Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Mariella Mystery Investigates by Kate Pankhurst

Former student, part time lecturer, illustrator Kate Pankhurst has written and illustrated her own stories for children. Although Mariella is only nine she opens her own detective agency and becomes a totally amazing girl detective.

The books were published by Orion in April and are the first books written and illustrated by Kate although she has been published as an illustrator many times before!
Mariella Mystery Investigates ...  by Kate Pankhurst ©
Mariella Mystery Investigates ... by Kate Pankhurst ©

I asked Kate how she came to write the Mariella books?

"The writing came about after I illustrated the cover for the Ghostly Guinea Pig as an illustration sample to send to publishers, just to show how I'd deal with a front cover illustration should they be looking to commission an illustrator. The agent I'm with sent the illustration round to a few places and the question was asked; was there a story to go with her ..."
I'd thought about who Mariella was and what world she lived in whilst doing the illustration so when I had the chance to present to a few publishers I pulled everything together and did a couple of illustrated sample chapters – and what do you know? Got myself a four book deal! 
Bit of a shock as I didn't and still don't really think of myself as a 'writer'."
Did she enjoy the process of being both writer and illustrator?
"It's been the best process ever, I've worked closely with a really talented editor at Orion who has supported me to pull the stories into shape and I've had SO much more control that I'd normally get over the design and illustration layout. There's about 250 illustrations in each book so editing, designing and illustrating them has been intense but amazing fun!

I've actually found writing a book this length is loads easier than trying to capture everything in 500 words for a picture book. I'm working on the third title now which is the Huge Hair Scare and the working title for the fourth book is The Curse of the Pampered Poodle."
Mariella Mystery Investigates "The Ghostly Guinea Pig" and "A Cupcake Conundrum" are available now from all good bookshops!!!

Boneface works with Queens of the Stone Age

It's always great to hear about ex students and their new projects; especially when they are as monumental as this one?

Boneface and classmate Andy Thomson came into the UCLan studios to speak to students about their work earlier this academic year. They discussed their experiences two years out of University and  Boneface revealed his role in the new identity for one of the world's biggest bands Queens of the Stone Age and their new album artwork.

Flown to Los Angeles to work in Josh Homme's studio for a week he was one of the first to hear new tracks from the album and to try and interpret both the new music and the band's visual identity to go with the new release.

Click to enlarge image queens-of-the-stone-age-boneface-1.png

Boneface's drawings have also been animated and he has worked with animator Liam Brazier to create animations for five of the tracks from the album including this one Q for "I Appear Missing".

There is an interview about the project in Digital Arts online magazine here: Q where Boneface explains how the commission came about, out of nowhere, and how his ideas about the album artwork developed. There was also an interview in the September issue of Juxtapoz magazine see here: Q

The new Queens of the Stone Age album Like Clockwork is out in June.

(Boneface is aka Stu Madden in case you didn't know! Shhh!)