New Children’s Illustrations And A Sad Update

Childrens Illustration, General, Uncategorized

Not a lot of activity on the bookshelves from me in 2016, but that’s because I’ve been illustrating titles due in 2017 for amazing publishers including Macmillan/FSG, Hodder, Benchmark, Igloo and Miles Kelly. I can’t upload that work to my folio just yet, but I have just added some older ‘new’ work if you fancy taking a peek. I promise I haven’t hung up my pencil case and joined the circus…

It’s not like 2016 has been a quiet year, last week was the launch of the Rising Stars Reading Planet series from Hodder. My title is ‘The Big Show’ and was heaps of fun to work on.

And I managed a whole lot of drawings for Inktober. I Instagram-ed like crazy with these, my sketchbook was getting papped every day (well, at least 26 times during October). I tried with Facebook and Twitter … I really tried. Seriously, I did but unless I fork out the coin, my illustrations just seem to get filed in the basement.

I even managed to sort out my Etsy store (to some degree)…



The Bad Bit

I had an agreement in place with a fabulous printer and got my website shop in good order. Then I got an email with the very sad news that the printer was closing down with pretty much immediate effect. Beep. And now I’m getting emails asking about the Christmas products I had for sale. Double beep.

I’m working on finding a new supplier but in the meantime I’ve had to move products over to my Society6 store (which is still pretty cool because I can sell clocks, unicorn t-shirts and leggings too). I’ll keep you all updated on the Christmas ornaments, but for now please enjoy these mugs. Back soon with some news!


A Unicorn With The Right Attitude…



Halloween Intermission – Extremely Gory Zombie Attack Comic Strip by Emilio


My youngest (and blood- thirstiest) has made a special Halloween comic strip to scare the pants off you all. You. Are. Welcome.

I’ll be back after this intermission with a post about how the course is going and the non-spooky exciting things I’ve been working on…(right after I’ve eaten the gingerbread house and freed the survivors).
zombie attack_issue 1

Catch-Up, Musical Influence and a New Thing!


Some things get inside your head and refuse to be ignored. I find this is especially true with music. There’s just something about particular songs/artists that draw you to them. You can weave a story between the lines or come up with a typographical composition, spread or doodle that you KNOW would never have happened without hearing a particular song at a particular time.

Some of the most influential artists for me (for this reason) are Sarah Blasko, Of Monsters and Men, Leonard Cohen, Fleetwood Mac, Blondie, ELO, Macy Gray, Bjork, The Jam, Pixies, The Doors, Portishead, Lana Del Ray, The Cure and piano/strings…..Way too many more to mention. Not all necessarily the stuff I’d listen to in my car but definitely good for me and my blank piece of paper. I think it’s the use of descriptive language/narratives/compositions that make them so influential/inspirational for me. Like idea fuel.

Anyways, the point of me drenching you with that info leads me on to the ‘New Thing’ that I mentioned up there ^. Buckle up.

Last week, I started writing a story whilst I was half asleep. It’s a bit odd and macabre and darker than my usual and the idea first sprung to mind as I was listening to one of my inspirational Spotify playlists. Some of you may be able to guess the song some of you not. Depends on your feelings about electro-pop. So I’ve knocked up a cover and I’m going to work on this for fun and post the spreads as I go. I can’t promise it will be a quick process, but if you’d like to follow my progress/comments, here’s a quick link to where I’ll be posting about (da da da daaaaa!) The Child Who Bought The Stars

In between all this listening to music and creative abandon, I’ve been working with some fabulous clients, old and new.


Sorry, Dad! was released last month


Big Whoop! is released next month (July 2014)!



As soon as I have the nod from my lovely clients, I’ll post pics of what I’ve been doing this year so far.

In between working I had a fabulous trip to Cambridge to attend their ‘Read It Again!’ awards ceremony at the Bellbird School in Sawston (Hello, Wrens!). ‘Pi-Rat!’ received a ‘Highly Commended’ award – look:



A little Pi-Rat! inspired island as made by the Wrens at the Bellbird School in Sawston.

A brilliant Pi-Rat! inspired island as made by the Wrens at the Bellbird School in Sawston.

I’m now preparing for the Edinburgh Festival where I’ll be reading Pi-Rat! ( who will be making a very special appearance in person/ratson?) and making pirate hats, so if you’re in Edinburgh on the 19th August, I’l be at the Baillie Gifford Imagination Lab at 1.30 – information and tickets available here











Children’s Illustration – Catch-Up


It’s been a busy old year, so far. I’ve illustrated 3 titles for Learning Focus, a cover for Top That, written 3 new manuscripts and started my first YA, written and illustrated a big book dummy (more soon), designed a couple of logos, started a book series idea and as soon as we’ve finished putting our kitchen in, I have another dummy in production. Sorry, Dad! (Caterpillar Books) is out in May and Big Whoop! (POW!) is out in July. Exciting times! In between, I’m enjoying the Daily Doodle’s over on Facebook…Lot’s of fun. I’ll write a proper update shortly, but for now, here are some of the illustrations (I can show you) I’ve been up to…

bundles_bunnyBundles – A logo for my friends new online business – go see!




And another for my friend Ami, here!caninmuchsmallhat badfairy_sml dancing_banana_sml

Psst! Quick! I Can Only Do a Few…(Portraits)


Every now and again, I get asked ‘Do me! Do me!’…

Before you get all hot under the collar, I’m talking about illustration. More specifically, children’s illustration. I can draw you, your children, your family or your pets exactly as I’d draw them in a children’s book for you to keep forever. Nana would love it!

I REALLY can only do a handful, so if you want one, be quick.


Message me on Facebook or Twitter if you fancy one. Starting at £40 for a signed and dated A4 illustration.

Max x



Fabulous News…Can I get a Big Whoop!