I was commissioned by Littlewood’s to write and illustrate a short story based around the winning entry of the competition for the national bedtime story campaign.
Created and starring Ellie Statham, aged six from Hertfordshire, the illustrated book, entitled ‘Me and my Ladybird’, tells the tale of her adventures with a magical ladybird called Lily in her garden.
It was then turned into a free to download 16-page story audiobook format voiced by pop star and mum of three Natasha Hamilton, who helped to judge the campaign.
The campaign was designed to encourage more bedtime story reading amongst kids in the UK and ran through 19,000 primary schools across the country, seeing nearly 1,000 children aged up to seven years old enter a drawing competition. They were asked to create their own tale by submitting an illustrated storyboard based around their adventures with a magical friend which I was asked to interpret as an illustrated story.
You can view the narrated story here:
And here is my artwork, from rough to finished colour.
I had a month to write and illustrate the full book, which without an art director or editor, or just in terms of timescale, was a considerable amount of work, but with the power of coffee and sheer determination I powered through in my little studio. I finished it on time and everyone was really happy with the result, especially Ellie, which is all that really matters 🙂
Personally, I was most pleased to have created artwork as closely matched to Ellie’s original design as I possibly could. Ellie’s trousers were amazing, and I’m sure this is partly why she won the competition. I had to describe them in the story as “Funky”, as they really were, the trick was maintaining the design throughout the book! There were also certain storyline constraints which had to be observed but I’m not one to turn my back on a challenge and it was a pleasure to have been given the creative freedom and chance to be involved in this fun project, working with really lovely and supportive people.