020 8555 9827

26th June 2019

Enter a world of adventure at Discover Story Centre

Pencils at the ready, get on the starting blocks for the Arena Illustration Takeover Day at Discover Story Centre. With a huge tooty fanfare we are thrilled to announce our collaboration with Discover in Stratford, East London on July 27th with a whole day of events including guest appearances from Adam Stower, Jonny Duddle and Simon Bartram.

Program of Events:


Kicking off at 11:30 am, Adam Stower author and illustrator of the phenomenal King Coo series published by David Fickling Books will be appearing in the event space on the top floor.

Crowns at the ready, beards brushed, King Coo is in the building. Author and Illustrator Adam Stower will entrance young book worms with a reading from his latest book, King Coo and the Curse of the Mummy’s Gold, as the mystery unfolds Adam will demonstrate how to draw some of the crazy characters from his series. An event suitable for curious minds and book worms alike.





At 1pm prepare to hoist the main sail and get ready to embark on the piratical adventure of a lifetime with real-life pirate Jonny Duddle , creator of The Pirates Next Door (published by Templar Publishing). Hear tales of the high seas and watch illustrations appear before your very eyes ….The perfect event for little pirates to get to grips with doodling – Arrrh!


Book tickets HERE



Simon Bartram legendary anti gravity creator of the Bob Man on the Moon series (published by Templar Publishing) will be appearing pen in hand at 2:15pm

Celebrate the anniversary of the historical moon landing with everyone’s favourite Bob, Man on the Moon. Author and Illustrator Simon Bartram will enthral and delight young audiences with storytelling and drawing demonstrations… you  may even need to get your brain boxes whirring to help Simon create an amazing, mind boggling alien moon creature. An event suitable for avid explorers, don’t forget to wear your gravity boots!


You can book tickets for all of these fabulous events HERE, books will be available to buy on the day for personal dedications. We very much look forward to seeing you there!


View their online portfolios here or follow them on social media so see what they’ve been getting up to .

Adam StowerOnline Portfolio / Twitter / Instagram 

Jonny DuddleOnline Portfolio / Twitter 

Simon Bartram -  Online Portfolio / Instagram 

19th June 2019

Instagram to Instafan…

At Arena HQ we are thoroughly enjoying embracing Instagram to share the amazing work our illustrators create, it’s the perfect visual platform to showcase the best of the best as well as brilliant little snippets and sneak peeks. You can follow us HERE

We are steadily building our followership and have found it’s a great way to discover new artists and explore trends. We thought we would introduce you to a few of our illustrators accounts for an authentic insight into how they work and what they are working on.


Joe Lillington – Follow Joe HERE 

Joe regularly posts work in progress and concept work for new projects as well as demonstrating techniques using his own Procreate brush sets.



Simon Bartram – Follow Simon HERE

As well as development work from some of his most well known picture books such as Bob Man on the Moon, Simon also shares some of his exquisite fine art portraits. His craftsman ship is really something to behold.



Steve May – Follow Steve HERE 

For light relief of the highest order and an insight into the whacky mind of a truly talented maverick, visit Steve May on Instagram, his spontaneous, pen and ink illustrations and hilarious moments commenting on current affairs and trending themes will have you rolling in the aisles.




Emily Fox – Follow Emily HERE 

As well as a host of characters from the Harry Potter books you will find a delightful menagerie of collage style critters alongside the cast of her fiction collaborations with the likes of Laura James.




Alexsei Bitskoff – Follow Aleksei HERE

If fine detail and mind boggling time lapse videos are your thing then this is the account for you. Aleksei creates unbelievably intricate sketches of steam punk inspired characters and machines, they are a sight to behold and the videos give a real insight into the way Alexsei works, truly fascinating.




France Castle – Follow Frances HERE 

Frances feed is delightfully eclectic featuring, music, travel, screen printing and work in progress. Straddle her self penned graphic novel also features heavily with insights, trailers and process work all showcased beautifully.




Adam Stower – Follow Adam HERE

Breath taking pen and ink illustrations, sketch book sneak peeks and divine character pieces make this beautifully curated feed a must follow.


Kristyna Litten – Follow Kristyna HERE

Aside from regular appearances by Herschel the utterly adorable house bunny which are worth a visit alone, Kristyna shares development work, published pieces, sketch book, process work and also lots of lovely craft projects including ceramics and felt work which really add a lovely complimentary dimension to her work.



Neal Layton – Follow Neal HERE

As an avid campaigner for environmental issues and the illustrator behind the hit broadway theatre production of Emily Brown and the Thing in New York, Neal’s account is currently flooded with thrilling moments from his world travels.




Spike Gerrell – Follow Spike HERE

For a taste of the unusual visit Spike’s account, a master at balancing objects one on top of each other his bonkers balance challenges are increasingly impressive, this alongside a multitude of elaborately decorated post it notes and fruit in fancy dress make this window into Spikes brain one to be feared through and enjoyed at leisure.




Thomas Flintham – Follow Thomas HERE

Ziggy the pooch is the star of the show here, alongside a myriad of pixilated wonderment from Thomas’s best selling Press Start books. Video content and awards and world book day fancy dress make this the perfect coastal account to pour over whilst enjoying a cup of tea.




We hope you enjoy visiting some of our illustrators on Instagram and giving them a follow, we look forward to sharing more exiting work with you over the coming months.

12th June 2019

A Brand new Jonny Duddle Jolley-Rogers Adventure

Get ready for the next Jolley-Rogers family adventure by Jonny Duddle with The Pirate Piper (Published by Templar Publishing)…


…By the cover of night a battered ship arrives through a thick veil of fog, it is The Black Death.

The next morning the townsfolk of Dull-on-Sea wake to find that their town is overrun with rats, hundreds of rats, it is an infestation! Just when everyone is at their wit’s end, a strange nautical pirate, a raggedy figure in a tattered tailcoat, Captain Horatio Rattus turns up with his flute and offers to get rid of the rodent problem – for a fee.

Once that rats have gone, the greedy mayor refuses to pay his fee – so the Pirate Piper plays an enchanted tune and leads all the children away. It’s up to Matilda and Jim to save their friends. With the help of Nugget and her magical fiddle playing they hatch a plan to get the children back safely to their parents and rid the town on the evil Pirate Piper for good. Nugget’s only request for saving the day is payment in ice-cream, as much as she can eat – oh and a statue in her honour.

Illustrated throughout with Jonny Duddle’s  characterful creations, these adventure packed bite sized reads will deliver a punch of hilarity and a good smattering of mischief, for all of yer little wannabe pirates – Aar!

Jonny Duddle The Jolley Rogers and the Pirate Piper

The Arrival of the Black Death



Jonny Duddle The Jolley Rogers and the Pirate Piper

Captain Horatio Rattus at the Town Hall



Jonny Duddle The Jolley Rogers and the Pirate Piper

“Jump aboard, Jim!” said Matilda, “I’ll give you a backy!”



Jonny Duddle The Jolley Rogers and the Pirate Piper

“Raise that fiddle, Nugget!” said Matilda. “It’s concert time!”



Jonny Duddle The Jolley Rogers and the Pirate Piper

Twenty thousand pounds. By sunrise. Delivered to my ship. Or ye’ll all be payin’ a FAR heavier price!



Jonny Duddle The Jolley Rogers and the Pirate Piper

The heroes who returned the children




Order a copy of The Jolley-Rogers and the Pirate Piper HERE…


View Jonny Duddle‘s Online Portfolio or follow him on Twitter for more piratical japes.





5th June 2019

Adam Stower strikes Gold with King Coo Book Two!

There’s trouble afoot for our beloved hero Ben Pole as things take a mysterious turn for the worse with the arrival of a suspicious new history teacher with a very suspicious wonky eye.

The Curse of the Mummy’s Gold is the second instalment in the raucous, laugh-a-minute King Coo fiction series by Adam Stower (published by David Fickling Books)

‘A FUNNY fabulous, furry adventure. READ IT!’ Liz Pichon




A mischievous band of heavily disguised robbers calling themselves the Midnight Mob hatch an elaborate plan to steal the Mummy’s treasure from the local museum. Will Ben be able to foil the robbers with the help of King Coo and her biscuit scented wombat sidekick Herbert?

Filled with zany contraptions, hair-brained plans and kooky characters this beautifully illustrated series provides the perfect gateway to an older fiction format for newly emerging readers.

Adam Stower Curse of the Mummy's Gold

Adam is the 2019 Summer Reading Challenge illustrator and his brilliant talent for creating a myriad of engaging characters is clearly showcased in this fabulous illustrated fiction series notably in the hilarious annotated character introduction pages which are a sight to behold..

Adam Stower Curse of the Mummy's Gold

Adam Stower Curse of the Mummy's Gold

Each page is embellished with action packed illustrations transporting the reader from fascinating museums to dark and gloomy caves, with intricate plans mapped out to explain the inner workings of some of King Coo’s more intrepid plots. These books also feature a number of sequential storytelling pages with a familiar comic book layout making them feel both approachable and accessible. Adam’s skill at capturing character with his energetic line leaps off the pages, the illustrations enrich the story and are full of humour and life.


Adam Stower Curse of the Mummy's Gold Mr Pickering

Grab a copy of King Coo The Curse of the Mummy’s Gold HERE

Adam Stower Curse of the Mummy's Gold


You can view Adams’ online portfolio HERE or check him out on Twitter and Instagram


Three cheers for King Coo and her magnificent beard, hip hip hooray…burnt sausages all round!


Go over to our video page to see Adam talk about his journey bringing King Coo to life.

29th May 2019

Frances Castle Portfolio Update

If the bank holiday weekend seems like a distant memory and you fancy a pick-me-up, look no further! We’ve updated Frances Castle’s online portfolio to brighten your day.

Frances Castle portfolio thumbnails

The new work encompasses a wide range of different projects showcasing her broad interests and adaptability. From a choose-your-own travel adventure book for children to designing record sleeves for Clay Pipe Music, Frances’ illustrations are inspired by the vintage books, printmaking and packaging of the 1950’s, 60’s & 70’s but she gives her images a fresh, modern twist that has won her many fans.

If you want to meet Frances in person, then she will be exhibiting her work and selling her graphic novel, Stagdale: Part 1 at ELCAF (the East London Comics and Arts Festival 2019) on Friday June 7th.

You can follow Frances on Twitter here, visit her website here and her online store here.