Monday, 7 October 2013

IF Underwater & lessons learnt from SCBWI

My poor little blog has been somewhat neglected of late. This is because of an exciting new commission I have been working on (more on this to come). In the meanwhile I was flicking through Illustration Friday and noticed this week's theme as Underwater. An image immediately popped into my head and I couldn't wait to get it down on paper.


On reflection I think I could probably draw hundreds of images for underwater and have realised it's a fairly extensive theme for which I have yet to fully explore. But for now, say hello to the underwater world of submariners Thomas & Teddy!

I have really enjoyed playing with colour on this one, creating a marked distinction between foreground and background & using colours & tones that both compliment and contrast.


This experimentation was inspired by a recent SCBWI talk given by a series of children's book agents at the Frontline Club in London. I showed Hannah Whitty, an agent from Plum Pudding, a few of my drawings, she suggested bringing out the main characters more by distinguishing the foreground from the background. Really helpful advice that I am going to try to master henceforth!


This is the first of many tips I picked up at the Secret Agents Party and look forward to sharing more soon.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

AppleDucks Craft Fair Success

AppleDucks craft fair at the Trinity Theatre on Saturday 13th April.

I was so lucky to have my stall in poll position, right as visitors came through the door.


Selling my latest book 'Little Bat' to a lovely lady, everyone was so friendly and complimentary. I sold lots of Birthday Bunny Adventure Books, a handful of Ballet Books a couple of Pancake Books & Little Bat completely sold out! Cards and art prints also went down well, three for £5 being an absolute bargain! Brilliant debut experience to the world of craft fairs, exhausting and fulfilling all at the same time!

Word is, I've been invited back for the Christmas fair in November.. better get making! =) x

AppleDucks Craft Fair


Wow I haven't posted anything since christmas! However this doesn't mean I have been slacking off.. quite to the contrary. I have been busy preparing for Appleduck's springtime event Handmade with Love at the Trinity Theatre in Tunbridge Wells.


I will be selling my children's books, greetings cards & art prints and have been frantically printing, binding, pricing and panicking! What if I don't get it all printed in time? How much stock is too much? What if I don't sell anything? How much should I charge? What if I don't break even?

Pitching the price of the items in order to cover the cost of the stall itself and the outlay costs for producing the work, without deterring potential customers with pricey items is a fine balance to achieve.

Hopefully it will be a good opportunity to network and get my name out there!


Monday, 19 November 2012

Personalised Christmas Storybook

My hand finished Christmas Book: Millie’s Christmas Sock is a festive adventure about little Millie and a mysterious sock… She sets off on an adventure, meeting a host of festive creatures on the way… but who does the sock belong to?


Millie’s Christmas Sock is available as a personalised Christmas gift with your child’s name as the main character in place of ‘Millie.’ A boy’s character version is also available. This beautiful picture book is aimed at children between 2 and 5 written as a simple poem with colourful pictures.


To order your personalised copy of Millie’s Christmas Sock please contact books@zarabloomfield.co.uk I would love to hear from you.

For more personalised books and hand drawn greetings cards please visit my website www.zarabloomfield.co.uk


Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Inspiration: wherever I may find you..

Is it cheating to come up with a big list of potential ideas that I want to sketch on day [minus]one of PiBoIdMo?! The whole point of PiBo is to come up with a wealth of ideas surely!? Perhaps an early flurry will balance out the later creative block that threatens to descend in the last few days of November.. I have a weeks worth of ideas jotted down already, now to unleash them into my crisp new luxury sketchbook!

Where to find inspiration? 30 days of sustained picture book ideas sounds like a weighty challenge, however, I have been coming up with themed ideas, centered around butterflies and feathers, bird cages and raindrops. A spider diagram of scribbles pulse out from the central theme, interrogating the concept, flipping it on its head & imagining it through the eyes of a highly saturated child's view of the world.

I have ideas when walking to the station, when sitting on a train, when running past the local primary school at pick up time, whilst luxuriating in the shower. I have ideas when I am supposed to be watching a film, when I'm supposed to be making sandwiches, when I'm supposed to be doing work.. I have ideas in my sleep, lucid dreams & vivid visions, that fade all too soon in the pale light of dawn. So I always have a sketchbook, to jot down these fragments, to be pieced together when I can steal a moment to myself, in the quiet of the evening, curled up on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate. November is alive with stories and visions, atmosphere and weather, colours and darkness, it is the perfect time to be PiBoId-ed into action!!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

PiBoIdMo

I am ¿foolishly? taking part in PictureBookIdeasMonth 2012!! 30 picture book ideas in 30 days, eek!!! This ought to liven up my London commute.. Though I have never been very comfortable with drawing in front of strangers.. This calls for a new sketchbook!

Hosted very bravely by taralazar.com

I will be posting cryptic updates.. as I don't want to alert the competition to my excellent ideas ;)

Saturday, 13 October 2012

IF Water


This weeks Illustration Friday is Water, so here's a little sketch of Bunny setting sail in his fine vessel the Salty Carrot.