Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Hidden Inspirations - a guest blog post from Fiona Woodcock, Author of the truly awesome "Hiding Heidi" out now from Simon and Schuster Children's Books

We raved about "Hiding Heidi" when we recently reviewed it on Read It, Daddy. Now we're very fortunate to be able to bring you a fantastic guest post from author illustrator Fiona Woodcock, sharing with us her hidden inspirations for this brilliant children's book. Take it away, Fiona!

Hidden Inspirations

I realised recently that three images I have on my desk perfectly capture my visual approach to creating Hiding Heidi, my first picture book. Although I wasn't conscious of being inspired by them at the time!

This frog postcard from The British Museum has been pride of place in my studio for years. It's a beautifully simple woodblock print from 1814 by Matsumoto Hoji, which reminds me that less is more. And also relates to my rubber stamp printed colour work in the book.

"Frog", Matsumoto Hoji, 1814
The second image is a postcard by Joan Eardley of a girl in a gym slip from Aberdeen Art Gallery, drawn in chalk and pastel. I became a fan of Eardley's work when I was a student at Glasgow School of Art. I love the sketchy unfinished feel of this drawing. This represents the pencil work of the characters in the book and the looseness and energy of the drawn line.

"Girl in a gymslip" - Joan Eardley
And the third image is a photo I took years ago at Hunstanton in Norfolk, of a triangular structure at an out of season fairground. It's a good example of how I'm drawn to graphic pattern. In the book I tried to describe Heidi's world with simplified shapes colour and pattern.

More about Fiona Woodcock

From an early age Fiona knew that she wanted to earn her living drawing. Since graduating from Glasgow School of Art she has been working freelance in London on animated films, commercials, animation artwork for West End shows and illustration work. All the projects she works on have a paper based handmade origin. She likes to work with a combination of pencil, paint, charcoal, children’s blow pens, cutting stencils and experimenting with print techniques whilst dreaming up new characters and stories. Hiding Heidi is her debut picture book.

You can find Fiona on Twitter: @FionaWoodcock and Instagram: @FionaWoodcock