big start on my artwork for “Jessie ” today … which will likely be at least 8-10 hours of work , I’ve tried to put Jesus first .

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I’ve read Gods word , the Bible , and found the little verse I shared above , that has just jumped out at me from the page . And now , I feel compelled to share this blog post with you before I start work .

Finally , as the next big event in my life looms near ( only 3 days to go !) – the CYA conference , a conference for authors and illustrators of children and young adults and illustrators  . I have paid $100 a pop to meet with editors of BIG publishing companies -Penguin , Affirm , Black Dog Books and Hatchette , to get feedback and hopefully be contracted by one of them as an illustrator

But , God , I promise to you that I will trust that I will be lead by you .

“If it is Gods will ”

That’s my Theme .

Love to all

xxxooo Sandy

Toby the cat now has his rightful place on his throne … and also in my illustration portfolio .

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Toby does indeed run the house of my friend , Margie .

Unlike Margie , our resident family furry baby is Domino the Border Collie . Domino runs “around ” our house – constantly – usually chasing invisible monsters .. but he doesn’t  run the house …

Margie – I feel your pain …