Here’s my entry for House of Illustration / Folio Society book illustration competition for 2019. Sadly I didn’t make it onto the longlist but you can see some of the incredible art that did here. I learnt a lot in the process of creating these images and I had great fun doing them.
I made this image as a birthday card for my lovely big sister. As a novelist, she sometimes has to retreat from the world completely. With that in mind, I made her a ‘Sky Palace’ - a place to hide away, to write and watch birds from in peace.
The lake cabin was one of the first pieces I made with the aim of using more collage and hand-printed textures. The little hut represented a departure in every sense; a place to go, to find new ways to work and think; a tiny sanctuary.
Ravens are often associated with death and doom. According to the Keeper of the Tower London (and plenty of other sources), as well as being very clever and sociable, ravens display almost human characteristics like grief and disdain.
As a child I wanted my own treehouse more than anything. I never got my wish but now, as an illustrator, I get to have as many as I like - and make them as infinitely crazy or beautiful as I choose.
I’ve been visiting Southwold harbour in Suffolk for a long time, taking snapshots of the seaworn boats and fishing huts while I’m there. This piece is based on those visits and the changing textures and shapes I’ve collected over the years.
I made this piece as a gift for a friend who recently re-married. The honeymoon was in Greece and turquoise is her favourite colour, so choosing a colour scheme was easy. The rest is a made up fantasy of my own making.
Stilt dwellings can be found all over the world. In the UK, along the Cambridgeshire coast, are the remains of a whole Bronze Age village, preserved by the special conditions of that landscape. It seems everywhere there’s water, people have built their homes above it, to keep themselves safely in and predators firmly out.
I drive past this house most days, and used to barely notice it. Then one morning, it was as if the creepers seemed to have turned red overnight and the autumn sun shone down on it so fiercely, that the house had an almost magical appearance.
A friend who can be any shape he likes! What more could a boy want?
Barker has lost his story.
Black and White
Scarlet is a screamer. It’s what she does best. But is it always the best thing to do?