Search This Blog

8 Feb 2016

Lionheart! by Richard Collingridge

Hi All, long time no post! Above is the trailer for my new book 'Lionheart'.

'Richard hears something in his room before bedtime. Is it a monster? He doesn't wait to find out and sets off running through the streets, over the hills, through the forest, and into the fields until he finds himself in a magical jungle. With the help of his stuffed lion Lionheart, Richard finds the courage he needs to face his fears.'

Above is the Artwork for the US edition & UK Edition just below.

I started working on this story at the beginning of 2012, it went through many different iterations until we finally got it down to the core message I wanted to get across.

Overcoming adversity.

It was originally inspired by a character from the TV series 'Lost' (yes, I also didn't like the ending), called John Locke who had everything go against him in life including being paralysed from the waist down. Despite all this, he fought on until finally he was able to (miraculously) walk again.
I particularly love stories where the character hasn't got a chance, but due to his/her bravery is able to overcome their fear/adversities and succeed. It also goes to my philosophy that anyone can do anything if we put ours mind to it.
Of course that idea is quite a complex one, and something we had to simplify down to its basic form in order for it to come across simply to children.
So first off in order to overcome something seemingly impossible, you need to be brave. Probably the most vivid image of bravery in iconography is a Lion...and being English, Richard the Lionheart springs to mind straight away. So that was our main character(s) sorted!
Then we needed to come up with the adversity, or in primal terms, a fear. We went in differing ways with this at first but eventually settled on the unseen fear. The monster under the bed, the shadow in the cupboard or the ghost outside your this was a childrens book, the monster is not dwelt upon, only mentioned in passing, though we are constantly aware Richard is running from something - though by the time it is finally revealed, Richard and the reader are brave enough to overcome it, I wont mention how, because it will give away the plot...but its really fun!

Id like to to go into the visual style of the book, because it is visually district from my previous book, 'When it Snows' but will leave that for another time.

On a separate note, the real Richard the Lionheart was born at Beaumont palace, just yards from my publishers office...So, not that I believe in those sorts of things but it was definitely fitting that Lionheart was born in the same place.

On another separate note: Take a look at the tutorial on how to draw (linked with Lionheart) I did for the Guardian this weekend

Its finally been released in the UK, and will be released in the US on Feb 23rd.

You can pick up a copy of the UK edition from here.

or from the David Fickling books shop from here.

and you can pick up a copy of the US edition from here

all illustrations and animation © Richard Collingridge 2008-16

26 Aug 2015

Witcher 3 Fan Art

©illustration richard collingridge 2008-15

I don't usually do fan art but I was doing a speed paint the other day, and liked it so decided to work it up a bit.
The Witcher 3 is a great game, The most beautiful game on PS4 imo, the lighting is incredible...also the first game to rival Read Dead Redemption for Horses as well.

You can watch the trailer here:

2 Jul 2015

Official Facebook Page!

Hi All, Very Sorry for not posting on here for a while, I've been busy putting together a concept art portfolio amongst other things....However I have created a Facebook page which is easier to update and has a lot of my new work (examples in this post) here is a link to it;

hope you like it! (for regular updates just like the page)



28 Aug 2014

Catacomb City 1 & 2 by Hilary Wagner, publisher Albin Michel

Haven't had a chance to post in a while so here are a couple of posts:

Above is the Artwork for Hilary Wagners 'Catacomb City 1 & 2 publishing by Albin Michel (in France).
Was quite cool to do the artwork in circular vignettes as haven't done that before and also cool to draw rats!

Plot synopsis:

Deep beneath a modern metropolis lies the Catacombs, a kingdom of remarkable rats of superior intellect. Following the Bloody Coup, the once peaceful democracy has become a dictatorship, ruled by decadent High Minister Killdeer and his vicious henchman Billycan, a former lab rat with a fondness for butchery. 

Three young orphan rats--brothers Vincent and Victor and a clever female named Clover--join forces with Billycan's archenemy, Juniper, and his maverick band of rebel rats as they plot to overthrow their oppressors and create a new city--Nightshade City. This impossible-to-put-down fantasy explores timeless themes of freedom, forgiveness, the bonds of family, and the power of love.

They don't have a publisher in England (as far as I know), but if you can speak french you can pick up the first one from here and the second one from here.

Shadow of the Wolf by Tim Hall published David Fickling Books

© richard collingridge 2008-14
The goal of this cover was to get something iconic, and in the end there wasn't even a title on the cover, just a shout line. Quite Risky! but could end up standing out because of it.

The Book is called Shadow of the Wolf, its by debut Author Tim Hall, is a launch title for the newly independent David Fickling Books & its absolutely amazing!

It's a re-take on the Robin Hood Legend, incorporating the kind of spirit found in the studio Ghibli film 'Princess Mononoke'. I wont do a review as you should just read it...

Here's a cool (kind of review without giving anything away by Artist & illustrator Jackie Morris):

You can also pick it up from here

Really cool book.

13 Feb 2014

Trash Easter Egg in 'About Time' Film with Rachel McAdams

© richard collingridge 2008-14

Just a short post as am busy finishing off my new book 'Lionheart'! Some of my artwork has been included in a movie! How cool is that :) In fact its not the actual artwork but my font design. The film AboutTime features a character reading a copy of Andy Mulligans 'Trash' of which I produced the Artwork for the 1st Edition Hardback. The copy he is reading is the paperback, while not using my artwork still uses the font I designed! I haven't seen the film, but I have seen 'The Time Travellers Wife' (which was cool) & thats about time travelling & has Rachel McAdams in it so it must be good… The book, however is not a random inclusion, its an easter egg. AboutTime was made by Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Notting Hill, Four Weddings etc), and he will also be making 'Trash' the movie (hence why the book was thrown into AboutTime)! Trash is coming out next year (I think) and will star Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now) and Rooney Mara (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). P.S. Cheers Raphael Cousinard for showing me this!

2 Dec 2013

When it Snows by Richard Collingridge Paperback

It's December, Christmas is coming so I feel like I can talk about my book, When it Snows again!
As some of you may know, the hardback was released last year to much critical acclaim (thanks for that :).

 - The book was shortlisted for the V&A best illustrated book award and nominated for the Kate Greenaway award.

This year see's the release of the US Edition, a french Edition and an Estonian edition (which I don't know much about).
But I thought I'd talk about the UK paperback edition.
When it Snows was my first book (not including book covers, and interiors on some other books), and there were certain things I didn't know in terms of the printing process. One of the things I thought didn't turn out as well as it could have done in the hardback was the light and colour of the illustrations. So when the opportunity came up to edit the paperback I took it up!
All of the spreads have been lightened, given a more fresh colour palette, and had further detail added to them. Take a look at the examples below to see for yourself (you should be able to zoom them in a bit).

all images © richard collingridge 2008-13

Here are the different edition of the book (don't have a physical copy of the Estonian edition unfortunately)

You can pick the paperback up from here:

You can watch the trailer for last years UK Hardback here or The US edition here.

14 Nov 2013

Blackberry Blue by Jamila Gavin

all images © richard collingridge 2008-13

Blackberry Blue by Jamila Gavin, is a book that I worked on earlier in the year for Tamarind Books.

Its a series of short fairy tales reminiscent of the Brothers Grim, but with a modern day european cultural take on it. So with the ethos of Tamerind books in mind, I set about (after Jamila had written most of it) creating characters from ethnic minorities that would hopefully reflect how the diversity of modern europe has changed since the creation of all our classic fairytales.

The idea was to do this, but do this in a subtle way, so it would hopefully fit in with other classical fairytales and not be overstated . The overall the world in which these characters inhabited would be the same as someone like Cinderalla (for example) would have, even characters in the supporting cast would be very similar to what they would have been in Cinderalla. But the main characters, the heroes & the heroines of the book would be from the ethnic minorities that make up a big part of modern day europe.

And I think with the help of designers Dominica Clements, Clair Lansley and editor Kirsten Armstrong we came up with something cool at the end!

You can pick up the book from lots of different places, here is one of them.

p.s. we also had a fun talk last thursday in coventry about this, (and an amazing steak dinner!) so thanks for everyone who put that on and thanks for everyone who attended, even more thanks to the people that asked me questions, and most thanks to the person who nominated me fro the Kate Greenaway Medal!)

The Phoenix Comic!

I have recently been working for the UK's best children's comic (imo), called 'The Phoenix'.
It is available in selected bookstores around the UK, you can subscribe AND it is also available for your iPad!
Some of its writers and illustrators include Neil Cameron, Sarah Mcintyre, Dave Shelton & Lorenzo Etherington and now Me …and many, many more (sorry not to mention)!

My part so far in the Phoenix has been to create a centre spread (every now and then) called the HUNTERS DESK, written by Tom Fickling.

The premise behind it is that we are the character of a Monster Hunter, who in each featured spread, is preparing to go and hunt rare and GIANT monsters!
You are given hints and clues into his life as well as his GIANT monster prey, which should help you piece together how he's going to hunt the creature, what gadgets he uses and his suspicions about the powers that be!

Hopefully, in the not so distant future, we should be able to bring the reader a comic strip of The Monster Hunter during his Hunts! Will keep you posted ;)

Mission Telemark Paperback

all images © richard collingridge 2008-13

Above is the cover, for the re-released or newly released Paperback of Mission Telemark by Amanda Mitchison published by Walker Books.

The story is set in War torn europe during the second world war, and follows a group of 4 children trained by the british secret service to infiltrate a facility in Norway, which is being used by the Nazi's to develop their nuclear program. They have been chosen because of their particular skills and take on hard and cold journey across Norway's Hardanger, arriving at their destination to take on the Nazis and help save the Allies!!

This (the hardback) was the first book I worked on after I came out of university, so is good to see it come out again. The original had pencil sketches plus ink drawings (image below) from me, but the cover was done by someone else. It had always been a bit of a shame from my end that I didn't work on the original cover, so was great to be asked to the do the illustration for the paperback version!
And I'm really happy with how it came out in the end, especially happy with how it looks in the flesh, a matt finish with spot gloss on the font. The design was done by Jack Noel, you can check out his stuff here.

all images © richard collingridge 2008-13

You can pick up a copy from here.

12 Aug 2013

The Future King Vol 1: The Waking World by Tom Huddleston

© richard collingridge 2008-13

Above is cover art done for Tom Huddleston's debut Novel 'The Waking World' (The Future King volume 1 of 3).
The mythology behind this book (& the encompassing trilogy) is Arthurian but with a twist.
I wont go into detail about the story because i dont want to give anything away, but there are definitely visual clues on the cover....

For the artwork process, we had originally gone with something quite narrative/illustrative in style but it didn't feel right, so we decided think of a new way to tackle it. In the discussions we went through best sellers in this field (Science/fantasy),  & it became apparent that they were dominated by quite simple symbolic type covers. 
My idea was to produce a cover like that, but with a bit of an edge, a bit more stylistic & less commercial than the usual covers of this type (and the above is the result of that!) 

30 Jul 2013

US advance of When it Snows through the post !!!

The US version of When it Snows just arrived through the post! Above are some photos of the physical copy. I personally love the red end pages (we used blue for the hard cover!)

The book is released on August 27th this year, along with an especially updated trailer which is below:

You can Pre-Order from all good book outlets including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Wallmart amongst many others...

5 Jun 2013

The V&A awards

 As promised here are the photos (not very many, I had quite a lot of champagne so forgot) from the V&A award ceremony that took place on monday night at the museum.

Unfortunately I didn't win but some of the other winners had some really good work, heres a link to the artworks that were shortlisted as well as the winners:

In the above photo are (from left to right) Ness Wood who helped design When it Snows, Alexis Deacon, illustrator who was shortlisted as well for his work on 'Soonchild' (very cool cover), me, & my publisher David Fickling.

Above is the same photo, except Ness has been replaced by my girlfriend Kim, & by the look on my face I've probably drank a bit more champagne.

Above is a photo of an artwork shortlisted shortlisted for the best book cover award. This cover is part of a series of 007 covers re-issued by vintage. They all look amazing so not surprised one got nominated.

And here is the only photo I managed to get of the ceremony - The awards looked cool from 5 metres away... oh well, next time :)

31 May 2013

The Boy With Two Heads by Andy Mulligan

© richard collingridge 2008-13

Above is the cover art I've done for (award winning & best selling author) Andy Mulligans new novel: The Boy With Two Heads published by David Fickling Books. 

Enjoyed designing and going through the whole process with this cover, as its not how I generally illustrate book covers, but we all felt the original concept was strong and DFB were happy to take the risk. I think the final artwork (while not quite as aesthetically pleasing as the artwork I did a while back for Keras) is very striking, which in turn should help it fly off shelves across the country!

I was especially pleased with the font, which co-incidentally was my favourite bit of the last cover I did for Andy Mulligan (Trash). Below is another idea I had for the cover which I thought was quite cool, Has narrative links to the story)

© richard collingridge 2008-13

Anyway, quickly back to the story. The Boy With Two Heads by Andy Mulligan (Author of award winning, and soon to be blockbuster movie Trash) Is about a boy called Richard (cool name ;) ), who sprouts a second head from his shoulders. The story continues in a quite dark, sometimes humorous way some bits quite hard to take while Richards two heads are vying for philosophical control, then turns into something quite uplifting (literally)... I was humming the theme tune to ET at the climax of this book!

The book is released next week, and should be in most book shops. You can pre-order it from amazon uk if you want??

29 May 2013

When It Snows Shortlisted for the V&A illustration awards!

Just Found out that I have been Shortlisted for the  V&A best illustrated book award (2013) for my work on When it Snows!

The shortlist is as follows:

I'll upload photos of the night after the ceremony next week!

© richard collingridge 2008-13

3 Apr 2013

Old Stuff

© richard collingridge 2008-13

As we have recently moved back to England, and (unfortunately) are still not settled properly, Most of my stuff is still in boxes. 
Anyway, as I was looking through the boxes the other day I came across these (I didn't find what I was actually looking for incidentally!)

The first image is the cover to a short picture book ('The Iron Man')  I did when I was in university, not a great cover image, but the pencil textures and colours look great (i think anyway!)

The second image is the cover  to another short picture book I did at university called 'Dersu of the Arctic'. I love this as a cover, though there is a massive typo in 'illustrated', amateur mistake (I was to be fair)! 

The third is an interior illustration for 'Dersu of the Arctic'. Giant polar Bear, cool!

The forth image is a cover rough for a Simon Morden book I did in 2009 I think, I didnt get it in the end, but quite like this image so thought i would share!

1 Feb 2013

The Last Minute by Eleanor Updale

© richard collingridge 2008-13

Here is the Cover Art for Eleanor Updales, 'The Last Minute'. 
The idea behind this story is one of impending disaster. 
The chapters are very cleverly arranged as a count down, starting at 60 and going down to 0.
The story gives you a glimpse into a selected bunch of the townsfolk in the last 60 seconds before they meet their ends. 
Its apparent from the off set that something bad is going to happen so you find your self acting as a detective as you read through trying to gather evidence and find out who will be responsible for tragedy.

Here is a review by Philip Ardagh in the Guardian:

And further reading on how to illustrate tragedy by me, for the David Fickling Books Storyblog: