These Boots – icon for Justine Larbalestier

Justine Larbalestier's boots

The latest project to go live! Pen and ink with digital colour, over a coat of arms supplied by Justine. These boots are an icon for author Justine Larbalestier, and are based on her own remarkable boots (which I first saw at the Brisbane Writers Festival last year).


I am a fan of good boots, perhaps because of scarcity. I grew up wearing boots (elastic sided RMs, in my part of the country), but I have large feet with a high instep, and have spent too much time having my plastic-bag-wrapped foot physically wrestled into boots by aggressive salespeople.

Now, I often send my characters (drawn or written) off wearing good sturdy footwear, which they do not have any difficulty buying in their size.


Illustration Friday: Novelty

Illustration Friday: Novelty

Continuing with the playing card motifs, while sketching armour late at night. This piece is all digital (textures from an old book, as usual). I have no idea where the idea came from. I was thinking about bad puns and knight-jokes this afternoon (what weapon does a knight fear the most*), but can’t trace the connection. One day I will discover a purpose for these images, beyond trialling ideas and techniques.


*A can opener.

Illustration Friday: Money

Illustration Friday: Money

I am trying to use paints (in this case, watercolour pencils over lead pencil) more often, as I could use the practice.

For this topic, I was continuing with the playing card theme (round cards this time), influenced by too many Georgette Heyer novels in which fortunes are gambled away.

The Bitterwood Bible – cover art and illustrations

Bitterwood Bible - spine image

My copy of Angela Slatter‘s collection The Bitterwood Bible finally arrived, and it is so (literally) shiny.

Dust jacket

The dust jacket is consistent with Tartarus Press style, but underneath there is foil on the boards, and it gleams! Here is a flash photo for maximum effect (I am so happy the little fox on the stand turned out as it should).


There are many, many pictures inside, too – here are a few as they appear in the original sketchbook:



And here are the beloved badgers:




Grants and Funding

Some exciting news!

I’ve been fortunate enough to receive funding from the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts, towards attending the World Fantasy Convention in Arlington, VA this November, as part of my development as an illustrator. Angela Slatter and I are working on a graphic reworking of the title story of her collection Sourdough (to which her newest collection, The Bitterwood Bible, is the prequel), and I’m also putting together some work for the art show, so… it will be a busy few weeks (eek) leading up to the trip. I’m hoping to spend some time in New York and Massachusetts either side of the convention.

I also found out that I’m going to the Creative3 forum this month, sponsored by Redchip Lawyers, in my capacity as a creative business-person, and also hoping to bring some ideas back to my involvement with the Queensland Writers Centre. It’s two days of entrepreneurs and business people talking about creativity, enterprise and investment, all things I am endeavouring to think about more.

And also I finally booked for a steam-train ride up to Toowoomba for the Carnival of Flowers, something I’ve been wishing to do for several years. The little cardboard tickets arrived today.