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I'm writing a book! Illustration through the eyes of a Printmaker...

Yep you heard correctly, she who scraped a pass in Higher English is indeed writing a book.

A children's book in-fact, which I will also be illustrating using printmaking, obviously, as the main medium. It's a very new project of mine which at the moment doesn't really have a timeline as I am just doing bits alongside my normal workload in the studio. It has a storyline and I am at the moment in the process of sketching, carving and block printing the pictures which is so much fun but at the same time such hard work! I completely understand why a lot of books are illustrated with the help of a drawing pen on an ipad!


So far just because of the nature of printmaking, the process is quite slow and time consuming. But if it was easy everyone would be doing it right? I have a lovely story slowly being stitched together with (drum roll please) WILSON being the main character in the book! Yes, our beloved black lab is going to be block printed in all shapes and forms running around trying to find his way home! If you haven't followed RJS Print for very long you won't remember when Wilson ran off... but he did! For a whole 18 hours in fact. And to cut a long story short he made his way all the way home probably covering over 10 miles in total... in the pitch black middle of the night!

man and dog running along beach

Follow Your Nose is going to be an exciting and heart felt story about Wilson the black lab. Beautifully illustrated using lino block printing to tell the story and convey (hopefully) a loving home, beautiful but sometimes scary landscape and all the love and hope we felt that day that he would come back.


So yes, all very exciting but at the same time I feel I may need your help! I have never done anything like this before but have felt for a long time this was the kind of path I wanted to take my art practice, and hopefully you will agree! ANY advice from local business to published authors would be very much appreciated in terms of getting a book agent and publishers. I'm going to be sharing a few snippets of work here on the blog as a stepping stone to what is to come, and I have set up a separate instagram account for the book, @drawing_wilson which I will occasionally post snippets and artwork from the book.


This blog post I am sharing a few colour combinations and pattern designs I have been playing with. I have an idea of using colour to try and convey the emotion Wilson is feeling as he is finding his way home. Warm colours being the safe sense of home and cooler/ darker colours when he is lost.


I absolutely adore reading to my two year old, and she loves a gripping story so I feel I already have a pretty harsh critic to impress. I have been really inspired by a lot of stories we already read daily; to name a few. "Augustus and his Smile" which is written and illustrated by Catherine Rayner, I absolutely love the simplicity of the images and how very little text there is yet so much emotion in the story. Obviously Julia Donaldson plays a huge part in our bedtime reading, and she is absolutely brilliant alongside Axel Scheffler as illustrator, but another great rhyming book we love is "The Squirrels Who Squabbled" by Rachel Bright and illustrated by Jim Field. They have a collection of amazing stories, all really fun reads and the illustrations are beautiful. Lots of detail in the illustrations you could only dream of doing. Donaldson also has a really brilliant alphabet inspired book called "Animalalphabet" which is obviously animals matching letters of the alphabet, illustrated by Sharon King-Chai which are just stunning. Very collage and pattern inspired drawings which compliment the animals so so well. I could go on forever but one last inspiration is Anne-Katherine Behl and her flip/ slider hardback book "Seaside", which we love seeing as we also live close to the seaside and can relate to a lot of the drawings! All the creatures inspired by British coastline animals which make things very relatable.


Thanks for reading and as always you can reach me via email at rjs.printmaking@gmail.com

Would love your feedback!


repeat pattern of floral print from book

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