Hello 2015!

As you may suspect from the dearth of posts between, er, now and the launching of this new internet home for some of my work back in June 2014, it has been a pretty busy six or seven months and - while I have occasionally uploaded a few new 'works in progress' to my blog site (illustratedbyamanda.wordpress.com), most consistently through December - this site has been woefully neglected.

However, it is (several days, nay, almost two weeks *coughs* into) a New Year, and as the brilliant MA in Children's Book Illustration 2014/15 (at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge) draws to a close, I am resolved to be a little more solicitous of this site's needs! Poor thing.

The festive period was something of an undifferentiated blizzard of 'activity', combining the traditional family visitations and our annual 'CrimboCon' board-gaming event (together with a dash of panic-gift-buying [mercifully online, in large part...]), with some rather more frenzied drawing, re-drawing, watercolour painting and essay-concocting as I - along with the rest of my course-mates graduating in 2015 - prepared for our Final Assessment deadline on 5 January. (Below image: the Title/Copywright page spread from my Masters Stage project that I was working on between mince-pies...)

(Below: It doesn't look like much, but this was my bundled Master Stage project work on Assessment-Deadline Eve. Out of shot: my heavily be-plastered fingers from scalpel-wielding blisters...!)

Since then, I have had a few days to try and restore some semblance of order to the scene of devastation that greeted me every time I opened (and then swiftly closed...) the door to my workroom (and to wrangle with that joyous, yearly task of online Self-Assessment Tax filing), before launching back into the fray in preparation for the succession of Exhibition and Bologna Children's Book Fair deadlines that punctuate the next few months.

Deadlines aside, the next 'event' in my illustrative calendar is the Final Show for the MA, which returns to the Candid Gallery in Shoreditch (First Floor Gallery) for the second year running, and is scheduled to open to the public on Tuesday 10 February. The nerve-jangling Private View - a by-invitation opportunity for Publishers and Agents to view the work displayed, quaff the odd glass of wine, and, perchance, express an interest in publishing/representing students - is to be held on the Thursday evening (12 February), and the show winds up on Saturday 14 February, when it is anticipated everyone's family and friends will descend on the gallery and probably stand, penguin-like, squished into the same square foot of space for an hour or so before the inability to move limbs or turn the head compels decampment to a slightly more spacious environment to raise a proverbial glass.

Further final artwork, dummy book manufacture and exhibition 'strategy' (pins or bulldog clips? Frames or foamboard?) are, then, the order of the day for the next couple of weeks, after which thoughts will turn almost exclusively to Bologna - about which, more soon!

I hope you enjoy looking through some of the new work I have posted to this site in the last couple of days, and that you might visit again over the coming weeks and months to test the strength of my resolution to tend this site more solicitously!

If you interested in reading a little more about my experience of the course and of the work I have been doing during the past few months, please do take a look at my dedicated blog site at illustratedbyamanda.wordpress.com which is updated a little more frequently (and, in addition to illustrations, with more words...).

Thanks for reading, and a happy January to you!


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