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Hello, I'm a freelance illustrator based in the UK.
I was born in London, and started out in illustration with work for fantasy & horror small press magazines in the '80s, in particular the H.P. Lovecraft-devoted Dagon. My first professional commissions came from Games Workshop for their magazine White Dwarf, and this began a long relationship with the company, illustrating lots of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay publications and the very first Warhammer 40,000 book, as well as many other GW books and boardgames. I've also done game-related material for other publishers, including covers and internal illustrations for twenty-two (I think) of the Fighting Fantasy series from Puffin Books/Wizard Books, and card art for Magic: The Gathering from Wizards of the Coast.

I've also produced artwork for various publishers around the world including Scholastic, Time-Warner, HarperCollins and Oxford University Press, illustrating popular authors such as Anne McCaffrey, Raymond E. Feist and Harry Turtledove, as well as some classics including Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde and The Silver Sword. I was fortunate enough to receive the British Fantasy Award for Best Artist.

I illustrated the book accompanying the album release of Misterstourworm & the Kelpie's Gift, an orchestral work based on stories and characters from Scottish legend. My artwork was used as large-scale backdrops for live performances of the work by The Orchestra of Scottish Opera, with narration by Lord of the Rings actor Billy Boyd.

As an author, I've written some books about digital art including Digital Fantasy Painting Workshop and Digital Horror Art, and edited Fantasy Art Now published by Collins. In addition to work in publishing, I occasionally do concept and production art for computer games (following two years as an in-house artist at Eidos Interactive), and film and television productions which have included the BAFTA-nominated The Magician of Samarkand for the BBC, and most recently Gulliver's Travels for 20th Century Fox.

Currently: October 2015: My latest picture book The Crocodolly was published in hardback by Scholastic last month, and is available in Australia, New Zealand, and soon to be released throughout Asia in English, also with a translation into Chinese. The Crocodolly is something of a companion to my earlier picture book The Octopuppy which has been doing pretty well internationally -- more info at www.theoctopuppy.com  Right now I'm working on my next picture book; so most of my energies have been directed towards my books for children. But I've also just finished another album cover for Axel Rudi Pell, which is the fifth sleeve I've done for his records.  I've also been doing a little bit of work on the Game of Thrones computer game.


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    The Gift - a modern-day Christmas classic!

    Here's The Gift on display in the window of Readings in Melbourne. And below are a couple of early reviews!

    The little brown bear sits on the shelf in the shop, surrounded by toys which offer so much more than he. Others sing and dance, clap their hands or are festooned with colour, all designed to attract a buyer. But all the plain brown bear has is a red ribbon tied around his neck. When his companion the green crocodile and he watch the other toys being sold, they lament that they are still left on the shelf. Bear gives the crocodile his ribbon, and sure enough the crocodile is sold. Bear falls behind the counter, and is overlooked yet again until he is restored to his spot on the shelf, where a baby in a pusher calls out 'bear', impelling its father to buy him for their tree. At home, the baby calls out again and the bear is given the best gift of all, a place in someone's heart.
    This is one of those books where tissues are needed, the subtle text accompanied by the beautiful soft illustrations will draw an emotional response from all who read it and hear it read aloud. Everyone has had the feeling of being left out, of being overlooked, of feeling unloved, so the fate of the bear and the crocodile will immediately elicit a response. Younger children will not only hear a beautifully told text, they will be engaged in thinking about those less fortunate than themselves, those left alone at Christmas, and so begin to understand the wider issues that Christmas brings in our community. Older children may begin to discuss the idea of gift giving, and think about the way things are sold in shops, marketed and displayed. But the basic story is one that can be read over and over again, a beacon outshining most of the other books offered by publishers at Christmas. Highly recommended. Fran Knight

    Brown Bear is a plain teddy bear, with just a red ribbon tied around his neck. Brown Bear sits on the toy-shop shelf, waiting to be bought and taken home for Christmas. The shop is filled with toys that are fancier than Brown Bear, and he watches sadly as they are all sold. Soon the only toys left are Brown Bear and Crocodile. In a gesture of kindness, Brown Bear gives his red ribbon to Crocodile to make him more 'Christmassy', and soon he is sold, leaving Brown Bear alone. When all hope appears lost, a man and his child visit the toy shop on Christmas Eve, and the child takes a shine to Brown Bear, taking him home for Christmas. At last, Brown Bear has a child to love. Australian writer Penny Matthews' gentle message, conveyed without undue sentimentality, is that a kind deed will always be rewarded, and her sensitive text ably brings Brown Bear's sadness (and eventual joy) to life. Martin McKenna's sumptuous and highly expressive illustrations enrich the story greatly, making
    The Gift a modern-day Christmas classic. Highly recommended for ages 2 to 6 years. Veronicah Larkin

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