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13th November 2019

Welcoming Marie-Alice Harel to Arena

It is said that stories are told eye to eye, heart to heart and mind to mind, this proverb is at the very essence of the work of our newest Arena Illustrator. Presenting Marie-Alice Harel’s exquisite illustrations, masterful storytelling and stunning new online portfolio.

Award-winning French illustrator Marie-Alice Harel began her full time career in illustration in Edinburgh in 2016 where she had first settled as a Geosciences PhD and researcher. Her ethereal watercolour illustrations exude a magical transience which capture the imagination.

With storytelling at the heart of her illustration practice, Marie-Alice draws inspiration from exotic cultures, fascinating historical archives, fantasy, mysticism and her own personal life experiences. This skill for creating stories first made its appearance in a series of exquisite limited edition books.

Winning the prestigious Book Illustration Competition in 2019 for illustrating Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianne Wynne Jones published by The Folio Society, Marie-Alice’s stunning illustration work is much in demand and lends itself beautifully to a wealth of publishing and design projects. This lavish edition of a fantastical tale includes an introduction by award-winning author Marcus Sedgwick and perfectly showcases her delicate dreamlike style. Watch their YouTube Video HERE

Here for your delectation and delight is a small taster from her portfolio.

 

 

 

Marie-Alice teaches life drawing and illustration in Edinburgh and she regularly exhibits her paintings in the UK, France and America as well as recently launching a highly successful Kickstarter project a collection of stunning Bird People illustrations made in to a beautifully produced self published book. Find out more about that project HERE 

For more information about this talented new illustrator please email info@arenaillustration.com in the meantime please view a spectacular selection of her work via Marie-Alice’s online portfolio HERE

For more insights and behind the scenes insights follow Marie-Alice on Instagram

 

6th November 2019

A Christmas Cracker from Neal Layton and Kate Saunders

Jingle bells, Jingle bells, smelly poo and bum!
You can wait for Christmas but it’s never going to come!

Yes, Christmas has come early and it’s not like any Christmas you have known before. Nestling in your stocking this year like the gift you’ve always wished for (that wasn’t a pony!) a fabulous bright yellow copy of The Great Reindeer Disaster written by Kate Saunders, illustrated by our very own Neal Layton and published by Faber Children’s Books. So buckle up and get ready for some slightly uncouth seasonal Yuletide mayhem!

When a delightful miniature reindeer named Percy falls down the chimney of the Trubshaws’ holiday cottage, the last thing they expect is to be whisked away to the distant planet of Yule-1 – the REAL home of Father Christmas, the elves, and his intrepid reindeer delivery teams. And what an amazing place it is – nobody minds being stuck there until the computer system has been mended. But the festive season is in danger! One rogue reindeer has teamed up with the evil Krampus King of the naughty list to sabotage everything. Unless Percy and his new friends can track them down, there will be no Christmas this year – or EVER AGAIN!

With an abundance of Neal’s wonderful line illustrations adorning the pages throughout The Great Reindeer Disaster will be the perfect gift for newly independent readers to enjoy in the run-up to the big day and is set to quickly become a seasonal favourite.

Here is a selection of Neal’s hilarious illustrations, including what must be the first-ever illustration of a reindeer on a space hopper!

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Whether you are on the naughty list or nice list, grab a copy of The Great Reindeer Disaster  HERE

 

You can find more of Neal’s work on Twitter and Instagram and you simply MUST check out his fabulous online portfolio HERE. Please contact us via email at info@arenaillustration.com for more information about working with Neal or any of our other fabulous illustrators.

28th October 2019

Spectacular Halloween Merchandise at Waitrose

As the evenings draw in it’s almost time for the most ghoulishly glorious night of the year, yes Halloween is almost upon us, and this year it’s looking more SPOOKtacular than ever as Waitrose and Partners launch a brand new range of FANGtastic Halloween merchandise designed by Arena illustrator Graham Carter.
With all of the traditional spooks and monsters to hand Graham expertly created a faBOOlous cast of characters to adorn a whole range of party ware and delicious edible treats. From cookies to paper plates and creepy crackers the striking orange and black Halloween range leaps off the shelves of all of Waitrose 353 stores nationwide (you can view the range HERE)
From an eclectic and eerie array of inspirational mood boards from the design team at Waitrose, Graham created a family friendly Halloween brand look using a simple, clean, monochromatic palette. His Halloween characters including a band of merry trick or treaters, vampires and particularly magnificent black cat were specifically designed to transfer successfully across multiple formats. We think you’ll agree this fresh, funky and fun range will appeal to big monsters, Mummies, little terrors and every one in between and will be found in Waitrose stores for the next 2 years.  
So don’t be a lazy bones, pop down to your nearest Waitrose today and trick or treat yourself to some party essentials to lift your spirits.
If you are brave enough you can view Graham Crater’s online portfolio here
Happy HOWL-oween from all of us at Arena Illustration

 

Halloween Haunted House

 

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The Family

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Trick or Treaters

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The Monsters

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On the Move

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23rd October 2019

Matt Millz is back in the latest Harry Hill and Steve May adventure

Are you a fan of, sausage dogs, bloodthirsty haggis, burps, zombies and people with sprouts for heads?… then this is the book for you? Get ready to chuckle all the way to the Edinburgh Festival with Matt Millz On Tour, the third in the Matt Millz series written by BAFTA award-winning comedian Harry Hill and illustrated by our very own Steve May.

 

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Matt’s big dream of becoming a stand-up comic is fading fast. Six months on from his success at the Apollo, the gigs have dried up, and it’s back to the daily drudge of schoolwork for Matt and his pals. But then his twelve-year-old manager Kitty has a brainwave: if they can persuade their teachers to take a school play up to the Edinburgh Festival, they could hold a comedy night too.

But Matt’s got a rival new school-mate Jamie who is pushing to be in the comedy line-up. And Jamie is good. But is he too good to be true?…

Packed with seat gripping action, clever twists and great characters including Benedict Cumber-Sprout AND a man eating Haggis! this third Matt Millz adventure will appeal to every aspiring young comedian.

Steve and Harry are a dynamic author, illustrator pairing, with Steve’s super cool scratchy illustrations making the perfect partner for Harry’s bonkers texts. Here are some of our favourite sketches from the book…

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The Matt Millz series is published by the good folk at Faber Children’s and you can grab a copy of Matt Millz on Tour and the previous two titles in the series HERE 

Check out Steve’s fabulous online illustration portfolio HERE or visit his Instagram profile for daily chortle inducing mayhem

17th October 2019

Pam Ayres: Up in The Attic – Illustrated by Susan Hellard

It’s time to pop the kettle on and make yourself a brew, because we’ve got something really rather special which we’d like to share with you.. And that’s where our ambitious intentions of a rhyming blog post end as we hand over to a professional…

We are thrilled to present a brand new poetry collection by one of the Nations favourite poets, Pam Ayres, not only has she is one of the few authors who has had books in the Sunday Times bestseller charts in almost every decade since the 1970s she has been a hugely successful  writer, broadcaster, and entertainer for over 40 years. Up in the Attic is sensitive, observant collection of rhymes beautifully illustrated by Arena Illustrator Susan Hellard.

A hilarious, reflective and profound collection of poetry featuring funny and often poignant illustrations by Susan Hellard which work in tandem with the text perfectly. From the dubious joy of being an exhausted, panic-stricken hostess in ‘The Dinner Party’ or feelings of unease about pub tableware in ‘Don’t Put My Dinner on the Slate!’, to a poignant reflection of war in ‘Down the Line’ and the bittersweet nostalgia of ‘Up in the Attic’, this new collection will tickle and move readers in equal measure. This is the fourth collection of Pam’s poems that Sue has had the pleasure in illustrating and the collaboration continues to strengthen from book to book.

Pam Ayres says of Susan Hellard’s work: “she’s an absolute genius, I love her… She’s an unsung hero, in my opinion”.
We’ve thought that for years but it’s always nice to hear an author agree. You can hear Pam Ayres chat to Jo Good on BBC Radio London about her book ‘Up In The Attic’ which is published by Ebury Press:
You can see more of Sue’s illustrations for another poetry book by Pam Ayres here: Grab a copy of Up in the Attic HERE 

 

 

 

Up in the Attic – EXTRACT

I’ve got to find a document, whereabouts unknown,

I haven’t seen the thing since George VI was on the throne,

A copy’s unacceptable, or so the jobsworth said,

There’s only one place left to look, and that’s the one I dread.

It isn’t in the chest with the drawers stuffed full,

It isn’t in the cupboard with your old knitting wool,

It isn’t in the garden where the cauliflowers grow,

Where is it? Where is it?   I think we all know…

 

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SECURITY – An extract

“Can I touch you?” If you must,

Provided you’re devoid of lust,

Come pat me down, come, stroke my bust,

Inspect me,

Protect me,

Don’t let the bombs affect me.

Security

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Boarding – An extract

Relief! I’ve found my seat at last,

Tucked away my boarding pass,

Belted up, secure and fast,

So fly me!

Ply me!

Folk are shuffling by me.

Boarding

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Landing – An extract

To the upper locker go,

Cabin baggage swinging low,

Concuss the chappie down below,

He’s glaring,

I’m raring,

Ready to go haring.

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