Zoom Time: Brussels, Milan, Tipperary

I've just done a series of Zoom Author Visits, with The British School of Brussels, The British School of Milan, and Tipperary Children's Book Festival. I don't particularly like doing Zoom visits; it's nowhere near as good as working with children in person, but it's the best thing we can do right now, and definitely better than nothing. With Zoom events, I miss being able to walk around and look at the individual drawings, and comment on them. And I miss the easy back-and-forth banter with the kids, asking them questions and hearing their ideas. But there are still ways to get some interaction, and these last few events have been pretty good.

Here I am, in that awkward time when I'm all set up at my desk but there's not really time to do anything else but fret.

The best ones are the events I do with my co-author Philip Reeve; here's the drawing I led the Tipperary schools in making today, when Philip and I were talking about our new book, Kevin vs the Unicorns:

And the drawing was not wasted! My little neighbour friend (aka Studio Baby) and her granny helped colour it in, and presented it to me this evening.

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Shop open for ONE WEEK ONLY!

Stuart and I are opening our shop for ONE WEEK ONLY, so if you'd like to stock up on Christmas card and tags, and all-season packs of cards for giving as prezzies, get in there before next Friday noon! There's a brand-new Christmas card: sarahmcintyre.bigcartel.com

And I'm also selling the three paintings I made during our development of Kevin the Roly-Poly Flying Pony. (You might have spotted them hanging above my desk in many an illustration video. I'm still very fond of them, so if they don't sell, that's okay, too!)

I painted these 'round about the time our first Kevin story was picked up and paid for by the Telegraph, after Philip Reeve and I had posted installations of the story every day on our blogs. We didn't yet know Kevin would become a whole series of books!

Portrait Challenge: St George, by Carlo Crivelli

Here's my #PortraitChallenge take on (the top half of) Carlo Crivelli's 1472 painting of St George and the Dragon. That armour is wonderfully ludicrous, like something out of a Sci-Fi film. I don't often get a chance these days to do the Studio Tea Break drawing challenges on Twitter, but Portrait Challenge is my favourite, and I'm always so glad when I do it. I'm curious how many we've done so far, I haven't kept count, but I think it's a lot. (Find out more about Studio Tea Break here.)

A real-life visit to Max Minerva's in Bristol!

Do you remember how my co-author Philip Reeve and I were recently blogging about Kevin's big virtual bookshop tour? Our publisher, Oxford University Press, offered a prize that one of the virtually visited bookshops would get a real in-person visit from Philip Reeve and me, and the winning bookshop was Max Minerva's Marvellous Books in Bristol! Our ace publicist Liz Scott booked it to coincide with Bookshop Day, when the 'Books Are My Bag' campaign would be encouraging everyone to get out to their local bookshop.

Here's Philip in front of the real-life bookshop (not the painted one)... it's so nice being able to do things for real again!

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Utterly Dark: drawing the Gorm

Here's a bit of fan art I did, sitting on the sofa last night, for Philip Reeve's Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep. There are a few mentions in the story of a certain painting of 'the Gorm', a terrifying creature of the sea, and I imagined how a woodcut copy of the painting could look.

After I finished, I wanted to try it all over again, to try to get more of the sense of an artist who hasn't actually seen a lion before - I think I could have gone more bizarre or goofy. Maybe I'll try again later, the Gorm is fun to draw, and she comes in many different guises...

... which you'll find out about if you read the book! Highly recommended.

Dartmoor craft fair

While I was in Devon, I went along to meet my friend, hill farmer and artist Cat Frampton at the Manaton Makers fair in Manaton Village Hall, as part of Devon Open Studios.

I didn't get around to taking any photos, but here's the picture I drew from memory (Cat's in the bottom right corner, selling her cards. And Sarah Reeve bought one of those lovely baskets). At some point I'm hoping to put it on a tea towel, but I'm a bit short for time at the moment... maybe in the spring.

Dartmoor photos

Posting a few Dartmoor photos here, mainly for myself, to remember the trip! Here's a sketch I did of Bonehill Rocks:

Happy birthday, Sarah Reeve! (I hardly ever bake, but I baked a cake.)

Some of the magical-looking Dartmoor ponies that inspired Philip Reeve and me to write the Kevin books.

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Reeve & McIntyre at The Bookery, Crediton

What a week! The team at The Bookery in Crediton, in Devon, hosted my co-author Philip Reeve and me for a three days packed full of fantastic book events!

Photo by Tilly Lander Williams for The Bookery

You might recognise my handwriting on the shopfront, from earlier in the year, when The Bookery rebranded from being Crediton Community Bookshop, and asked me to do the lettering and rook characters.

Philip gave me a lift and I did solo picture book events for the first day, starting with a big Grumpycorn assembly at Broadclyst Primary School, including Westclyst, Monkerton and Yeo Valley primary schools on Zoom.

Photo from Luke Hayes-Middleton at Broadclyst Primary

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