Here is the cover image (pinched from the publisher's website!) I've illustrated for 'Seeing Red', part of the Football Factor series of children's books coming out from Wayland Books this autumn/winter. A series of six children's books written by Alan Durant, it focuses on the ups and downs of the football players of Sheldon Rovers, and is illustrated throughout by me.
I'm really enjoying working on this series as it brings back fond memories of when I was a kid, and how I began my love of drawing through reading comics such as Tiger and Roy of the Rovers. I use to love copying the comic artists who drew Billy's Boots and Hot Shot Hamish. Google John Gillatt's work on Billy's Boots if you get chance!
Back to work....
Work was quiet for a four week period over Christmas and New Year which was nice rest-wise but left a bit of a hole financially in my pocket! Fortunately things have picked up nicely since mid-January, although it remains an ever present struggle as a freelance illustrator to feel confident that you can go on a lengthy run of constant work. Of course doing something you love is a good trade-off and I certainly don't miss the challenges that I use to face as a manager in the public sector despite retaining a weakness for reading policy and strategy documents, and the need to design an excel spreadsheet for everything I do.
I'm currently making good headway with the Football Factor children's book series I'm drawing for Wayland Books; the first book is nearly finished with some amendments to be made to the interior art and a cover to produce. I've just completed pencilling the second book and awaiting comments before moving on to completing the finished artwork. The stories written by Alan Durant work really well for its target audience, and I'm pleased with how the illustrations I'm producing are turning out in bringing them to life.
I've also begun work on a children's graphic novel for Raintree of which very rough storyboards have been completed so far. The next few weeks will be spent pencilling the book, whilst ensuring I keep on top of the work I'm doing for Wayland Books.
In between times, I've managed to complete an educational comic strip for Benchmark Education - an American publisher, as well as a storyboard commission for Monitor - a creative design agency in Manchester. I also had a rare private commission in producing a comic book for a client which was slightly easier said than done, given I rarely deal with needing to produce a 'physical' product these days. Nevertheless, I'm pleased with how it turned out and I'll hopefully be able to post some of these pieces on my blog at a later date. It's been cool being able to slot these interesting projects in between the children's book work. The next few weeks will be pretty full on with the children's books but I remain on the look out for new commissions!
As a gear change, here's an illustration I drew for a text book for McGraw Hill last year. Not sure where or when it was published in America but it was one of two I produced to accompany the story of Orion the Hunter.
A preview of 'Football Factor', the children's book series I'm the illustrator for can be found in Wayland Books catalogue for 2013. Below is an extract featuring some of the illustrations I've already completed. Football Factor is written by Alan Durant and will be published by Wayland Books later this year. Details of all their children's book publications for 2013 can be found in their catalogue at the bottom of their home page.
To get into the practice of drawing footballers for the series, I did some some illustrations of Manchester United footballers for fun a few months back if you want to check them out.
Andrew Chiu is a UK based illustrator working in comics and children's books, concept art, editorial, as a storyboard artist and visualiser, and any other area of illustration that will have him. All images on this blog are copyright of the publishers unless otherwise stated.
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