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Drawing Workshop With The Rainbows


Simon was at Totton Rainbows yesterday sharing his children's books and leading a drawing workshop. Using just simple lines, shapes, numbers and letters, Simon builds one of the characters from his books in a simple, easy-to-follow step-by-step method that leaves all the children (and a few adults) with a drawing they can be proud of.

The Rainbows only meet for an hour, so rather than be paid for this time it was agreed that the group would buy each of their Rainbows one of Simon's books, which he duly signed and dedicated for each girl.

Ann Barlow, who runs the Rainbows group said: "Thank you for being so brilliant with the Rainbows yesterday. They loved it and they were so engaged with what they were doing. You really spoke their language!"

If you'd like Simon to come and talk to your group, be they children or adults, do get in touch via our contact page.

Posted in News by Admin on 09/02/2017

Photo Opportunity Board For Hampshire Fare


Hampshire Fare, the not-for-profit group promoting local food and drink, asked us to create a photo opportunity board. They champion over 350 producers, venues and shops, so they had a very specific brief that required the illustration to incorporate as many elements as possible, allow for three face holes, and be suitable for easy construction/collapsing and transportation. 

Working together with Splash Display, a bespoke unit was designed that made the building and moving of it possible, so all that was left was to create an illustration that featured branding, social media messages and logos, a producer and a chef, examples of produce and livestock, a sponsorship logo and relevant cottage, and a cartoon realisation of Hampshire Fare’s hog. Fortunately, this sort of detailed drawing is something we enjoy getting involved with!

The result was revealed at a recent Hampshire Fare networking event at the White Star Tavern in Southampton, where plenty of Hampshire Fare members took full advantage of the new board. Look out for it around Hampshire at events in the coming year.

Theme Park Sign Design: Viking Boats


Paultons Park asked me to redesign their signage for their Viking Boats ride. They've been steadily recreating all their attractions' signs to appear layered or sculpted, giving them a much more interesting 3D feel. To this end, any artwork I create has to bear this in mind so the sign manufacture can select elements to extrude and enhance.

The original sign used a generic viking boat image but I was keen to represent the design of the boats on the actual ride. It's all created as vector artwork using Adobe Illustrator, which has the benefit of allowing it to be scaled to any size without any loss of quality of fuzziness, such as you'd get with a pixel-based illustration. The sign should be in place for when the park reopens in February 2017.

Totton College Library Opening


Today I had the enormous pleasure of officially opening the brand new Totton College library, or more correctly, the Learning Resource Centre. 

I attended Totton College as an A-level student between '89 and '91 so as an ex-student who now writes and illustrates books they thought me a good fit as the man to hand the ceremonial scissors to. 

I was told to bring some books along in case people were interested and ended up almost selling out, which was a great bonus. Whether or not the magnificent attendance was down to me or the promise of a lavish spread of food and drink I couldn't say, although I'd be tempted to go with the former.

Posted in News by Simon on 01/12/2016

Quincey Quokka's Quest Is Now An App



We're pleased to announce that Quincey Quokka's Quest is now available as an interactive ebook.

Through this book children help Quincey through a series of activities that require them to remember, control their actions and exert control over their thinking. In doing so, children gain valuable experience in support of their cognitive development. This app is an interactive ebook version of Quincey Quokka's Quest, which allows children to continue interacting with the book even if an adult reader is not available to share it with them. Complete with character voices and animations, Quincey's world is now as immersive as ever.

Quincey Quokka's Quest was first developed as a picture book to support children's cognitive development. The abilities it aims to foster have been shown to play an essential role in setting the stage for a broad range of outcomes in later life (e.g., school readiness, academic achievement, social and emotional competence). Quincey Quokka's Quest aims to promote the development of these abilities, giving children the best possible start to life. 

Quincey Quokka's Quest has been featured by numerous media outlets (e.g., ABC News, WIN News in Australia). It is also the subject of peer-reviewed research published in Educational Psychology Review, as well as ongoing research, which outlines its benefits. 

To download the app please visit Apple’s App Store.

For further information, visit www.quinceyquokka.com 

Posted in Books by Admin on 27/10/2016

Colour-In Mazes


At the beginning of the year I created a series of colour in mazes for three books to be published by Award Publications on the themes of dinosaurs, farms and the jungle.


It's taken a while to get my copies, but they've finally arrived so I thought I'd share a couple of the mazes here. Each maze comes with a little explanatory text, which I didn't set, hence it missing from the artwork. I'm sure you can work it out.

Drawing Cats Workshop At Abbotswood Juniors


I do a few different workshops and talks to schools and groups, but one of the more unusual ones is to the children of Abbotswood Junior School. For the third year I'd been asked back to help kick off their study of Varjak Paw, a children's book by S.F. Said and illustrated by Dave McKean. My part has been to give the children confidence and encouragement in drawing cats, so I've run a short cartooning workshop that includes step-by-step drawings for them to follow.

The idea is to make the children familiar enough with the subject matter that they can go away and draw their own cat characters, complete with personalities, poses and props that suggest a much more rounded and complete feline than perhaps they'd be able to achieve otherwise. Abbotswood have large year groups, and taking several classes in one session isn't normally something I'd do, but such is the organisation that it all goes swiftly and smoothly with plenty of contented faces. Afterwards I also got the opportunity to do several small focus groups with some of the children, which is always great fun to see up close what they can achieve with a little guidance. Have had some really positive feedback from the day and we're already looking forward to next year.

Posted in Schools by Simon on 24/10/2016

The Lakes Comic Arts Festival 2016


Have just spent a wonderful weekend with some good cartooning chums at the Lakes Comics Arts Festival in Kendal. The Cartoonists' Club of Great Britain was there for a third year recruiting new cartoonists, selling our cartooning gubbins and doing plenty of large scale live drawing that the public could snap up on the spot. 

Great fun, although shattered now...

Posted in News by Simon on 17/10/2016

Marwell's Zany Zebras – One last time...


Popped in to see Trojan this morning for a very minor bit of repair work. After several weeks on the trail it ended up with a small scuff on the nose and a chocolate fingerprint, so that's not bad considering the horror stories that some of the artists had to deal with. The Marwell team have been run ragged dealing with it all, but they've done an outstanding job considering it's been full on pretty much all day seven days a week.

Trojan's now all set for his appearance at the Ageas Bowl with all the other zebras from Friday 14th until Monday 17th October, then the grand auction on the evening of the 18th. If you fancy bidding, or know someone that might be interested, get yourself registered pronto. 

Posted in Cartoons by Simon on 04/10/2016

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