The Last Viking turns 10

On a dark and stormy night exactly 10 years ago today, The Last Viking was launched.

It was my very first published book, illustrated by me and written by Norman Jorgensen, and it was launched in dramatic Viking style. Thor brought a ‘once-in-1o-years’ thunderstorm down upon us with 30mm of rain falling in 30 minutes. Hundreds of guests, all completely drenched, helped us celebrate. It was a night to remember, and I can’t believe it’s been 10 years already. Then I look at my kids and my hairline and I can definitely believe it.

To celebrate the milestone, I’ve been posting some behind-the-scenes pics on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts over the past 10 days; head over to those for more in-depth detail. But I’ll share a little bit of it here too. Here are the rough and final versions of some of my favourite spreads in the book.

You can find more behind-the-scenes posts about The Last Viking here;

and teacher resources are here.

Buy ‘The Last Viking’

Paper Bird Children’s Books

Buy Local
Find your local bookshop

Buy online
Fremantle Press (Australia) – hardback/paperback/ebook
Booktopia (Australia/NZ) – paperback
Book Depository (worldwide) – paperback

2 competitions for creative WA kids

If you know a young artist in WA, here are two fantastic chances for them to get their work recognised: the Make Your Own Story Book competition and the Shaun Tan Award for Young Artists.

Continue reading “2 competitions for creative WA kids”

Toffle Towers: old-school hand-lettering & a rocket-powered bus

Ever wondered how the title type for a series gets designed? I’ll show you my inspirations for the title type of the Toffle Towers series. I’ll also show you how I designed the series’ quirky shuttle bus vehicle.

Continue reading “Toffle Towers: old-school hand-lettering & a rocket-powered bus”

Toffle Towers: designing a hotel interior

The Toffle Towers series takes place in and around the eponymous hotel – it’s historic, a bit shabby and definitely quirky.  In this post I’ll show you how I designed the hotel’s lobby.

Continue reading “Toffle Towers: designing a hotel interior”

Toffle Towers: designing a hotel exterior

Many scenes in the Toffle Towers series happen in and around the eponymous hotel. So it was down to me – an illustrator with absolutely no architecture experience (!) – to design the exterior of the building. It needed to look historic, a little shabby but also exciting and quirky. Here’s how I designed it.

Continue reading “Toffle Towers: designing a hotel exterior”