Sunday, January 31, 2016

House of Illustration - Lauren Child

Earlier this year, House of Illustration in London held an exhibition where Lauren Child's Dolls' House and original artworks were being displayed. Right in the middle of the exhibition room, there was the doll house. It was the biggest and the most elaborate doll house I have ever seen in my life. Child has been working on the doll house since she was young, and it contributed a great influence in her artworks today.

The Princess and The Pea set
The Princess and The Pea set  details

The influence could be seen in the exhibited original artworks, including from The Princess and The Pea book, where she incorporated similar details in the three dimensional sets.   Brilliantly, Child made the all human characters in two dimensional form, and managed to make them blended well with the 3D environment.

The Princess and The Pea set  details - 2D character in 3D environment
Lauren Child's collage illustration details

Lauren Child's collage illustration details

Lauren Child's collage illustration details

Friday, January 29, 2016

Alice in Wonderland at The British Library

I was at the Kings Cross Station when I noticed that I had a couple of hour left before my train departure. Then I decided to spend my time at The British Library, which is within walking distance from the station. 

Stuck in the White Rabbit's house.
When I arrived at The Library, it turned out that they were holding an exhibition as a part of
the celebration of 150 years of the publication of Lewis Caroll's Alice in Wonderland. Some manuscripts, prints, original illustrations, and Wonderland related stuff were displayed on the main venue. Taking pictures was strictly prohibited at the exhibition, so I only took some pictures of the displays at the lobby and the store.

The store decoration was very impressive. There were Tenniel's illustration giant cut outs (all made of cardboards) which created surreal atmosphere. They sell Wonderland themed merchandises and numerous version of Alice in Wonderland illustrated books.


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Cambridge School of Art

In early 2014, I moved to England and reside in Cambridge. Shortly after that, I began hunting for a job. I updated my CV and portfolio, made a cover letter etc, until one day I found the Master Course in Children's Book Illustration in Cambridge School of Art. The course's duration is one and a half year - which is unusual, because most of the master courses in the UK are designed to be completed in one year period. 

After much thought and careful consideration, I decided to apply. I was called for an interview and presented my portfolio, and after a few sleepless weeks, I got the result: I was accepted!!! 

In the first few weeks, we had an intensive training in observational drawing. Students were encouraged to make sketches and drawings based on what they see while drawing based on memory should be avoided. I did the drawings mostly at the outdoor public spaces such as the market, campus, shopping centres, streets, and parks. It was early winter, and I found it was very challenging to do the outdoor drawing in such a cold weather. 
Here are some drawings I did on the first week:

My first drawings 

Students received feedbacks from the tutors weekly, and by the end of this first module, each student had to do a short presentation about their progress and development. It was amazing to see how much improvement everyone could make in a relatively short period of time. Here are some of my drawings after the six weeks training:

My drawings after few weeks of training.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Hari Pertama Sekolah - Picture Book Series

Just before I moved to England, I worked on a picture book series project with author Naning Chandra. The series is called Hari Pertama Sekolah (First Day at School), consists of 5 titles in total. This series was published by Bhuana Ilmu Populer (BIP) in February 2015.

After read all the scripts, I started to make sketches of the characters and the environment, followed by the storyboards, then sent them to the editor to get some feedbacks. I used watercolours to make the final artworks and it took around 6 months to complete this project. 

Work in progress - Hari Pertama Sekolah

This picture book series highlights various problems that commonly faced by preschoolers on their first day of school. There was Cici the rabbit who wanted to bring her toy to school, Leo the lion who refused to give up diapers, Hopy the hippo who got panicky when her mother was not around, and many more. 

I think this series could be listed as an ideal reading materials for toddlers, especially the ones who will start a nursery or preschool because it could help them to familiarise themselves with the challenges they might face there.

Hari Pertama Sekolah Picture Book Series

We made the video trailer for each titles. Watch them here:

Book 1 trailer Ayo Berangkat! / Let's Go!(to school)
Book 2 trailer Mama di Mana, Ya? / Where is Mommy?
Book 3 trailer Jangan Malu, Leo / Don't be Ashamed, Leo
Book 4 trailer Gogo Mau Berbagi / Gogo Wants to Share
Book 5 trailer Maafkan Nanu, Ya / Please Forgive Nanu
See the full playlist here

The series is available in Gramedia Bookstore and could be bought online here. It is also possible to order them directly from the lovely author, Naning Chandra by contacting her via email at