Thursday, January 14, 2016

KITE WEATHER

HOW TO FIND GOLD is only one of Anna and Crocodile's adventures.
I wrote a few of them down as letters to my team at Walker Books.
Here is a blustery one.










There's a whole book about Anna and Crocodile, called HOW TO FIND GOLD.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Walker Books PICTURE BOOK OF THE MONTH!

Isn't that awesome! First month of the year and Anna and Crocodile win a surprise honour.

I wrote a making-of feature for the Walker Books blog, you can read it here.

I wondered who these instructions were for. Was this a chapter from a pirate primer? Who was reading it now and why? I started to illustrate it, first imagining myself as a small child, practicing to sleep with my eyes open to make sure no one could steal the gold I hadn’t found yet.

“Get yourself a pet that will surprise you at night,” the story recommended. “A crocodile is ideal. Carry one with you wherever you go to build up your strength. Start with a young crocodile. It will grow.”

This was an idea taken from the Greek myth of Milo who carried a calf on his shoulders every day until it grew into a bull and he grew into a mighty Olympian. More importantly, one summer when I was tiny my mother bought me an inflatable crocodile in the supermarket. It was big enough to ride on and intended for the seaside. I carried it everywhere, dragging it by the tail until its snout wore through on the tarmac and it deflated before the holiday even started.

I drew a girl and her toy crocodile. It wasn’t quite right. They just seemed very quiet and small. - I drew them in on a new page and asked the girl some questions about the crocodile. She said it was called Rupert Maureen, and didn’t move unless she threw it and she wasn’t supposed to throw it. I didn’t expect that.


READ THE REST (both of the article and the comic)


Friday, January 8, 2016

MAKING OF "HOW TO FIND GOLD": letting the characters speak

As promised, here is the first of a few MAKING OF posts about How To Find Gold, my new picture book that's just been published (go buy it, thanks)!

I was developing the characters of Anna and Crocodile by letting them act out some of the ideas I had for the book on paper. I had no idea who they were yet. Anna had my haircut (it grew out gradually while I was working on the book) and the crocodile was a toy which Anna had told me was bought from IKEA ("when we got the wardrobes").

This is from the second sketchbook (there were many).








So, yes, that's how I work... I recommend it, it's really rewarding to see what these little made-up people come out with when you just let them run wild.

Next: Painting Like A Child. Watch this Space.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

HOW TO FIND GOLD - It's out!!!!

Finally!!
Anna and Crocodile have arrived! HOW TO FIND GOLD is in UK bookshops today, published by Walker Books.


Well, here you go. I wrote and illustrated an new book. It doesn't have flaps or speech bubbles this time. It has a quest, and it's very educational. I put in EVERYTHING I know about finding gold. Finding gold, as Crocodile could tell you, takes a lot of preparation, plus someone like Anna.

I'm really fond of these two - it took a long time to work out their story through many scribbly notebooks, letters, and sketchbooks, and by the end I felt like they'd somehow written it themselves. I hope they'll have many more adventures. Actually I am sure they will, I just hope I get to catch some more of them and put them into picture books.

I'll be posting scenes and drawings that happened on the way to the book here over the month, along with some treats... Watch this space!

On the 26th we'll have an official book launch in London, at Daunt Books (Holland Park Avenue). If you're a friend of my books, you're invited. Here you go:

Let's celebrate!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

HELP THE PINCH! ART SALE



Some of them have fingerprints, some are a bit smudged, but all of them are hand-picked from my personal collection.
I don't often sell my incidental artwork - usually I either throw it away if it's not great, or keep it in a drawer for myself.

ANYWAY!

Potus Pinch, one of the two lovely cats in this household, is in danger of losing his owly yellow eyes - he's gone to the specialist vet now and we need to raise a couple of grand to cover the bills.
He's a big inspiration - I learned how to draw a cat nose from his particularly regal snout.
He's also a kind, cuddly, handsome midnight-black beast, and we love him very much - if you like my cat drawings, now would be a great time to get one. 
Free shipping!

ADDITIONALLY: Discount code PINCH will give you 10% off not just on these but any other item in the shop.
All proceeds from my shop will go to cover the bills for as long as necessary.


Thank you!













Wednesday, December 2, 2015

CAT SKETCH REPORT: 50/50 PARLIAMENT DEBATE, WESTMINSTER


Yesterday I went to Westminster for a debate at the House of Commons. The event was to mark the anniversary of Nancy Astor, the first women MP, taking her seat in the Common's 96 years ago.

The room was packed. The seat next to me was shared by two people, and there was a small standing crowd by the door. It was a diverse crowd, including some very eloquent minors.




This is the issue:

Of the 650 seats in the House of Commons 459 are occupied by men and 191 women.
There are 32 million women in the UK,
51% of the population. They are a diverse majority.
But the House of Commons is 71% male.
Here's the Petition for you to sign if you agree that this is a bad situation and must change sooner rather than later.

And here are my sketches! Enjoy. And click to see them big.



The Panel (can't see them all here, they had to run in and out to cast votes and debate elsewhere):
Maria Miller MP, Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, Jess Phillips MP, Angela Crawley MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Baroness Smith of Newnham, Callum McCaig MP, Wes Streeting MP, Ben Howlett MP and Sophie Walker, Leader of the Women's Equality Party.



"There are some awfully, awfully average men in here". Callum McCaig on Whitehall.
Ellan asked Maria Miller if her boss would introduce a quota for his party.
No, he won't.




Baroness Smith of Newnham and Ben Howlett.




Jess Phillips.



Caroline Lucas.




Sophie Walker from the Women's Equality Party.






Many good questions asked.




The last question came from a child, to great applause, and was answered by every member of the panel (in the case of Maria Miller with s shrug - the rest gave firm estimates).

Monday, October 19, 2015

THE THEATRE OF ILLUSTRATION


What is a picture book if not a tiny paper theatre?
Drawing upon over two decades experience in picture book making and the performing arts, award winning author/illustrator Viv Schwarz and award-winning theatre designer Ellan Parry present a master class in visual story-telling, exploring the intersection between picture books and performance.kiss-test Whether you are a professional picture book artist, a student or just want to try your hand at making something for your family, this class will give you tools to bring drama, expression and emotional impact to your work. We will bring in creative tools and exercises learned, invented, collected and developed over years of professional practice as well as materials that we would use ourselves professionally. proant_smallWe will show you how to work fast to generate characters and bring them to life, using techniques borrowed from theatre as well as drawing games and storytelling exercises. You will learn how to develop your story hands-on to make a well-paced, engaging picture book. This class includes a portfolio/dummy book viewing and discussion in small, friendly groups in the morning, so we can tailor the afternoon book-making lesson to you, personally.   This is a workshop for adults, although we may consider talented teenagers. We are charging an introductory rate of £50.

BOOK YOUR TICKET HERE

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Lights... camera... autocue?

I am setting up recording equipment at the studio so I can film clips now and then, to supplement the workshops I'm running with The Kraken Studio (That's our studio).
It's fun.
Here's the camera and the studio ipad...

...which is a remote and monitor now. There's a microphone, too, and some lighting, but most importantly...

A video posted by Viviane schwarz (@schwarzviv) on


...the autocue, which is pure ancient open source goodness - plus some duct tape.




Good thing I've been collecting assorted electronics for the studio over the last couple of years!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

CAT AND BAG

My Anxiety web comic has a brand-new home.
I am reposting all the old episodes, edited and tidied a bit, and there are many new ones to come.
So: that's where the new stuff will happen. Go Look There.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Space Cat Portraits

Today I drew people as Space Cats, as part of the Galactic Fete at Creation Space London.
I especially enjoyed drawing families - I asked them to do a space pose. 







I managed to forget my drawing pen, so I had to hack a writing pen by adding a pipette I happened to have in my brush roll as a reservoir for drawing ink. I also cut a nib from a beer can and used some correction fluid and a toothbrush for stars.


Well, that was fun.