Thursday, 10 November 2016

Coffee Shop

Three elderly people work here. Two ladies and one man. A lady with horn rimmed glasses and a yellow sweater greets me. She gets a regular to move seats and much fussing and laughing ensues. I do my best foreigner bit. I sit down.

I am sat at the bar, the row of seats around the counter where they make the food and coffee. It runs around in a half circle/square shape. I am sat on the shortest end with a view down the long counter, where a gentleman is working with the coffee and eggs. I'll get to that.

I am given a towel (paper, wrapped in plastic), iced water and am promptly asked to order from the breakfast service menu. I order the set with a hot drink (coffee), toast and a boiled egg. Sitting back on the chair that squeaks I get a feel of the sexy green crocodile skin upholstery. The chair swivels and is rooted to the spot.  The music that's playing is The Mamas and the Papas. One of my all time favourites. I wait to hear the track change in case it is the radio. Next is Chantilly Lace-Big Bopper. Early 60's stuff.

In front of me on the counter is a dark brown ashtray, I think it is plastic but it is that 50's stuff.. What is it called? To the left of that is a salt cellar with a dark brown faux wood top. The counter is dark brown wood. The walls are covered in dark brown bricks, faux bricks, I think. But they look stylish.

On the counter in front of the ashtray is a big golden, hand operated coffee grinder. It has a label that has a drawing of a beautiful woman with an afro. It looks well used and well cared for. Beyond this is the gentleman popping toast into one of those toaster ovens with a door, whilst handling boiled eggs and making coffee. The coffee is made in beautiful glass orbs. They are heated from below using a candle. A glass funnel is attached to the top. The coffee grinds go in, then boiling water. The gentleman stirs it deftly with a wooden handled brush. Steam is ballooning everywhere in the yellow light. It is cold out, about 12 degrees. The gold black coffee miraculously appears in the glass ball below.

The lighting is all warm and low. Yellow bulbs inside glass cases with leaded panes. Behind the counter are simple shelves holding cups. All the wood of the shelving is dark brown.

Coffee comes in a small white cup and saucer, with a nicely weighted silver spoon and a tiny, really tiny, steel jug of cream. Next a small wooden tray, with a piece of grease proof paper. On top there is one extra thick, extra buttery square of white toast, cut into two triangles. Next to that is a mint coloured plastic square, cut into two triangles by design. One half holds a white boiled egg, shell on. The other is an indented tray for the shell pieces.

I pick up the tiny jug of cream and drip it into my cup. I am totally delighted to see that the coffee doesn't turn immediately brown from black gold. There is a pause as the cream hits the bottom of the cup, then it reappears as white flourishing dots in the surface of the coffee, before I stir it in.

I enjoy my breakfast, although it shifts slightly once I reach the egg. I use the teaspoon to break into it, and a hacking and smoking gentleman comes and sits by me. The tension in the place raises a few degrees. I am not sure who he is, but the singles chatting on the other side of the bar stop and turn to their newspapers. The staff become uneasy.

He orders an iced coffee and the same set as me. When he reaches his egg he simply slams it down onto the counter, removes the shell in a couple of moves, and eats it very quickly.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Summer of 2016

Hello internet!

It has been a seriously, severely, singularly very long time since I have written on this here blog.  It has been a funny year. With too many months of contemplation, followed swiftly by a truck load of work. And with that the fear that there may be more contemplation to follow! At least I am now using the time to write. And to teach myself how to write. I am trying to write longer things.. and hoping that by doing so, my shorter things (picture books) will improve and some how blossom into what my brain wishes and wants them to be.

Or something like that..

Here is some illustration work that I recently did for the very incredible Michelle Harrison.. For the cover of her new title, The Other Alice, published by Simon and Schuster, designed by Jenny Richards.
Just as soon as my copies arrive I'll post a pic of the whole thing. There are some other little bits and pieces of my work on the back also.

As far as news goes, there is plenty, whilst there is also little. 
I am working on some really exciting new cover projects, which could extend and become a wee monster. But I cant show that off yet.
I am also working on an educational title for a phonics range. But I cant show that off yet. 
And I am also working on a wonderful non fiction picture book, which is extremely exciting. But I cant show that off yet, and I don't want to jinx it!

In the meant time I have my next Authored/Illustrated title still in the works. Yes it is taking me ages. And I actually have a new one that will probably surpass this one now. But you know. Time is weird. Sometimes it is all scrunched up and everything happens in one second. And other times millions of seconds spread over year and years in ways that you didn't expect them to. 

I worked on this wonderful project with Cardboard Cameras, delivering animation workshops to befriending groups across London for young unaccompanied asylum seekers. It was possibly my personal favourite CC project so far. Incredibly well supported by crowd funding and the Red Cross, both in terms of getting all out kit together and the faith they had in us. 
The groups we worked with were just a brilliant bunch of exciting young people. The whole thing made me feel incredibly positive for the future, as well as right now, amid a wash of total insanity that seems to be swishing about at the moment. 

Here is a link to that film, that was shown as part of Refugee Week at the British Museum.

Right off for now. Looking forward to sharing a glut of work.. Probably at the end of the year!

Friday, 15 April 2016

SHIELDS-FACE TO FACE Video blog post

Last summer I worked with my girls at Cardboard Cameras ( on a stop frame animated music video for the dreamy pop band Shields.

As a testament to the amount of fun and challenges we had I wanted to write a post about the process.

A few years back we were asked to build the sets and props for this incredible video directed by Vicky Simmons for Shields.

The video went viral and was a massive success. We got back in contact a few years later and asked if we could make our very own video for Shields. And luckily they agreed. We had about a million ideas for the video. Ranging from a full on stop frame animated video using models and crystals in space, to a squishy adventure in clay.

After toying with a few ideas and chatting with the band we honed it down to two options. Either face painting, or squishy clay. We made tests for both and sent them along with a treatment to the band.


Shields were really into the face paint idea. And this was great. We now had to make more tests and figure out how to stretch that budget to get a full video from one long day of shooting. And face paint also meant performance. So that a complete first for me directing wise. I haven't directed a video with performance before and new this was going to be a whole new ball game. 
I totally relished it though. And quickly turned into producer/editor/director overlord. Oops sorry guys! 

Eleni Parousi was now Director of Photography (DOP), with Jenny Leary and Kathy Horak-Howlett as the pro animators on the day. Rich and Lucy the performers who sat like an absolute dream for about 14 hours in a pitch black studio, hot lights and all. We did provide them with Bolognese so at least they didn't starve! 

The whole day was incredibly fun.. Here are some shots of Eleni's DOP greatness, also combined with the light genius of Hans Lo. Doing our bidding very well indeed. 

It was a real dream team to be honest and it was really fun.. 

The next phase involved me entering hermit mode while I stayed in Berlin (Ooo la la, had to drop that in there) I went into animation, work flow, editing mode for a good long while. Finally getting a grade for the video with the help of Pundersons Gardens. Thank you very much indeed!

The whole thing was mega fun. And I wouldn't normally post a blog like this about a video. But I feel like every step deserved a bit of lime light. Next time it's full clay-mation ahead.. Watch out.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Blog round up

This is what seems like a big old load of boasting. 
But it isn't I promise! I'm not used to having lots of really brilliant people writing about something that I have made. I feel like I don't want to lose these things and need to record them somewhere for posterity. And in thanks for those people spending the time to write these things. (And I guess if I am ever feeling a bit blue I can find them again all here together :P) 

Starting from most recent here are some words about The Perfect Tree mostly.. and one video! 
Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blog.

Reblogged from my agencies blog:

Point of view of two pro's in the student world

Finding the perfect tree:
Bookpage review from Julie Danielson of Seven impossible things.
Children's picture book review top 2016 new books.
Lovely review from Picture Books Review

And this one is for a video exclusive I worked on with Cardboard Cameras last year for the band Shields:

One more link.. 

I have a new show reel for my moving image work.
And I am currently available for moving image projects. Contact me!

Monday, 19 October 2015

Kirkus review of The Perfect Tree

How can I not put a post up especially for this? My first trade review and I am so so delighted! So so so so so SO delighted. 

Here is the link..

Here are the words as from the link....

"In a natural-world version of Leo Tolstoy’s short story “The Three Questions,” a boy goes in search of the perfect tree to chop for firewood and finds much more.
Jack sets out in the early morning with his ax. But each tree is too wide or spooky or silly or even familiar. Just when he begins to lose heart, a woodpecker invites him to see its perfect tree—one filled with its bird friends. A squirrel’s perfect tree is an oak filled with acorns and berries for winter, and a spider’s is festooned with a bejeweled web. During the storm that suddenly strikes, Jack’s perfect tree is a sheltering willow, and he comes to the realization that “Every tree in the forest is perfect.” Leaving his ax behind, he heads home, the next day searching for the perfect tree “to climb…to draw…to love.” While Bonfield’s text is adequate, her artwork shines as something distinctive among picture books. A combination of three-dimensional pieces, digital and collaged elements, and found textures, the illustrations are a moody, atmospheric mix of shadows and light. Many times Jack and the animals are seen in black profile against a natural backdrop, perspectives changing to show close-ups and others putting Jack and the animals in correct proportion to the forest around them.
A gorgeous reminder that the natural world is perfect and worthy of notice. (Picture book. 4-8)"

Monday, 5 October 2015


I somehow went straight through summer without a blog post. Although a sign of good work being done, I think it's time to put something on here. 

Many of the projects I have been working on are about to go out into the world. This is very daunting, and very exciting. We will see how the world likes them. 
Im busy writing a blog post for my agents detailing my process for my picture book 'The Perfect Tree'. I am also starting work making some special things to go with it in the lead up to sale date. Which I believe is the 5th January 2016. 

Meanwhile I have got to work on some lovely book projects and get on with a second book. Which is proving to be finickity and fiddly as I try my hand at more writing. Although at the moment it is looking like it may be a wordless book, this seems to require writing a lot more words than a.. well a worded book. 

I'll have a stop frame animated music video to show off in a few days. I worked with my ladies Cardboard Cameras to direct this one. And it has been a mega undertaking. I sure learnt a lot. Including the fact that I may be a little too mumbly to really direct. Maybe next time I'll get a directors chair, hat and megaphone to whisper into.

Other things include some really amazing workshops, including a totally mad one working with about 150 secondary school kids to create a giant working 3D zoetrope.  Photographs and films to follow soon. And also a wonderful Super Hero Shaman workshop at Bellenden Primary School in Peckham. Which was just brilliant. Incredible bunch there. 

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Is it your birthday??

Cos I'm starting to make some cards again.. a bit like this one.. Its an idea.. a BIRTHDAY idea.. uh huh.. 

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Could this be...

The longest blog hiatus ever? It is possible.. perhaps even true.. 

This is going to be a rushed post. Cos I am CHOKKA. 
I'll make something really interesting post wise soon.. swear it...

You can pre-order my first children's book on Amazon. Seriously.. it's real. Well it is very nearly real. I have been working my hands to the bone to get it all done. Im both excited and terrified in equal measure. Be kind world and order it here:

When Jack goes on a journey to find the perfect tree, he is not looking for one to climb, draw, or hug. No, he is looking for the perfect tree to chop down. During his search, a friendly woodpecker, squirrel, and spider offer help by showing Jack their favorite trees. When Jack is amazed by how beautiful and beneficial these trees are to the forest and its inhabitants, he must decide if he has a purpose for his axe after all.Filled with beautiful, atmospheric illustrations that combine both paper-cut scenery and rich hand-drawn characters, "The Perfect Tree" depicts an enchanting world with a timeless eco-conscious message. Those who enjoy "The Lorax" and "The Giving Tree" will find meaning and pleasure in this book that celebrates the wonders of the natural world.

I'm also working on some illustrations for a lovely chapter book for Oxford University Press. And a music video with Cardboard Cameras for Shields.. and a tonne of other fun stuff that Im both excited and terrified about. And have literally got to enter another time dimension to get done. 

OH and on Saturday the 16th May I will be holding a table at Copleand Park's new market in Peckham. Selling books, comics and ceramics. And also selling cordial and maybe some jellies. If you have something you would like to sell email me 

Peace x

Friday, 31 October 2014



Thursday, 23 October 2014