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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    450

    Default I'm back... with some fun new projects!

    More years ago than I care to remember, I wrote and illustrated a children's picture-book called "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Shark". Some of you might remember it:

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    Anyway, last year I finally got round to self-publishing it on Lulu.com, and to my surprise I found considerable local interest in it. I sold a few dozen copies at a local cafe, and the head-teacher at my younger son's school bought six copies to use for classroom reading material! That prompted me to write and illustrate the long-overdue sequel, "Armadillo", the story of the eponymous critter travelling from Peru to London. The story is written in verse, and can be sung to the tune of "Clementine. I decided to use the same silhouette technique, but this time with colourful backgrounds, often working from photos and in one case from a 3D model. All the graphics are drawn by hand, using a mouse, and the only software used is XaraXtreme Pro.

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    The third book is "Bob", the story of "the world's best goldfish", told (this time in prose) from the point-of-view of his doting young owner. The narrator is concerned that Bob might be bored, and thinks up increasingly elaborate schemes for decorating his tank. From wallpaper (can you get wallpaper for goldfish?) to the Taj Mahal and beyond, Bob hardly moves from one picture to the next (apart from the pupil of his eye), but eventually he gets what he really needs, and expresses his happiness in the only way a goldfish can. Again, several backgrounds were based on photos. The Eiffel Tower and Taj Mahal took two days each to draw, while St Basil's Cathedral took four days!

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    You can check out my books (or even order them!) at my Lulu page.

    I'm currently working on an alphabet book featuring animals and musical instruments.

    It's good to be back in XaraLand...

    Simon Beck
    London, UK
    "Communication is everything"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Placitas, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    26,658

    Default Re: I'm back... with some fun new projects!

    Well it has been a long time Simon.

    Welcome back.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Granada province, Andalucia, Spain
    Posts
    4,219

    Default Re: I'm back... with some fun new projects!

    Very glad to have you and your simplicity gracing these pages once more. I'm amazed how you can make so much from so little - love the underground scene at Regents Park.
    I'm off to Lulu.com to check out Narwhal Plays the Nyckelharpa.
    ** My ALL NEW Detailed "Create A Spinning Logo Tutorial" is available in .pdf format for download at this link **
    Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    450

    Default Re: I'm back... with some fun new projects!

    Quote Originally Posted by iamtheblues View Post
    Very glad to have you and your simplicity gracing these pages once more. I'm amazed how you can make so much from so little - love the underground scene at Regents Park.
    I'm off to Lulu.com to check out Narwhal Plays the Nyckelharpa.
    DON'T buy it yet - it's not finished (the other books are though)!
    "Communication is everything"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Bracknell, UK
    Posts
    5,828

    Default Re: I'm back... with some fun new projects!

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Beck View Post
    DON'T buy it yet - it's not finished (the other books are though)!
    How can you have it ready to buy on Lulu if it's not ready?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    450

    Default Re: I'm back... with some fun new projects!

    Quote Originally Posted by pauland View Post
    How can you have it ready to buy on Lulu if it's not ready?
    It's work in progress - I had some production problems with "Bob" so I thought I'd make sure that the upload works as the book progresses! The reason it's "available to buy" is that the ISBN number isn't accessible if you don't make the book available, and I needed to make sure that the back cover design worked.

    The typeface for "Narwal Plays the Nyckelharpa" was designed by a Japanese designer - I asked if he would let me use it, and he very kindly gave me permission to use it for free because he liked my illustrations! I had been looking for something similar to the 1960s Ladybird Books typeface, and that one was just right.
    "Communication is everything"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    450

    Default Re: I'm back... with some fun new projects!

    Quote Originally Posted by iamtheblues View Post
    Very glad to have you and your simplicity gracing these pages once more. I'm amazed how you can make so much from so little - love the underground scene at Regents Park.
    I originally had the idea of using a real Underground map, but when I visited the Transport For London website, it turned out that they charge 120 for permission to use it, and you can't modify it at all. So I made my own armadillo-shaped version...
    "Communication is everything"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    450

    Default Another book...

    Here is a sample from a work in progress, called "Narwhal Plays the Nyckelharpa". As you can probably see, it's an alphabet book, with each letter having its own animal (upper case initial) and musical instrument (lower case), plus a few facts about each one. The instruments are traced by hand from photos found on the Web, and the animals are (obviously) drawn freehand. I wanted a typeface like the one used by Ladybird Books in the 1960s, but I couldn't find one that was quite right. Finally I found this one: http://www.dafont.com/resiple.font, so I e-mailed its designer, Tomoyuki Watanabe, to ask if I could use it. He replied saying that I could use it for free because he like my graphics so much!

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    "Communication is everything"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    New York NY
    Posts
    3,502

    Default Re: Another book...

    Love them, love them, love them.

    Allison

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Placitas, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    26,658

 

 

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