Assorted stationery orders

It’s always exciting to send off something I’ve drawn (or, indeed, written) and have it come back as a made and shining object. Books are great, of course, but for quick gratification it is quite fun to be ordering stationery again. (Various other examples are under the stationery tag.)

The postcards I put together for Angela Slatter have been printed, and signed by her, and sent off to accompany limited editions of The Tallow-Wife when it is published (which I will be sure to tell you all about!).

I put together address labels for her at the same time (not shown), and also in another order of Flyaway-related things had some stickers printed, with the US cover art and the roughly circular test-image I cut out when I was designing it.

I also updated my post about the Castle Charming enamel pins with a picture of the stickers Tansy had made based on the same design.

And I have these rather nice little foil prints of the Flyaway cover silhouette ( now has foil options). They are so extremely shiny.

Pin reveal! Castle Charming

All photos of pins and bookplates by Tansy Rayner Roberts

I wrote previously about designing an enamel pin for backers of Tansy Rayner Roberts’ Castle Charming Kickstarter.

It is now out in the world! This is what it looks like — I really like the details of the hanging clusters of peas (funnily, I’ve since had a run of pea-plant illustrations, so all the sketches working this out have more than paid off!).

And here’s a bonus photo from Tansy of the signed bookplates ready to go out. I posted before about the design for those — Art reveal: Castle Charming bookplates.

You can see more of Tansy Rayner Roberts’ projects on her website, and on Twitter, and see some other projects I’ve done with her (this is the third set of pins!) here.

Edit 14 September: And there were stickers, too!

Queensland Literary Awards — winners portraits

Congratulations to all the shortlisted and winning writers at the Queensland Literary Awards tonight!

I had the honour of illustrating all the award winners — all of whom are listed below:

Queensland Premier’s Award for a work of State Significance

The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award

The University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award

Griffith University Children’s Book Award

University of Southern Queensland Steele Rudd Award for a Short Story Collection

Judith Wright Calanthe Award for a Poetry Collection

  • Heide by Pi.O (Giramondo Publishing)

Queensland Writers Fellowships

David Unaipon Award for an Emerging Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Writer

  • ‘The Space Between the Paperbark’ by Jazz Money

Glendower Award for an Emerging Queensland Writer

Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Awards

The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award

Light Grey Kickstarter: World Roulette art book

150 worlds by 150 artists!

Light Grey Art Lab’s Kickstarter for the worldbuilding art book of the World Roulette exhibition is now live!

You can pre-order the art book, there are pins, a deck of prompts, prints, and more.

And you can also see the exhibition itself, either in person at the Light Grey Art Lab gallery in Minneapolis, or online: World Roulette.

The Beauty and Horror of Fairy Tales

Olivia Brown of the University of Queensland’s School of Communication & Arts interviewed me about my writing (including but not limited to Flyaway), illustration, and research, and wrote this lovely long article (with lots of pictures):

The Beauty and Horror of Fairy Tales

Avid Reader — Window Drawings

For obvious reasons, Flyaway has had a fairly online release into the world, but one of the things I’ve been able to leave the house for was to draw on the windows at Avid Reader in West End, Brisbane (through whom I’m having an online event with Garth Nix and Fiona Stager on 18 August).

I went over on Friday afternoon, Sarah rearranged bookcases and I drew placement dots around them, then she pulled them out while I made vaguely helpful movements, and then I stood back, drew two great long swirly lines in chalk pens, and started filling in the rest (beginning, naturally, in the very middle at the top, which is naturally where to begin when working out how to use a new medium). Placing branches and birds, filling in space with wattle and lemons (lumpy bush lemons).

Three hours later, the sun was down, and I was done. It looked beautifully silvery at night — I’d love to try something like this, one day, with an etching effect.

One of the reasons I’m glad I didn’t draw up a detailed plan in advance is that I would have stressed myself into procrastination. But also there were location-specific elements I would have forgotten or had to adapt to — safety stickers and a sale table and, of course, a Georg Whelan painting on the outside of the window (I was drawing on the inside). With a design like this, it was nice just to flow fairly organically around (and through) those elements.

It also let me add in little hints and secrets from the book.

Here it is by daylight — but if you want to see it without reflections, you’ll have to get down to Avid Reader while the drawing is still up.

Flyaway is already out, and can be bought through all good bookstores! And the Australian launch event is through Avid Reader on 18 August (Brisbane time), with an introduction by Garth Nix and then conversation with Fiona Stager.

Photo by Karissa Cooke

Tallow-Wife stationery in progress

As previously mentioned, I’ve been working on (and have finished!) the illustrations for Angela Slatter‘s collection The Tallow-Wife and other tales, the third book in the Sourdough/Bitterwood Bible (World-Fantasy-Award-winning!) sequence. The book is scheduled to come out from Tartarus Press later this year, and in the meantime Angela and I have been putting together some promotional postcards for when the book comes out.

Previous Tallow-Wife posts are under this tag: The Tallow-Wife.

(These are photos from Angela’s Instagram off her screen — there’ll be clearer shots when it’s all printed!)

When the book comes out (and don’t worry, I’ll let you know!) she’ll be signing these to go out with some copies.

You can see the other images and quotes on her Instagram post.

Art reveal: Castle Charming Bookplates

I’ve been designing bookplates for Tansy Rayner Roberts, for her (successful!) Castle Charming kickstarter (I previously posted about the enamel pin design for that).

Here is the first glimpse of the bookplates back from the printer (Tansy arranged all that end of it — I do particularly enjoy the moment where someone else takes art away and brings it back as a shining object).

It’s pen and ink with ink washes.

And here are a few of the sketches from which it began:

Books are fascinating as design elements. They seem so potentially decorative and yet they’re very… boxy, and make you make style decisions around e.g. perspective, and how shabby to make them in order to get some texture going.

Some of my favourite books covers are early 20thC school prize book editions. Mostly because of their spines! But the other sides are marvellously textured (and the insides are gorgeously mottled — blank pages in Mr Dalton and Janet have provided many of the textures I use with digital colour).

Almost all of these are from the Lifeline Bookfest, and are the primary reason I’m not allowed to go anymore until I buy more bookcases.

Unicorn fabric!

My sample swatches have arrived, so the unicorn fabric (from the May calendar) is now available on fabrics from Spoonflower: Twilight unicorns. (If you don’t sew, it’s also up on various clothes, stationery, masks, etc on Redbubble).

It’s always worth getting sample swatches first, because fabrics hold colours so differently. Here there’s a lovely twilight woodcut-blue on the Petal Signature Cotton, and a fascinating green-blue, the marine of evening, on the shimmery Celosia Velvet.

Framing devices, and stories in the ornaments

Distilling further observation journal thoughts on how a good frame can help to call its contents into existence.

But also on the common human urge to ornament surfaces.

And all the places that leaves open to add even more story.

More to come.