Hullo!

Oh my poor bloggy, I used to write on you so much, but now you’ve been replaced by my daily Instagram postings! Some of the recent posts… new book characters, more and more birds, art gifts from friends and more. If you are on there, come say hello – I’m @jessesmess xx

OH and today, after an intense few months, I finished my artwork for an upcoming book with Windy Hollow, written by Tania McCartney. Joyful day! Cover to go, and then the champagne shall be drunk… Above, a little scene from within.

The Portfolio Project… And my 2017 plans.

Over on Instagram, I’ve joined some wonderful artists in a Christmas celebration and been drawing away some themes for the month, from puddings to pine trees. (Check out @the_portfolio_project).

Our last theme was polar bear, and I create this process video as a reminder to myself on my plans for next year… yes, there are the creative ones, family ones and health but also to tread a little lighter on the earth. There’s terrible politics at work, but I’m going to do my small bit to try and lower my own usage of our planet’s finite resources. Suggestions from coolantartica.com include:

It’s about cutting power use and consumption generally – not so simple in a world where consumption is often admired and sometimes envied and where power use can make life more convenient or more interesting.

As a rule of thumb though anything you can do to use less energy and buy locally produced items of quality rather than cheap and cheerful in quantity will help. There are many guides as to what to do, some very effective, others less so, the most effective are:

  • Get a less polluting car and use it less often.

  • Get more efficient refrigeration – fridges and freezers are on 24/7/365 and as a result use the most energy of any domestic appliance.

  • Reduce the amount of heating your house or office needs, use insulation, stop draughts, turn the thermostat down 1 degree.

  • Reduce water heating requirements, takes showers not baths, take normal showers, not power-showers, get a more efficient washing machine.

  • Get low energy light bulbs and turn them off when not needed.

  • Fly less or not at all.

So my big resolution for next year is to do my own small steps to do as much as I can above.

In the mean time, a big Merry Xmas from me – thank you for reading and supporting my work this year. I’m looking forward to a break now and starting the new year refreshed and ready for a big year of work and play. x

MATS Children’s Book Course

Over the past five weeks I’ve taken an intensive children’s course via the great team at Make Art That Sells.  This course was my favourite topic – children’s books (!) and was taught by the lovely Lilla Rogers and very knowledgable art director Zoe Tucker. It was very exhausting but fantastic to be learning new skills in this area, and I focused on the story The Owl and the Pussycat. My assignments below.

Mixed Updates

It’s been busy times here, I’m working on a kids book and other client projects, doing a children’s book course and as a result, the studio (and perhaps my mind) is a bit of a mess! Rather than break down project by project, here’s some images from projects and more updates can be read in my monthly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ciiMqj

Little Koala Lost

My third (and final for 2016) picture book is released this month, Little Koala Lost. It’s a sweet counting book for little ones by Blaze Kwaymullina, and published by Omnibus. I had so much fun drawing the different Australian critters and most especially the koala, especially since our little koala Billy was just about born when I wrapped it up. You can pick up a copy at your local bookshop or online – great if you can support your local sellers! x

The Midnight Possum

 Also out in April is my second ever picture book, The Midnight Possum – published by Scholastic and written by the amazing Sally Morgan. Gosh I’m a lucky lady having my first two books released the same month! Can’t wait to see them on the shelves….  

Smile Cry

Excitement brewing as my very first picture book, written by the clever Tania McCartney and published by the fine folk at EK books, is released in under a month.  Stay tuned for Melbourne launch details (April 9 at the Little Bookroom) but in the mean time here is our cover!  

 

The finale! 

The final for my five weeks of home decor creating is themed around wood products – with a focus on textured and the baby world. It’s been a really great course and I’ve loved learning new ways of doing things, as well as seeing the incredible work my classmates have created.