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drawing the house with chicken legs

One of the hardest things about getting older is that, when I go to parties celebrating creative achievements, hardly any of my friends actually want to get together to make stuff; we stand around and chat and hold drink glasses and nibble at canapés. Nothing wrong at all with that, but I miss everyone sitting around a table at the pub and drawing and laughing at what we've drawn. Luckily one of my friends is still totally up for coming to a party, sitting on the floor and drawing with me.



Here's @CFcomiX, who I met briefly four years ago when Philip Reeve and I were doing our Pugs of the Frozen North events up in Kendal for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He's a member of our @StudioTeaBreak drawing challenge group on Twitter (with his account overseen by his mum) and for years, he's managed to meet almost every single challenge!




Last night, his mother, Sophie Anderson, launched her debut novel with Usborne, and since I'm a fan of Russian stories (I did my degree in Russian lit), I'd been keen to read her book based on the Baba Yaga legend, The House with Chicken Legs. And it's a brilliant read, I really enjoyed it, and heartily recommend it for kids and grownups! Here's cover artist Melissa Castrillón



Notice the cover credits both her and the artist of the interior illustrations, Elisa Pagnelli! With the #PicturesMeanBusiness campaign, we've only asked that publishers print the name of the cover artist legibly on the back cover. But Usborne realised that people would naturally assume the cover artist of this book was the same as the interior artist, so they made things extra clear by printing both names. Thank you, Usborne!! (I had a real fangirl moment meeting Melissa, I LOVE her artwork; do check out her website.)



Oh, and a data expert just pointed out that the metadata is good, too! (Metadata's complicated but absolutely vital to illustrator careers and you can read more about the workings and problems here, and solutions here.)



As soon as I sat down with @CFcomiX, he set the challenge of drawing a Baba Yaga house:



He called on Sophie to judge the results and she diplomatically called it a tie, but Alec definitely won in the speed category, making two drawings to my one.



It was great to meet the whole family,



...including the daughter that 12-year-old Marinka, the book's heroine, is based on!









Thanks for a lovely evening, Usborne and Waterstones Covent Garden!



And thanks, most of all, to Alec for drawing with me! Find out more about The House with Chicken Legs on Sophie's website, more about #PicturesMeanBusiness and more about @StudioTeaBreak drawing challenges here. (Do join us if you like!)

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jabberworks
Sarah McIntyre

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