Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Small Blue Readings

Hi chaps,

Well, I've my two reading spots of my book 'Small Blue' now.One in a shop, as in my previous post, and one in a library.
The way I decided to play the events was to do the readings first, and then draw sketches of characters from it, (usually pirates or witches).
It was fun and went down well.
Kids do seem to be fascinated by seeing a drawing actually appear out of nothing in front of them.

The shop reading was more freeform, with people drifting in and out, which had its own charm.
I ended up doing lots of individual readings to families there, while at the library there was more of a formal start and finish, and the reading had to be more of a performance.

I've been asked back by the library for another spot closer to Christmas, so I'll see if I can do even better with my patter for that. Any suggestions from anyone for tips and tricks would be much appreciated :)

I'll maybe try and employ my badges a bit more, and incidentally, more on those later.

All my equipment is set up for readings now though -
A3 sketchpad - check
Sharpies - check
Badges to give away - check

All ready for the next reading :)

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Author Event at Waterstones Carlisle

Hi Chaps,

Well, I had a great time at Waterstones in Carlisle last Saturday doing my author event for 'Small Blue and the Deep Dark Night'.
Lots of reading it to kids (and their parents) and doing drawings for them (the kids), usually of pirates. It fit in nicely on Halloween as it's sort of about scary things, and I ended up being there for about an hour and a half all in all.

It was excellently set up by the shop, especially thanks to Wendy in the children's department, with a window display, excellent chalkboard sign, and a lovely 'reading chair' and table.

I can recommend the children's section, if you want the good stuff, they've got it there :)

I'm looking forward to doing more readings, my next is at Twickenham Library at 3.45 on 10th November, in one of their regular story time slots.
There shall be reading, sketching, colouring sheets and copies of the book to sign and sell there too :)

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Small Blue Badge

Hi chaps,

I've had a re-think about the 'Small Blue' badges and a bit of a look around, and I'm going to have a new and improved, better-value version available slightly differently soon, more info on it's way.
I'll post more once it's all organised and set up.
'Keep 'em peeled', as Shaw Taylor used to say.
They're rethought, resorted, reordered - and coming soon :)

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Small Blue Readings

Dates for your Diary here Chaps :)
I have some readings of 'Small Blue and the Deep Dark Night' organised.
The first is in Carlisle Waterstones on 31st October.
And after that at Twickenham Library on 10th November at 3.45pm in one of their regular story time slots.
So do come along if you're about :)
If you already have a copy of 'Small Blue', bring it along and I will be happy to sign it for you, otherwise I'll have a few copies to sell and sign.
I'll also have some Small Blue and Big Brown colouring/drawing sheets to hand out.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Real Life Sketching

Hi Chaps,

I just recently spent some time in The Lake District and managed to get some sketching done, which doesn't tend to happen very often normally.
It does make a change to draw in real life with a real life pencil on a areal life paper sketch pad, rather than the ol' wacom tablet and pen that I normally do practically ALL my drawing on.
This is a sketch of a tree by a river.

Took about five minutes, and for anyone interested, here are a few technical details :)
I used a 0.5 propelling pencil with HB leads on an A6 Muji sketch/notepad, no rubber, and also no specs on which made it interesting. A bit like drawing with my eyes permanently half closed, so I ended up concentrating on the broad forms, and suggesting the flowers and grass, rather any than finickity details.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Prints on Society 6

Hi Chaps,

I've been recently putting some of my latest work up on Society 6, which I've just rediscovered.
If you don't know, you can buy framed prints of work on Society 6, (and t-shirts, iphone cases, cards etc), it's really good. If you or someone you know is looking for a framed print it's a good place to go, so do pass it on :)
But the work I've put up is available as prints, and some are also available as iphone skins and cases, and greetings cards.
Here's a link to it, do have a look http://society6.com/jondavis
I've got a set of Mice pictures up that I'm pleased with. I've been working on having more colourful line-work.
Here's one.

The plan next is to try and get some t-shirt designs up.
These'll have to be less Children's Picture Book in style, and a bit more Graphic Novel-ish, I reckon, so I'll see what I can come up with.

Monday, 23 February 2015


Hi Chaps,

I've been doing a few drawings of foxes for a job just recently.
I've not had cause to draw too many foxes in the past, so it was fun to do this one.

I decided to give him a fine brush.
Here he is being caught by a lion. I'm not sure how much lions and foxes inhabit the same places generally, but that's what the story said :)

Here he is about to trick a rooster.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Children's Group

I recently did this sheet to print out to be used as a basis for discussion at a local children's group, which was very interesting.
The discussion was about dealing with unkind comments, like "I'm more clever than you".

The idea was to think about the sort of comments and behaviour that may not be classed as bullying, that falls into a bit of grey area there, but that is still unkind and unfriendly.
The kids were asked to think of responses that wouldn't exacerbate the situation or get them in trouble, but that would be confident and assertive.
There was a lot of 'walk away', ignore them' and 'don't show you're annoyed'.

Secret Book

Hi Chaps,

Well, I've been working on something a bit secret recently, I'll let you know more once the book's out, but it's a very nice book, for a good cause, with a couple of fun characters.
As a bit of a teaser, I can show yoiu a rough sketch from the early stages, that I was pleased with, but that wasn't used in the final book.

It gives a bit of a hint, though I'd be very surprised if anyone guesses what it actually is :)

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Penelope Perfect

Mark your diaries for 1st Feb everyone!
The first book in the new Penelope Perfect series is published, featuring illustrations by me :)

It's called 'Project Best Friend', and is published by the lovely people at Hardie Grant Egmont in Australia
It seems to be only available in Australia, but it is listed on the Book Depository here
Hopefully it'll be available to order/pre-order there soon, and it should be possible to post internationally from there.

The books have an interesting premise, about a girl who is quite anxious, and wants to be perfect.
Most of the time she is good, sensible and calm. But then sometimes she is bossy, angry and frustrated.
And the stories are written to explore these duelling presonalities, how she is never quite sure which Penelope is going to be stronger on any given day.  
And then, Penelope finds that the best moments in her life are when she actually forgets to try.

It was great fun to illustrate, and is a very smart book.
Look on the Hardie Grant FB page for updates here
I'll post more when it comes out.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

I Spy - answer

Time's up!
Here's the answer to the 'Small Blue' quiz from last week.
(Actually, I think this is a question rather than a quiz, as the word quiz implies more than one question :)

But anyway, on to the answer. If you know it, give yourself a pat on the back. If not, it's something to look out for .
But on each double page spread with the lights on, you will find, somewhere inthe picture, a red toy car.
Two in Small's bedroom, and then a different style of red toy car in the the hall and kitchen, 
right to the end, everytime the lights are on. 
Four double spreads in all.
Here they are.

But more info on new work coming soon :)

Thursday, 15 January 2015

I Spy

Hi Chaps,

Happy New Year everybody.
And as a celebration, I thought I'd do something a bit fun and participatory.

So, as it's been a few months since 'Small Blue and the Deep Dark Night' came out, I thought I might do a little 'I Spy' quiz.

This is a quiz for people who have a copy of 'Small Blue', or access to a copy, say at a library or something.
But if you look through the book, there is something that appears on every spread where the lights are on.
Bit of a clue, it's a certain coloured toy, but see if you can spot it.

It's a sort of sub-plot I put in, if you can call it a sub plot.
Just sort of something to spot and look out for as you're reading.

But have a careful look through, see what you can spot, and I'll do a post next week with the answer, with pictures.