LitJoy Crate — The Folk of the Air

Photo of book opened to signing page with watercolour design of mushrooms and tiny creatures
Photo from LitJoy Crate, illustration by me!

UPDATE: as of 1 October 2022 this is sold out BUT you can sign up for a waitlist in case they are able to add more to their order

LitJoy Crate is releasing a Holly Black collection! The Folk of the Air Collector’s Edition Box Set will include:

Gold-illustrated box cover for the Folk of the Air
Photo from LitJoy Crate

Here is the full list of contents (from LitJoy Crate) for the box:

  • All 3 books in The Folk of the Air series: The Cruel Prince, The Wicked King,and The Queen of Nothing, PLUS the novella, How the King of Elfhame Learned To Hate Stories(in its own hardcover)
  • NEW COVERS and 3 TIP-IN ART pages in the main titles (9 illustrations total!), AND the original illustrations in the novella by Rovina Cai
  • Handwritten ANNOTATIONS by Holly Black throughout all the books
  • Fully illustrated SLIPCASE
  • Gilded Gold PAGE EDGES
  • Printed on acid-free paper
  • Bonus Content: At the end of King of Elfhame, process sketches for our new illustrations will have ANNOTATIONS by Holly Black!
  • Each Book Box Set will come with a FREE Adventure Card!
  • We will also be including a FREE Preorder Art Print, with more details coming soon!
Photo of book open to hand-annotated chapter
Photo from LitJoy Crate

Important Dates (from LitJoy Crate)

UPDATE: as of 1 October 2022 this is sold out BUT you can sign up for a waitlist in case they are able to add more to their order

  • September 28th – Book Box Set SALES OPEN to subscribers
  • September 29th – Book Box Set SALES OPEN to the public
  • October 19th – Items in the LitJoy © Holly Black Collection go on sale to subscribers
  • October 20th – Items in the LitJoy © Holly Black Collection go on sale to the public

Curlews on Vulture Street launch and exhibition of original illustrations

Cover of Curlews on Vulture Street by Darryl Jones — a photo of a bush stone-curlew on a blue background

Darryl Jones’ Curlews on Vulture Street is out this month! He will be in conversation with Christine Jackman at Avid Reader in Brisbane this month, on 14 September 2022 — and for those attending in person the original artwork for my illustrations will be on display (and available!)

Hand holding cut paper silhouette of leaves, branch and flowers, with hint of a cockatoo pulling at a strand of something

Darryl Jones – Curlews On Vulture Street

Wednesday 14 September 2022
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
In store at Avid Reader Bookshop / ZOOM Online

Instore Ticket $15.00, Zoom Ticket $5.00
Tickets available until 14 September 2022 4:00 PM

Despite the noise, heat, dust and fumes, the ceaseless movement, light and toxins, many birds successfully live their lives among us. And not just furtively in the shadows. Ibis steal our lunch, brush-turkeys rearrange gardens and magpies chase us from near their nest.

From blackbirds and sparrows in his childhood country town to brush-turkeys in the suburbs, Darryl Jones shares a fascinating story of curiosity, discovery, adventure and conflict, played out in the streets and backyards of Australia. He also provides rare insights into the intimate lives of some of our most beloved and feared, despised and admired neighbours. Magpies, curlews, ibis, lorikeets and cockatoos will never seem the same again.

Darryl Jones is a Professor of Ecology at Griffith University in Brisbane, where he has been investigating the many ways that people and wildlife interact for over 30 years. He is particularly interested in why some species are extremely successful in urban landscapes, while many others are not, and how best to deal with the ensuing conflicts. More recently, he has been trying to understand more about the humans that also live in cities in large numbers, and how they engage with nature. This has led him into the strange and fascinating world of wild bird feeding and has resulted in collaborations with other researchers all over the world. He has published six books, including The Birds at My Table and Feeding the Birds at My Table.

Skeleton Orchestra — prints etc

A few people have been looking for the original post of my musical skeletons.

It was the October 2020 calendar art, but it’s also up on Redbubble (as a print, and on shirts, scarves, phone covers, etc) and on InPrnt as a print. Spoonflower to follow in a little while.

Support and/or follow

If you’d like to support art and writing and posts like this about it, here are some options:

Endpapers in Flight Magazine

This mail arrived just before I flew overseas — it’s my endpapers in Flight magazine, a quarterly illustration and story magazine for kids, from Paper Bird Childrens Books and Art.

The endpaper pattern began life as a calendar illustration, and you can find it on Redbubble on various prints, cases, clothes, etc (this version and the more Gothic blue hands version). The blue hands version is also up on Spoonflower as fabric and wallpaper.

Anyway, Flight is a beautiful little magazine, very full of images and stories — I highly recommend checking it out.

Here’s how my illustrator copies arrived — shown alongside the rest of that day’s book mail.

Brisbane birds: Curlews on Vulture Street

If you’ve chatted to me in-person in the last few months, I’ve probably told you about this book: Darryl Jones‘ memoir Curlews on Vulture Street, which I thoroughly enjoyed — and for which I was delighted to do the internal illustrations (often while glancing out the window at the birds in question).

Cover of Curlews on Vulture Street by Darryl Jones — a photo of a bush stone-curlew on a blue background

It will be published by NewSouth Publishing in September this year, and if you go to the publisher’s website you can ask to be notified when it’s available to order.

In Curlews on Vulture Street, acclaimed urban ecologist Darryl Jones reveals the not-so-secret lives of the most common birds that share our towns and cities.

Despite the noise, heat, dust and fumes, the ceaseless movement, light and toxins, many birds successfully live their lives among us. And not just furtively in the shadows. Ibis steal our lunch, brush turkeys rearrange gardens and magpies chase us screaming from near their nests.

From his childhood in a country town noticing blackbirds and sparrows to studying brush turkeys in the suburbs, Jones shares a fascinating story of curiosity, discovery, adventure and conflict, played out in city streets and backyards. He also provides rare insights into the intimate lives of some of our most beloved and feared, despised and admired neighbours. You’ll never see magpies, curlews, ibis, lorikeets and cockatoos in the same way again.

Observation Journal: Fitting pictures into shapes

This observation journal page is the art-exercise counterpart to a previous post on fitting stories into spaces.

Double page spread of observation journal. Tiny handwritten observations, a drawing of sanded semicircles lowering the edge of a concrete footpath. On the right, sketches fitting a man and dog, ibis, and sanitiser bottle into set shapes.

This time, instead of getting an (illustrated) story to fit into a panel progression, I was forcing images from the past few days (a tree, a person with a dog, an ibis, a bottle of hand sanitiser) to fit into a simple shape. (I’d done something similar in the post Sketching the People Glimpsed From the Corner of Your Eye).

Ballpoint sketches (coloured with blue marker) fitting sketches of a man and dog, ibis, and sanitiser bottle into set shapes.

Lessons learned:

  • This sort of exercise can be useful for developing an illustration. Choosing a strict framework for a composition both narrows the available options available and makes me be creative in designing new ones. It can also compress an image and make it iconic.
  • It’s also good practice for fitting art to unusual surfaces, e.g. a tureen.
  • A standardised shape for a set of illustrations can unify a set of disparate ideas. E.g., the illustrations for the main story-chapters in Flyaway all fit into a square. You can see some of those here: Illustrating Flyaway.
  • But squashing something into a strict shape which doesn’t necessarily suit it can teach a lot about that containing shape, too. That was the point of the exercise in the Rearranging Scenes post earlier this week, just with plot structure instead of e.g. triangles.
  • Those realisations aren’t revolutionary. A triangle, off-balance, creates an unbalanced composition. A triangle tends to be less organic, and movement runs into/up against the frame, but feels as if it lends itself more to narrative or character-in-action. A circle lends itself to organic shapes, and is more balanced and contained and iconic, but creates peculiar interaction with artificial/less-organic elements.
  • But in an exercise like this, the process of reinventing the wheel is the important thing — learning by doing instead of by being told, or understanding why what I’ve been told is so.

Illustration exercise (for writing exercises, try the ones in Fitting Stories into Spaces or Rearranging Scenes)

  • Basic exercise:
    • Pick three things you’ve seen today (objects or interactions).
    • Pick three basic shapes (circle, rectangle, square, pentagon, triangle, etc).
    • On a sheet of paper, draw each of those shapes three times.
    • Now, try to sketch each of your subjects (scenes/objects) once into each shape, as pleasingly as possible.
  • Bonus: Make a note of which combinations were easy, and which resisted. Did certain shapes fit certain types of subjects better? How did your approach to sketching a subject change as you repeated it through different shapes?
  • Bonus bonus: Pick a scene from a favourite story or movie or artwork (tip: consider viewpoints). Sketch it into several different shapes. Notice which weaken and strengthen the scene, and what you learn about both the shape and the scene.
  • Variation: See sketching the people glimpsed from the corner of your eye.
2020-04-05-Sketch02KJennings

Support and/or follow

If you’d like to support art and writing and posts like this about it (particularly welcome at the moment, as I’m still in isolation with Covid), here are some options!

An interview about Flight

Rick Kleffel of Narrative Species interviewed Angela Slatter and me about Flight!

Flight is out now from  PS Publishing.

Photo of book Flight, closed, on original illustrations

Here’s my first glimpse of it: Flight has arrived.

Flight has arrived!

Photo of book Flight, closed, on original illustrations

Flight, which we began work on in 2016, is now a real book in the world! My copies have now arrived from PS Publishing — and are shown here on top of the original pen and ink illustrations.

This picture of Emer at the beginning was one of the very first illustrations I did, to test the style.

Photo of first pages of Flight with picture of girl pulling feathers out her her palm, and some gloves

Entering a rose forest. At the time, this was one of the biggest projects I’d worked on — and might still be, in terms of the quantity of illustrations.

Book with illustration of girl entering rose forest

A hall full of shadows.

Illustration in book of long dim blue hallway

The jacketed hardback and the limited signed edition are available from PS Publishing here: Flight — Angela Slatter.

Art reveal: WILDERLORE maps

Fantasy map of woodlands

I’m very excited to be able to show you these maps for Amanda Foody’s first two Wilderlore novels: The Accidental Apprentice and The Weeping Tide (art directed by Karyn Lee).

I’ll put up a process post soon, and also map-related interviews with Amanda Foody, Karyn Lee, and Kate Prosswimmer (Amnda’s editor at Simon & Schuster)!

The maps aren’t in the first editions, as I came on board as the series expanded — I understand they will be in newer editions of The Accidental Apprentice (from 1 February) and second edition/hardcover reprints of The Weeping Tide (when they come out — the first edition is out now, though!).

Fantasy map of islands

The books are a splendid middle-grade romp, with a decentralised magical training system which I particularly enjoyed, and some really fabulous animals to draw (also just enough sheep).

Cover Image of The Accidental Apprentice
Cover art: Petur Antonsson

A boy who accidentally bonds with a magical Beast must set off on an adventure in the mysterious Woods in this “wholesome, delightful” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), and cheeky middle grade fantasy debut—perfect for fans of Nevermoor and How to Train Your Dragon.

Cover image of The Weeping Tide
Cover art: Petur Antonsson

Barclay and his friends must save an island city from the Legendary Beast of the Sea in this exciting second book in the Wilderlore series, perfect for fans of Nevermoor and How to Train Your Dragon.

All the 2021 calendar pages

Every month (with the support of patrons) I make a printable (and colour-able) calendar page.

And here are all the pages of monthly 2021 calendar art in one place! I’m always a little startled to get to the end of a year and remind myself how much I drew during the year just making these, let alone… everything else. (Here’s the 2020 collection.) I’ve put the individual pages larger at the bottom of this post.

My favourite calendar page keeps shifting. I do very much like the July houses because of the different approach, and the frogs from May because they look velvety. But then the April fairy-tale motifs ended up inspiring the cover design for WQ Magazine. And the fish and waves from February got into two separate projects (illustrations for a secret book and a map for a book that is yet to be announced). But March’s rondels and April’s motifs have proved useful demonstrations for writing workshops.

Then the houses were a useful sampler of styles, but also research for something I’m illustrating and another piece I’m writing (and my mother wanted the line drawing for quilt backing). And all of them were places to try out approaches to surface patterns, or altered techniques, or new tools. And the chairs have been a long time coming, and the chicken-legged houses amuse me…

Note: Want to support the arts? This calendar is made possible by patrons, who get it a little bit early, along with other sneak-peeks and behind-the-scenes art (patron levels start at very low amounts!): patreon.com/tanaudel. It is also supported by those very kind people who throw a few dollars towards it via the tip jar: ko-fi.com/tanaudel. And many of these designs are available as prints, clothes, cases, etc on Redbubble, as fabrics and wallpaper on Spoonflower, and as prints in InPrnt

And below are all the designs, larger:

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