Amelia’s Magazine | Sommarnatt by Hanna Karlzon: Colouring Book Review, Interview and Giveaway

Sommernatt giveaway blog
Sommarnatt is the second colouring book from Swedish artist Hanna Karlzon and has unsurprisingly been a runaway success with colourists across the world. Sommarnatt features summertime wonders of the natural world inspired by Hanna’s home in the North of Sweden, interspersed with a healthy dollop of fantasy: frogs carry many turreted houses on their backs, birds hoard gems and mice pluck stars from the sky. The luscious locks of beautiful women cascade across the pages, adorned with tattoos, piercings, flowers, feathers and beads. It’s a heady mix that is a joy to colour, and interspersed within this blog are many stunning examples finished by super talented colourists to further whet your appetite. Even more brilliantly, Hanna Karlzon and her publishers Pagina have very kindly gifted me a copy of this must have adult colouring book to give away.

hanna karlzon portrait
Winnie Fabellore
Winnie Fabellore

Zuzana Hánová 2
Zuzana Hánová

Susie Pala-Loir
Susie Pala-Loir

Congratulations on your new book! It’s had a great reception in the colouring world, especially from American fans who are eagerly ordering the Swedish version. How does it feel to be so in demand?
Thank you! Well, what can I say, I’m grateful, I get to work every day with a thing I love, drawing, and it feels amazing that people all over the world want to buy and color in my books, but at the same time it feels kinda surreal, I guess maybe in a way I can’t really grasp it. And to be honest, I don’t think about it that much, I’m busy with work and everyday life, taking the kids to school, cleaning, thinking about what to make for dinner, haha, well, you know how it is. ;) But as I said, I’m grateful, truly grateful.

Vicki Walsh
Vicki Walsh

Zuzana Hánová 3
Zuzana Hánová

Stace Bosworth
Stace Bosworth

Shannen Pollard
Shannen Pollard

Some of the most popular pages have been portraits of beautiful women, where do you find inspiration for their unique styling?
I just draw things I like and that’s the uncomplicated secret behind the “styling” I guess. I have always been into expressing myself with my clothes and accessories and growing up I was a punk rocker (I still am, at heart), changing my hair color every week haha, so I have never been timid when it comes to appearance, I like it when people stand out of a crowd, and maybe that shines through in my drawings. And well, I love art nouveau and find much inspiration in that style, and jewelry, diamonds, gems, anything that sparkles is super fun to draw so I just add that to the mix. And then the “tattoos” and piercings, I have tattoos myself and I have had many piercings so once again it just comes back to the simple fact that I like these things. And yes, I know that some people don’t like that I add tattoos and piercings to ladies in my books, I get comments about that, and I understand, we all have different preferences, but at the same time I have to stay true to what’s me, the things I like, and keep doing that. If I don’t, there will be no soul in the drawings.

Carly Argent
Carly Argent

Sheryn Yeoh
Sheryl Yeoh

Meg How
Meg How

Robyn Lipner
Robyn Lipner

What pages did you most enjoy producing in this book and why?
Hard to say really, I enjoyed all of them, in different ways. I mix simple and more difficult designs in my books and that’s the way I like to work, some days I like drawing really detailed stuff and other days I want to draw more simple designs. It’s just a way to keep my creativity going and in the end I think it makes for a good mix of drawings in my books.

Zuzana Hánová
Suzana Hánová

Dolly Wong
Dolly Wong

Ellen Scholten-Franke
Ellen Scholten-Franke

Caroline Wikström
Caroline Wikström

What are your favourite type of plants and flowers to draw and why?
I mostly draw plants that you can find in nature around here in the north of Sweden, where I live. It’s the plants and flowers that I have had around me since I was a kid. Growing up, during the summers, I remember that we played in big fields of high fireweeds, my grandma loved fuchsias and had big pots of them in front of her house and in the ditches along the forest roads the lupines grew wild and free. And, that’s what I draw, the flowers, plants, nature, that is close to my heart.

Rebecca Holloway
Rebecca Holloway

Sara Strömnes
Sara Strömnes

Sandra Zahavah Whibberley
Sandra Zahavah Wibberley

Pauline Sps
Pauline Sps

I understand the publication of the US version has been postponed so that the publisher can find better quality paper. I bet this is a relief! How much say do you have over paper choices and graphic design?
Well about the graphic design and layout of the books, I do all that myself in InDesign, but concerning the cover, of course I cooperate with my publisher to find a layout we both like. With Dagdrömmar, my first book, I was the one to decide what measurements I wanted for the book, hard or soft cover, font etc. and I liked how that book turned out so I have kept the same layout for my other books. When it comes to the paper in the books, in the Swedish edition it is my publisher Pagina that decides what paper to use, and it’s a really good paper they have chosen so I’m happy with that. When it comes to all the translations of the books, it’s again my Swedish publisher that has all the connections and dialogues with the translating publishers so I’m not really involved in that process. But I know that Pagina recommends all the translating publishers to use the same layout, the same paper etc. as in the Swedish books but in the end not all translating publishers choose to do that.

Pia Hultin
Pia Hultin

Morena Vajak
Morena Vajak

Pia Hultin
Pia Hultin

Lynne Wood
Lynne Wood

With the success of your colouring books have you become more in demand for other types of illustration work? Have you got time to do anything else? If so what?
I have been running my own business for about 3 years now so I didn’t start up from scratch doing coloring books, I have made lots of other stuff before that. Illustrations for magazines, pattern design for wallpapers, textiles, wallpaintings to name a few, but right now I only have time to work on my upcoming books. I can’t fit anything else in, but I do get a lot of questions about commissions that I sadly have to turn down. (I surely could use some more hours every day!) But, after these books are done I hope there will pop up some interesting stuff for me to do, maybe some more pattern design, that would be super fun!

Lilian Alves
Lilian Alves

Jessica Henson
Jessica Henson

Hazel Smithies
Hazel Smithies

Becky Raine
Becky Raine

I hear your new colouring book is called Magical Dawn? It sounds really exciting, what can we expect from this one?
Yes, it will be called Magisk gryning in Swedish, (Magical dawn). In my last book, Sommarnatt (Summernight), I really wanted to focus and find my inspiration in the nature here in the north of Sweden where I live. In Magical dawn it’s still all about the nordic nature but I have added more magic, potions, spells and even more ladies, so I hope you will like that!

Anita Malkhandi
Anita Malkhandi

Carly Argent
Carly Argent

Carina Wallengren
Carina Wallengren

Beth Oram
Beth Oram

You also have another small postcard book in the works, how will this follow on from the previous one?
Yes I’m also working on a new postcard book with a winter theme, (like Vinterdrömmar that many of you might know about). This postcard book will be called Vinternatt (Winter night) and contains 20 designs that will be perfect for coloring this fall /winter. It’s not pure Christmas designs, with Santa and stuff like that, instead, think about a dark, crisp winter night with sparkling stars and magical animals, that’s what you will get in Vinternatt!

Carly Argent
Carly Argent

Holly Thompson
Holly Thompson

Jennifer Lyons
Jennifer Lyons

So, I guess this was the last question! Thank you for having me and thank you all for coloring in my books, you are the best! *it’s been an absolute pleasure!* – Amelia x

You can follow Hanna Karlzon on facebook here and instagram here, where she showcases many sneak peaks of her new work. Buy Hanna’s books at the Pen Store. Gibbs Smith will publish in the US (and other english speaking countries) in August. To win your copy of the Sommarnatt please visit this post on my Facebook Page and leave a comment or a sticker. The winner will be chosen at random on Sunday 24th July. Open to UK readers only (if you are based abroad and would like to enter then please be prepared to pay for postage, which could be up to £12: it is a heavy book. If someone based abroad is chosen then I’ll wait 2 days for postage payment before drawing another winner). Good Luck!

Many thanks to the members of the following Facebook colouring groups for the use of their beautiful coloured pages:
Daydreams Colouring (fans of Hanna Karlzon, Dagdrömmar and Sommarnatt)
Hanna’s Coloring Creations
Coloring Creations
Adult Colouring Book Reviews

Matilda Furness
Matilda Furness

Categories ,Adult Coloring Books, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Adult Colouring Book Reviews, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring, ,Dagdrömmar, ,Gibbs Smith, ,Giveaway, ,Hanna Karlzon, ,illustration, ,interview, ,Magical dawn, ,Magisk gryning, ,Pagina, ,Pen Store, ,Sommarnatt, ,Swedish, ,Vinterdrömmar, ,Vinternatt

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Kickstarter campaign for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion launches today!

Kickstarter campaign image Ameliasccc
I am super excited to announce that the Kickstarter campaign for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion launches today! Make sure you grab an EARLY BIRD BARGAIN

Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion is a unique collaborative colouring book for adults, featuring the work of 40 artists from all over the world. If you are hunting for an unusual, beautiful, high quality colouring book that stands out in the crowd then this is the one for you! It would make an ideal Christmas present

Alex Mcginn
Double page spread by Alex McGinn.

Eleanor Percival
Double page spread by Eleanor Percival.

Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion was put together through an open brief and each artist has contributed a double page – with a full colour left page on the left, and a complementary black line image on the right to colour in. This limited edition book will be printed on gorgeous thick paper and bound using the lay flat binding process ensuring that it is a delight to colour in. 

Nanna Prierler
I am already colouring in the pages! Here’s one by Nanna Prierler.

Steph Moulden
And another by Steph Moulden.

I have released some early back issues (1,2,3 and 4) as rewards to help raise funds and there are some fabulous Early Bird bargains that are sure to be snapped up fast, so please do visit the campaign page to view a short video featuring a mock up of the book… I hope you enjoy the little surprise at the end!

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Alex McGinn, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Back issues, ,Coloring, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,Early Bird, ,Eleanor Percival, ,Kickstarter, ,Launch, ,Nanna Prierler, ,Steph Moulden

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Amelia’s Magazine | Scandia by Zeena Shah: Colouring Book Review, Interview and Giveaway

Scandia WIN BOOK review
It’s not just illustrators getting in on the act! I was super excited to hear that the talented textile designer Zeena Shah has produced a colouring book of intricately drawn pages inspired by her interest in nature, folk art and Scandinavian iconography. Best known for her instantly recognisable textile designs and frequent print workshops, Zeena has produced a book that is every bit as fabulous as you would expect it to be, chock full of decorative patterns and beautiful imagery. The paper cut cover of Scandia is a particularly unusual and beautiful choice for a colouring book and is sure to make it stand out as something a little bit special. Would you like to win a copy of this beautiful book? Read on to find out how, this giveaway is OPEN WORLDWIDE thanks to the kinds folks at LOM Art, an imprint of Michael O’Mara.

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 9
When did you first cook up the idea of a colouring book and why did you settle on a Scandinavian theme?
Almost immediately after i’d just finished the final edits of my first book How to Print Fabric publishers Michael O’Mara got in touch about the possibility of an adult colouring in book. They had seen my illustrations and loved my Scandinavian inspired style. I’ve always been drawn to Scandi style so it was a perfect fit and extension of what I already do.

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 7
How long has it taken to put together and what was the process of working with Michael O’Mara?
It was a very quick process as I had a very tight deadline (all my own doing as my first book had just been published so I was busy juggling that as well as creating new work). I turned around all of the illustrations within a month or two of signing the book deal. It was such a lovely project to work on and a real joy to be able to draw everyday so I really enjoyed it even though the timing was tight. MOM were a dream to work with, they really understood my handwriting and we were in touch throughout the whole process from the first rough to the first paper cut sample of the book cover.

Scandia by Zeena Shah review
You trained in textiles at Chelsea, what did your studies do to prepare you for the working world?
I studied Textile Design at Chelsea School of Art and as much as I loved every minute of the course in all honesty it really didn’t prepare me for the real design world. It was a bit of a shock when I left art school and started working for various design studios and realised the reality was very different to the experimental art school mentality. I would encourage everyone to get out there and do as much work experience/interning as they can during their courses to prepare them for the industry, make those contacts. I feel so very lucky to be able to make a living running a creative business and doing what I love.

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 1
Who or what has most influenced your artistic style?
Nature and the everyday is a huge influence on my artistic style. I love to draw what I see and take inspiration from the things around me. There is an illustration of some leaves in Scandia that come from leaves I collected on my walk to the studio through Hackney Downs park. I’m always that crazy person collecting things on the street. I also collect a lot of vintage textiles and am obsessed with Vera Neumann‘s beautiful printed scarves. Her work is always an inspiration.

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 8
What is it about the actual print process that you love so much?
I love working with my hands and creating with a definite process, a start and finish. All of my screen prints will begin with a drawing that might then be papercut to create stencils or exposed onto a silk screen using a light sensitive emulsion which will then be screen printed. It’s the immediacy of this process that excites me. You can very quickly create print upon print once you have your design.

How to Print Fabric
Can you tell us a bit more about your previous book?
My first book How to Print Fabric was published in October last year. It is a collection of 40 print and sew projects for the complete beginner. I wanted to create a book that would make the world of printing onto fabric really accessible to everyone. It shows you how you can use everyday household objects to create beautiful print designs and what to do with them in a straightforward and fun way. One of my favourite projects is a laundry bag you can print using a toilet roll.

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 4
You are very busy with a lot of creative projects, how do you juggle your many projects?
Haha, I think I am just one of those people that like working on a million things at once. I always seem to be working on ten things at once as opposed to just one. I try to be as organised as a one woman band can be and have now started to outsource the production of my printed homeware collection to free up time for more creative projects and illustration commissions. I couldn’t live without my ical!

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 3
Can you tell us a bit more about some of your favourite events and projects?
I’m especially enjoying running my screen printing workshops at them moment. I really challenge people on a Monday evening to get out of their comfort zones and create something that really get’s them thinking in a different way to how they usually do and the results are amazing. Every class is filled with such talented folks and everyone’s print designs are always so unique. Another favourite at the moment is turning my illustrations for Scandia into some screen printed tote bags and paper prints to celebrate the launch party. Postcards, tote bags and more will be on the way soon.

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 2
Do you colour yourself, and if so what do you like to colour and what mediums do you use?
Before illustrating Scandia I hadn’t gotten into the craze for colouring in, my sister has always been a huge fan but I never seemed to find the time. Over Christmas I sat down and coloured in one of my favourites and used a mixture of graphite pencils, colouring pencils and sharpies. I really like sharpies or felt pens as they give such a lovely sold block colour which is what I’m always drawn to in my printmaking. I would like to try watercolours next time I have a moment though…

Scandia by Zeena Shah review 5
What is your next project, and can we expect a follow up colouring book?
Fingers crossed for another colouring book in the future, I have some commissions keeping me busy next and am working on a new collection of limited edition screen printed paper and textile goods readly for later this year.

To win a copy of Scandia head on over to my Facebook Page HERE and leave a comment or sticker. And tell all your friends because the giveaway is OPEN WORLDWIDE! A winner will be drawn at random on Sunday 26th June 2016. You can buy Scandia on Amazon. Please consider using my links to help support the running costs for this website.
Buy from Amazon UK here.
Buy from Amazon US here.
Find more of Zeena’s work here.

Categories ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Chelsea School of Art, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring Book, ,Giveaway, ,Hackney Downs, ,How to Print Fabric, ,illustration, ,interview, ,LOM Art, ,Michael O’Mara, ,MOM, ,Scandia, ,Textile Design, ,Vera Neumann, ,Zeena Shah

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Amelia’s Magazine | Jungle Paradise by Lorna Scobie: Colouring Book Review and Artist Interview

Jungle Paradise_Lorna Scobie
The marvellous Lorna Scobie publishes her first colouring book today, but I am lucky enough to own an advance copy so I’ve had bit of time to get acquainted with her uniquely cheeky critters. Jungle Paradise has a gorgeous cover with gift-tastic green metallic highlights and lots of crisp white pages, and it is a detailed frolic through the jungle featuring numerous animals, some inspired by a call out to this popular illustrator’s fans. Amongst the landscapes of larger fauna there are pages of insects and birds, ensuring something for every animal lover. I can’t wait to get started… Lorna tells us more.

Jungle Paradise_Lorna Scobie
How long did it take to create Jungle Paradise and when did you work on it?
As I work full time, I worked on Jungle Paradise in the evenings and at the weekend. Although it’s meant I’ve been kept super busy for the past few months, I have really enjoyed creating the artwork so it didn’t feel like I was coming home from work to do work, more that I was spending time doing something I love to do. We were keen for the book to publish sooner rather than later, to make sure it was out before Christmas, so the schedule was quite tight! I started working on the book around June this year and it took me a couple months to complete it.

Jungle Paradise_Lorna Scobie
Where did you find inspiration for the pages inside Jungle Paradise, and did you use anything specific as reference?
The book itself was inspired by my love of animals generally, as a lot of my work up to now has been animal based. I tend to work from imagination, so lots of Jungle Paradise just came straight from my head. For some of the more unusual animals, like the ocelot and some of the lizards, I referenced some of the animal books I’ve collected. As well as encyclopaedias of animals and plant life I have lots of house plants surrounding my workspace – these were a big inspiration too! At the beginning of the project I asked my Instagram and Twitter followers what their favourite jungle animals are, and tried to include as many as these as possible!

Jungle Paradise_Lorna Scobie
What materials and techniques did you use to create the illustrations for Jungle Paradise?
I stayed true to my black and white illustration style, using a black fine liner, but made it more refined and detailed for the purpose of colouring in.

Jungle Paradise_Lorna Scobie
Where do the motivational quotes in Jungle Paradise come from and who found them?
I worked closely with my editor to find quotes as we wanted to get across the tranquility and wonder of nature. We hope Jungle Paradise will be an escape from busy city life, and so the quotes help to inspire people to think about the natural world rather than their ever increasing to-do lists!

Jungle Paradise_Lorna Scobie
How did you get the commission for your own colouring book?
I had worked previously with the editor and the idea of doing a colouring book together was sparked by a colouring workshop I did at Pick Me Up illustration festival this year. I was already thinking of doing a characterful animal colouring book at the time, so when I was approached by Hardie Grant Books to do something in that style it seemed perfect.

Jungle Paradise_Lorna Scobie
Your animals are described as “cheeky” – how did this come about and what elements do you include to ensure a cheeky look?
I’ve learnt to embrace the “happy mistakes” that crop up all too regularly in my work, rather than spending too long on a drawing, or reworking things over and over again. Hopefully this gives each of my characters a bit of personality, as they aren’t in any way perfect.

Jungle Paradise_Lorna Scobie
Who do you hope will buy your new book?
As well as creative crowds, I hope that Jungle Paradise will also reach a new market of people who perhaps don’t see themselves as creative. Or people who would like to be creative but aren’t sure where to start. Colouring-in is for everyone, and thats what is so fab about it. No special skills are required.

Will there be another? What has the feedback been so far?
I am working on a follow-up book as feedback from Jungle Paradise has been really positive so far, which is very exciting!

I am also super happy to share the news that Lorna Scobie is featured in Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion. More about her contribution here

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Animal Colouring Book, ,Artist Interview, ,Christmas Present, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring Book, ,Colouring Book For Adults, ,Happy mistakes, ,Hardie Grant, ,Hardie Grant Books, ,instagram, ,interview, ,jungle, ,Jungle Paradise, ,Pick Me Up, ,review, ,twitter

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Amelia’s Magazine | Escape to Christmas Past by Good Wives and Warriors: Colouring Book Review and Artist Interview

Escape to Christmas Past by Lynn Stevens
Escape to Christmas Past coloured by Lynn Stevens.

Becky Bolton and Louise Chappell are Good Wives and Warriors, an artistic duo that specialise in extraordinarily intricate drawings that have been applied to all sorts of surfaces, from walls to bottles to books to magazines (including issue 9 of Amelia’s Magazine). They met at Glasgow School of Art and with a base in London now work all over the world. I was super thrilled to hear about their new colouring books for Puffin, themed around some well known stories. Escape to Wonderland is inspired by Alice in Wonderland, and Escape to Christmas Past is inspired by A Christmas Carol. Their Christmas edition has only just been released and would be a marvellous book to colour if you want to get in the festive mood. I caught up with Good Wives and Warriors

Escape to Wonderland by Ronit Roccas
Escape to Wonderland by Ronit Roccas

Escape to Wonderland opening page
Good Wives and Warriors
Congratulations on your colouring books! How did they get commissioned?
Firstly, thank you very much Amelia. It has been quite a busy few months working on the two Penguin books and a third colouring in book for the German market yet to be published. We feel like drawing machines! The Penguin books were commissioned through our London Illustration Agent – Central Illustration Agency. Our work had been followed by the partner of one of the Art Directors at Penguin who had then approached CIA. The pitch was between ourselves and one other illustrator. We were very happy to be the chosen for the job!

Escape to Wonderland teapots
Escape to Wonderland gems
Escape to Wonderland lizards
What has been the best bit about creating these books?
I think we both love producing drawings and creating large amounts of work. Maybe for us that is more important than the final outcome (although we are very proud to have the completed books in our hands!) So to have a wall covered with around 200 drawings was a very satisfying experience for us. It was also fun to read through the books, especially Alice in Wonderland, and plan out the illustrations.

Escape to Wonderland coloured by Paula Bowerman
Escape to Wonderland by Paula Bowerman 2
Escape to Wonderland by Paula Bowerman
Escape to Wonderland coloured by Paula Bowerman.

How have you juggled their creation around your other jobs, and how long did they take to make?
We both work three days at our other jobs and three days in the studio. At times it can be a bit of a juggle although in the last year we have been a lot more strict about not working nights or Sundays. We are lucky working together because we can spur each other on and usually work faster or more efficiently as a result. It is hard to say exactly how long the books took as we were working on other commissions at the same time. For Alice we also had the help of a lovely assistant Marcella Wylie, (who is a talent illustrator based in Scotland) to help clean up the drawings.

Escape to Wonderland by Steph Cox
Escape to wonderland by Stephanie Cox
Escape to Wonderland by Stephanie Cox

Escape to Wonderland garden of hearts
Escape to Wonderland dragon
Escape to Wonderland cheshire cat
Who is your favourite character in Escape to Wonderland and why?
I love the version of the Cheshire Cat that Becky drew – inspired by the paintings of Louis Wain, an early 20th Century artist whose strange and beautiful cat paintings are definitely worth checking out!

Escape to Christmas Past cover
Escape to Christmas Past cityscape
Escape to Christmas Past_kittens
What can people expect in your new christmas themed book?
Escape to Christmas Past is a very traditional illustrated journey through Dickensian London and all the rich, decorative imagery we associate with a nostalgic Christmas. The tale itself is quite dark in places and we hoped to lighten the story a little by adding some of our own creatures and funny little additions.

Escape to Christmas Past decs
Escape to Christmas Past swans
Do either of you colour in, and if so what kind of stuff and what is your top tip for creating an attractive bit of artwork?
Creating these books has been our first step into the world of colouring in. That said, we have in the past created hand coloured versions of our screen prints. One year we also hand coloured in every individual (detailed tiny drawing!) of our christmas card send out. It was a labour of love but also very mediative and enjoyable. When we recently coloured in pages from our recent books to experiment, we have really enjoyed it. Applying gradient colour over large areas of patterned detail is definitely satisfying. I guess a tip could be using pantone pens as they layer very nicely though the nibs are thick and only really useful for the larger sections of colour.

Escape to Christmas Past tree
Escape to Christmas Past table
Escape to Christmas Past stars
Who do you think your books will appeal to this Christmas?
The colouring in book based on a Christmas Carol is definitely stocking filler material and would appeal to a wide age group. The Alice in Wonderland book is maybe a slightly more select market but there are so many colouring in books on the market now, I don’t know how people will decide what to buy!

Escape to Christmas Past snowglobe
Escape to Christmas Past ship_lighthouse
Louise, you worked on Amelia’s Magazine many years ago when it was in print, what is your fondest memory of that time?
Gosh, that was such a long time ago now but the issue is still proudly in the studio library! That was my first experience of living in London after graduating from art school in Glasgow and I loved it! I am still pretty much in love with London, it is hard to imagine living anywhere else. I have so many memories from that time but what I guess it was the friendships built with the Team (Issue 9ers!) – all the tea, trips to the bagel shop on Brick Lane and the epic lunch spreads (thanks Amelia!) Working on the magazine was a real learning curve and a massively beneficial experience.

Escape to Wonderland by Lynn Stevens 2
Escape to Wonderland by Lynn Stevens

Escape to Christmas Past 2 coloured by Lynn Stevens
Escape to Christmas Past coloured by Lynn Stevens

Find both these colouring books by Good Wives and Warriors online at Amazon and at major retailers. Many thanks to Lynn Stevens and Paula Bowerman from the Colouring Circle Facebook group.

Categories ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Alice in Wonderland, ,Amelia’s Magazine, ,Becky Bolton, ,Brick Lane, ,Central Illustration Agency, ,Cheshire Cat, ,Christmas, ,Christmas Carol, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring Book, ,Colouring Book For Adults, ,Colouring Circle, ,Escape to Christmas Past, ,Escape to Wonderland, ,glasgow, ,Glasgow School of Art, ,Good Wives and Warriors, ,interview, ,london, ,Louis Wain, ,Louise Chappell, ,Lynn Stevens, ,Marcella Wylie, ,Paula Bowerman, ,Penguin, ,Puffin, ,review, ,Ronit Roccas, ,Stephanie Cox

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Sachiko Oguri: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

Sachiko Oguri has contributed a surreal and colourful artork for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion. Here she talks about studying in the UK, her love of the half-tone technique and her interest in the stories of other cultures.

What is it about the half tone technique that you find so appealing?
I have been using the half tone technique since I made one of my artworks, Tokyo Subway Sarin Attack. It is possible to use this technique to adjust the concentration of the colour and unify the look with a few colours, so in my image for the colouring book I used only 5 colours but it looks like I used a lot because of the half tone technique. That is why I like it.

What subject matter inspires your work?
My work is inspired by traditional cultures and the stories found in novels, legends and fairy tales, amazing locations, food and everyday life. I am especially interested in these daily incidents.

What kind of animations do you make?
I made 2 animations in the past year. One is Flying Potato (Chips) where a man gets a mysterious potato and flies into the sky. The other is I Am a Cat, based on a famous novel by Soseki Natsume. I made an animation from the final chapter’s last scene where a cat who is a main character and a narrator in the story has some beer and gets drunk. I like to make animations that all generations can enjoy and easily understand the story, and I prefer to animate novels because when you read a novel you probably already imagine the scene; character, location and colour. I like to share my imagination of that story with the viewer, and if it becomes helpful for the viewer when he or she reads the novel, then I am glad.

SACHIKO_OGURI_double page spread
What is happening in your colouring book artwork?
In my colouring book artwork, I tried to make an image that does not have stereotypical colouring. I got inspiration from Hyakki Yako, Night Parade of One Hundred Demons, a Japanese folktale. The appearance of the demons is mysterious, funny, lovely, and little bit terrible. Also, of course these demons are imaginary creatures so we do not know the detail of them; what is their form, texture and colour? I enjoyed colouring in the demons because I could decide on their colours, and I hope people who get the colouring book will enjoy colouring them in as much as I did.

I spotted your work at the graduate shows, can you tell us more about the tale of Urashima Taro picture that I so loved?
I am so glad you like that work! Thank you so much! Urashima Taro is one of my favorite tales from old Japan. When I was a child, my mother often told me fairy tales before sleep. My silkscreen work, Urashima Taro of My Childhood, shows my childhood memories of listening to Urashima Taro and something of my dreams. Once upon a time, there was Urashima Taro and he found a turtle that was attacked by bad children. Taro saved the turtle and the turtle invited Taro to a castle that is built under the sea. There Taro met a beautiful princess, Otohime, and he had an amazing time. After a few days Taro missed his family so he decided to go back to his home. The princess gave him a special box, the Tamatebako, and told him, “Please do not open this box until you miss everything very much.” He went back home but nobody knew him because while he spent a few days under the sea about 300 years had passed in our world above the sea. It made him so sad that he opened the box, but his old age was trapped inside the box and he aged by 300 years… I like this wonderful story because Taro saved a turtle but ultimately he lost everything.

Why did you decide to study in the UK and how did you chose Middlesex Uni?
Before I studied illustration I was interested in the West because the culture, lifestyle, art and design are so different from in Japan. At that time, some of my friends had already graduated from Middlesex University so they told me a lot about it. For instance they told me that the workshops and other facilities are substantial. And I really enjoyed printmaking because of the facility and fantastic technicians. Also, Middlesex has a firm curriculum content for a university, and the tutors are so nice and friendly. They always gave me a lot of good advice and information and made me excited about my work. I really enjoyed the 3 years I spent there and I feel so sad now because I am going back to Japan…

How does it work with Little Door and the Drawn Chorus Collective?
I am a part of Little Door Collective, which is a small group of illustrator friends making zines etc. The members asked me to join after I graduated and I am going to be featured in an up and coming zine. Drawn Chorus Collective invited me to be a contributing guest artist for their alphabet book Easy As, a fully illustrated ABC book with each letter interpreted by a different artist.

When and where will your upcoming collaborative exhibition be, and what will be featured?
The exhibition for the alphabet book will (hopefully) be at the Light Eye Mind Gallery in early December. The show will feature artwork and reproductions of the spreads from the book. We’ll be launching a Kickstarter to fund the printing in October and we’ll be selling the book through our website.

Where are you living now and what do you hope for your future career in illustration?
I am living in London now but I will go back to my home town of Tokyo in Japan this November. So, I will be a Tokyo based illustrator. In the past 3 years, I have noticed that I like illustration that looks lovely but has a strong and heavy meaning; my artwork Tokyo Subway Sarin Attack is about the first bioterrorism in the world, and I think it is successful in expressing this idea. Also, I like to make works that all generations can enjoy. I want to be an illustrator who works on these ideas and I hope I will be able to show my art not only in Japan but also in other countries!

It’s been fascinating to hear about the world of Sachiko Oguri. You will be able to secure your own copy of Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion very soon when I launch my Kickstarter campaign. Stay tuned!

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Coloring, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,Drawn Chorus Collective, ,Easy As, ,Flying Potato (Chips), ,Folk Tale, ,Half tone technique, ,Hyakki Yako, ,I Am a Cat, ,Kickstarter, ,Light Eye Mind Gallery, ,Little Door Collective, ,middlesex university, ,Night Parade of One Hundred Demons, ,Sachiko Oguri, ,Soseki Natsume, ,tokyo, ,Tokyo Subway Sarin Attack, ,Urashima Taro, ,Urashima Taro of My Childhood

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Sophie Corrigan: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

Sophie Corrigan - anatomy of a fox
Illustrator Sophie Corrigan is known as @ladyaxolotl on instagram, where she has gained a huge following thanks to her images of Puggles and the like. Her super intricate artwork featuring oodles of cute critters and alluring animals will be featured in my upcoming colouring book… read on to find out more.

Sophie Corrigan
What are your favourite characters to draw and why?
I always gravitate towards drawing animals, as I’m a huge nature-lover! Any and all are really fun to draw. As a warm-up when sketching, I tend to draw canines, bears and birds, as their shapes are so simple but leave lots of room for experimenting – i.e., gangly legs, wonky eyes, and silly stances!

Sophie Corrigan - both pages small
What drew you to the theme of leaf litter for the colouring book pages?
I knew I wanted to base it upon a woodland or forest theme, as there’s lots of scope for including different creatures and floral shapes. In the past I’ve drawn woodland scenes, but I quite liked the idea of zooming in a bit this time to get a different perspective. That would allow me to draw some of the smaller critters such as squirrels and hedgehogs (which I love!), and also explore intricate details that might be found on the ground in a wood – which I thought would be great fun to colour!

Sophie Corrigan - anatomy of a hedgehog
Why have you decided to head back to college for a masters?
Since leaving Uni in 2013, I knew I wanted to go back and study on the Children’s Book Illustration MA course! My dream is still to have a children’s book published, and this is just another step towards that goal. I met a lot of inspiring people at Uni, and really felt that my work improved a lot while I was there – and I know there’s still so much to learn. There were visiting lecturers and lots of opportunities for feedback that I’ve really missed. I decided to wait a while before heading back, to build up my portfolio a bit and see if I could work as a freelance illustrator for a while. I really can’t wait to be a student again and improve my work more!

Sophie Corrigan - abeagle commission
Sophie Corrigan - sassage
How come you live in a sweet shop, who does it belong to and do you get any freebies, what is your favourite sweet and why?
I grew up in it! It’s a little corner convenience shop owned by my parents, and they’re quite known locally for their traditional sweets in jars. It was fantastic as a child (as you can imagine) as my parents weren’t at all strict, and I even got to help pick and test the stock. I still get freebies now, but growing up with it gives you a bit self-control! Plus, I pay my lovely parents rent for the privilege now. I still get excited visiting the sweet stockists. As for favourites, we sell the best fudge I’ve ever had anywhere (not biased), and I’m a huge chocolate fiend (Nestle is probably my favourite), and leftovers from Easter and Christmas are probably the best things ever.

Sophie Corrigan - ocelittle ocelot
I love your needle felted characters, how did you learn this art?
I was browsing the internet one day and a cute tiny cat caught my eye. After looking more closely, I saw that it was actually a felted ornament made by someone! I had to learn the skill for myself, it just looked so lovely. After looking up tutorials on YouTube, I found that it couldn’t be simpler – all you had to do was poke wool with a barbed needle, and magically it becomes a shape! Stitching in the little beady eyes is my favourite bit, though – that’s when the creatures sort of come to life!

Sophie Corrigan - crocodiles arent evil
Sophie Corrigan - puppy totem
What kind of Plush designs do you hope to make for christmas, any sneak peeks you can share?
It’s not for certain yet that anything will happen with them, but I’ve been designing some plush ideas for Christmas next year. Can’t give away too much about them, but they’re quirky and festive! Most of my work at the minute is in the top-secret stage, and it’s really difficult to not share details as it’s all rather exciting!!

Sophie corrigan axolotl shapeWays
I love the 3D printed axolotl, how was it made and what for?
The 3D printed axolotl I have is not only magical and adorable, but also has a little story behind it! I was contacted by 3D designer Eric Ho on Shapeways (a website that creates lots of different items through 3D printing) via Twitter, asking if I would like to collaborate with him to create a 3D printed Pugtato – which is one of my designs. I’d seen that he had the axolotl for sale, and it looked amazing, so of course I said yes to the collaboration (and ordered one of his axolotls for myself)! So, thanks to axolotls, the Pugtato is now available as a 3D printed sculpture too! It’s turned out just as magical as the axolotl, and they both now happily live together on my shelf.

Sophie Corrigan - pugtato
Can you tell us more about your collaboration with a crochet artist? Can we expect more 3D creations from you?
I was contacted by crochet artist Abigial Lim of My Backyard Monsters on Etsy. She’s based in America, but was really enthused by the idea of collaborating, and when I took a look at her work I knew it would be the perfect match, despite the distance. I could never pick up crochet myself so I was overjoyed to see the prototype of my Pugtato created perfectly by Abigail! The first order of Pugtatoes sold out in a matter of hours – I’m just waiting on the next batch to arrive, as I’ve had lots of people asking if they’re still available! I’m sure we’ll work together on more of my characters too. I really love the idea of collaborating, and have a few other exciting collaborations lined up! (Which are, again, top secret at the minute).

Sophie Corrigan - raccoon on bongos
Sophie Corrigan - cardinals
Why do you think you have attracted 10,000 followers on instagram, any tips?
I’ve been totally blown away by the support I’ve had on Instagram! I loved the setup when I first joined, and realised quite quickly people seemed to respond to my work on there really well, and my followers gradually increased over time. I just kept uploading my sketches, and my final artworks, and anything that was quite interesting to me. It’s just a perfectly simple setup, and it’s the social media site I update most often because of that. I’ve discovered so many great artists through it, and it’s such a lovely community! Since I started producing work for larger clients, and through wonderful support from sites like Ohh Deer and Redbubble, my followers just exploded. I never thought I’d get so many. I’m quite touched that people appreciate both my artwork, and photographs of hot chocolate! As for tips, I’d just say upload images that you really love, make use of hashtags, and if you’re an artist it’s always lovely to see a sketchbook!

Sophie Corrigan - dogs hallmark card
Read about more of my featured artists as they are decided! I can’t wait to share all the talent I have found through the #ameliasccc open brief (check the hashtag to see examples of all the submitted work).

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,@ladyaxolotl, ,Abigial Lim, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,axolotl, ,Children’s Book Illustration, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring Book, ,etsy, ,instagram, ,interview, ,Lady Axolotl, ,My Backyard Monsters, ,Ohh Deer, ,Puggle, ,Pugtato, ,Redbubble, ,Shapeways, ,Sophie Corrigan

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Súa Agapé: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

Sua Agape Artwork 2
Súa Agapé is another fantastic instagram find for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, creating cosmic illustrations inspired by a love of cacti and imaginary worlds. Read on to find out more about this Guatemalan artist.

How did your parents inspire you as a child?
I remember when I was a child I always saw my dad drawing. He always had me next to him with his rapidographs, ink, pencils and rulers. I still own some of his art tools; it’s like a childhood memory for me. My mother is an Industrial Fashion Designer and also a Visual Art Teacher, so I grew up watching both of them doing a lot of designs, drawings and projects. They gave me their art supplies and tools to play with and I really enjoyed interacting with their everyday tools. I remember I used to paint all the walls of the house, creating sketches with different materials, because my parents invited me to create even as a small child.

Sua Agape Artwork 9
How does your country inspire your work?
Guatemala is a multicultural and multi-ethnic country with many languages and Mayan heritage, so you can take inspiration from every place; and I often get inspired by the colours and patterns of the traditional costumes of each ethnic group. It’s great to have a beautiful country with such amazing wildlife and fauna to explore on new adventures!

Sua Agape Artwork 6
Where did you study and how did you move into illustration more recently?
I studied Graphic Design at the University of San Carlos of Guatemala and Digital Creativity at Digital Invaders in Mexico. These careers complement my passion for illustration and they helped me to develop my skills as an illustrator. A few months ago I decided to start working on my own as a designer and freelance illustrator and it’s awesome. For now I’m working on some new projects to develop my illustrations for designs on textiles prints for shoes, t-shirts and bags. I really love working on interesting new projects or collaborations so feel free to contact me.

Sua Agape Artwork 8
How easy is it to get good work in Guatemala and how have you found work abroad?
Every year in Guatemala the number of designers in competition for work is increasing as in all growing cities. But if you’re a good designer or illustrator with a good portfolio then you’ll find work easily. I find work abroad through posting my artworks online and submissions, etc. Internet and social media facilitates the work life!

Sua Agape Artwork 5
Can you tell us more about your various exhibitions around the world?
Last year I had the opportunity to participate in the ‘Dibuja Guatemala’ project for the Guatemalan Cultural Center of Spain. All the artists worked on a traveling sketchbook, drawing and capturing the Guatemalan streetlife and the sketchbooks than travelled to Spain and were exhibited in a gallery. I also had the opportunity to participate in the Glug Birmingham & Inkygoodness Poster exhibition. They called for illustrators to participate on a poster design competition so I participated, and although my poster design didn’t win all the finalists ere featured in the event exhibition, so I was very excited and happy to have my poster in London! This year I’m participating in the Sketchbook Project, so one of my sketchbooks is traveling around the United States in a Mobile Library. I love this project because I can share with other people my inspiration at a specific time, stored in the sketchbook.

Sua Agape Artwork 7
When did you first become interested in the Cosmos?
If I were not an illustrator I would love to be an astronaut. But I much prefer to draw and be an illustrator. So I will be an astronaut in another life. In the meantime, I will draw the entire universe. :)

Sua Agape Artwork 1
Why is purple your favourite colour?
It’s been my favorite colour since I was a child. All my things were purple; it’s a colour that makes me feel at peace and in another world because it’s so magical and mysterious at the same time. I love to see how purple can mix with other colours.

What inspired your colouring book artwork?
The mystery of other worlds. I love imagining what might happen in another dimension, universe or time. What happens when you take part in your own dreams? I hope people who see these pages will feel like an astronaut traveling to another fantastic world. It’s an invitation to see and stay in my cosmic world.

Sua Agape Artwork 4
What kind of products and images do you like to embroider and screen print?
All kind of textile products like t-shirts, bags, patches, pillows, shoes and maybe some jewellery. But I still want to print on paper too. I’m really excited about working on my new project and learning a lot of textile printing techniques.

How are you building your own brand and what does it encompass?
Before anything else I will focus on design and illustration for textiles but I’ll always be working as an illustrator for different projects. More surprises are coming soon!

Find Súa Agapé and many other artists featured in my upcoming Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, funding on Kickstarter very soon!

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Coloring, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,Dibuja Guatemala, ,Digital Invaders, ,Glug Birmingham, ,Guatemala, ,Guatemalan Cultural Center of Spain, ,inkygoodness, ,interview, ,Sketchbook Project, ,Sua Agape, ,University of San Carlos of Guatemala

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Tiffany Baxter: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

Tiffany Baxter 6
Recently graduated illustrator Tiffany Baxter contributes a whirling dervish of an image inspired by the Saint Vitus Dance of the medieval period, full of fanciful characters in colourful clothing.

Tiffany spreadsmall
Why did you decide to illustrate the St Vitus Dance for the colouring book and what is happening in your picture?
It was a subject I’d heard briefly about when researching witchcraft and I found it fascinating so looked into it more. Even though now it’s thought to be a mass psychogenic illness, beyond that there doesn’t seem to be any idea about what caused it. Historical imagery shows people affected by mania but in my portrayal I suppose I tried to demonstrate what could be going on from the point of view of the dancers themselves. As with most odd phenomena back then, it was frequently thought to be demons or magic forces behind it all so that was the angle I was going for – a happy but insidious trance.

Tiffany Baxter photo
How did you create the piece and what is your most used art material?
I started out sketching thumbnails and rough ideas in my sketch book but then the whole piece was actually drawn in Photoshop with a Cintiq tablet. Most used would be Photoshop for digital work or with traditional media I’ve most used a brush pen and a magic pencil lately!

Tiffany Baxter 7
How do you research the mystical and esoteric for your artwork?
It will sound rather boring I suppose but mainly it’s just a whole lot of reading! London has a few specialist bookstores where I’ve managed to find loads of interesting books that you wouldn’t really find anywhere else unless you really knew exactly what you wanted.

Tiffany Baxter 8
Which bit of history is your favourite, why, and how has this influenced your work?
That’s a surprisingly tough question! I much prefer the personal side of history as opposed to hard facts of wars etc, how people actually lived is so captivating, what was different but also the same. Also the mystery of it, my current interest has been in early British history, of which there is so much we don’t know because early Britons had no written record, so a lot is left to the imagination. As for its influence, I’m always world building and thinking of my own characters and the past is a great point of inspiration in making something simultaneously familiar but strange, even on just a design level.

Tiffany Baxter 3
Where is the best place for people watching… and drawing?
Usually on the train or tube. People are still for long enough to draw them, though you have to be a bit sneaky about it so they don’t think you’re strange.

Tiffany Baxter 2
How does a combination of the classics and video games influence your work?
With classics it’s more that, they’re classic for a reason, they’re ultimately just good stories that absorb readers into caring about the characters. Additionally video games as well as often having beautiful character/world design are so unique among media in that they’re on the border between being a passive and an active experience. You can create something that really touches the audience in an entirely different way than say a book or television; as the players have a say in the outcome and I think that’s really special. So in short I suppose, storytelling is what has really influenced my work.

tiffany baxter-willhouse
Can you tell us more about your recent project for the BBC?
It was part of a live brief as part of my university course, and myself and a few of my peers were chosen to continue on with the project. It was for a BBC2 documentary following families through generations from the Victorian era through to present day that has yet to air – they needed drawings to then be animated for zoetrope scenes. It was really fun working with the team as well as just learning the stories of these people and being able to represent them even in a small way.

tiffany baxter-waldahouses
Since you’ve graduated you are now between London and Milton Keynes, is there any exciting art happening in your home town that we should know about?
I’m slightly ashamed to say I’m rather out of the loop with the local art scene after being in London for so long, so I only know a few illustrators and of course the local art gallery. It would be nice to see art flourish here though, especially as Milton Keynes doesn’t always necessarily have the best reputation in that regard I don’t think!

tiffany baxter-Upholsterer+mockup
Where and when can people see your upcoming group exhibition?
The exhibition is called Veneficus and is at Treadwell’s Books on Store Street in London from the 23rd October through to the 30th. The Facebook event is here if you want to check it out!

tiffany baxter -fka twigs
Tiffany is joined by her fellow Camberwell graduate Percie Edgeler in Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, interview coming soon.

Categories ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Camberwell College of Art, ,Cintiq tablet, ,Coloring, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring Book, ,interview, ,Milton Keynes, ,St Vitus Dance, ,Tiffany Baxter, ,Trance, ,Treadwell’s Books, ,Veneficus

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Amelia’s Magazine | Blomstermandala by Maria Trolle: Colouring Book Review, Interview and Giveaway

Blomstermandala Maria Trolle giveaway review
Maria Trolle is the creator of the wonderful images in the Blomstermandala series of books: a graphic designer, gardener, mother and all round amazing lady, she lives in a stunning location that influences all aspects of her life. Her publisher Pagina is based in Sweden, but she has deservedly garnered many fans from around the world. Read on to find out more about her life and inspiration – and discover how you can win yourself a copy of the beautiful Blomstermandala Målarbok.

Maria Trolle photo
Your work is stunning, for those who might not have heard of you can you tell us a bit more about your career to date?
Thank you. I am a self taught artist and an educated Graphic designer. I work mainly with illustration for different customers at the moment. Besides my publisher Pagina/Printworks I do drawings for a large Swedish garden magazine and a major grocery chain amongst others. And I work a lot with package design too. I also do graphic designs for books, lately my own books of course.

Blomstermandala susie_pala_Loir3
Blomstermandala coloured by Susie Pala-Loir

There are now a few different versions of Blomster Mandala, can you explain what is on offer and a few of the differences, as it could be a bit confusing for those new to your work?
I have understood that some people have found it confusing that my three coloring books are all called Blomstermandala, the first book I made with Pagina was the tavelbook/posterbook with 20 pages on really thick paper that you can pull out and put up on the wall. Three of these are photographed flowermandalas/flowerstillifes which I made from real flowers. We also made a postcard book with the same motives. Since these books sold well, we decided to make a full-scale coloring book, 96 pages but with the same theme and with some of the drawings that where in the 20 pages poster book. This is the way Pagina has made books with Hanna Karlzon (of Daydreams fame) aswell, only with here the full-scale coloring book came before the poster book. This new 96 pages coloring book is the one with the bunny on front. I have also made a japanese version of Blomstermandala, and in fact it is quite different too with some other motifs and a little less animals. It is called Wildflowers and is 80 pages.

Blomstermandala Chris_Cheng7
Blomstermandala Chris_Cheng6
Blomstermandala Chris_Cheng4
Blomstermandala coloured by Chris Cheng

Are your flowers drawn from photos, memory or reality? Or a mix of all?! 
When I’m drawing a flower I have’nt drawn before I always look at plenty of images (since most of the time you can’t look at them live) and then draw. But when I have drawn a flower a bunch of times I can draw it out of memory.

Blomstermandala Morena_vajak4
Blomstermandala Morena_Vajak5
Blomstermandala coloured by Morena Vajak

Blomstermandala Terry Cochran
Blomstermandala coloured by Terry Cochran

How do you find the inspiration for the arrangements of your floral mandalas and whimsical creatures? 
We have loads of real life creature inspiration in my garden, pretty much all animals that are in the book have visited our garden. We have made a better fence this year so hopefully we don’t have to have the deers eating our roses this year. And the hares munching on our kale… And the fox stealing our shoes and leaving smelly poo in the lawn… But they are beautiful, just not in our garden.

Blomster Mandala Sheila Strow Pechman
Blomstermandala coloured by Sheila Strow Pechman

Blomster Mandala Deidre Stewart
Blomstermandala coloured by Deidre Stewart

Nature is clearly a big influence, where and when are you happiest in nature?
I love strolling in our garden and looking at all new things that starts to bloom. Having a garden is blessing. It is so fascinating this season and all the way to winter, because it is constantly changing. But from time to time I tend to get a bit blind to all the beauty and only see what I want to change and what needs to be done and what didn’t work out as well as we planned… But most of the time it is pure joy. I also love walking in the fields and forests nearby. But I grew up in the west coast archipelago, spending my summers on a sailing boat with my family, so the west coast ocean is probably still closest to my heart anyway. The ocean makes me feel like nothing in the world is to hard to handle, it gives me feeling of peace.

Blomstermandala Michelle Byrne
Blomstermandala coloured by Michelle Byrne

Blomstermandala Jennifer Lyons 2
Blomstermandala Jennifer Lyons
Blomstermandala coloured by Jennifer Lyons

Where do you take your daily walks, can you describe the landscape you pass through and how it influences you?
We have a farm just 5 minutes walk from our house, we can hear the sheeps and cows from our window! It is a beautiful landscape with fields where the cows, sheep and horses feed in summertime. There is a lovely lake that we take swims in during summers situated just a few hundred meters from our house. Around the lake is a large nature preservation area, so the forests are old and beautiful. We also have a castle 20 minutes walk from my house, It is really stunning there, they have a park with flowery meadows, in June it is purple all over, a meadow of Aquilegias!

Blomstermandala Anne-Lie Granström 2
Blomstermandala Anne-Lie Granström 2
Blomstermandala coloured by Anne-Lie Granström

You keep a blog called Trolles Garden which is chock full of gorgeous photos from your garden. Where is your garden? It looks incredibly beautiful. What is your particular interest in gardens and can you please tell us a bit more about what you write in the blog because I can’t read Swedish? Thanks!
Thank you! Our house and garden is situated 20 minutes drive south of Stockholm. Our main interest is our very large flowering perennial borders, but also our kitchen garden that we really want to expand in the future. We dream of a greenhouse, but the once we want are really expensive so we’ll have to wait a little while for that. But in a few years from now well probably have one! I would also like to have chickens and beehives in the future.

Blomster Mandala Shirley Fraser 2
Blomster Mandala Shirley Fraser 2
Blomster Mandala Shirley Fraser 2
Blomstermandala coloured by Shirley Fraser

How did you hook up with Swedish publisher Pagina and is there any word that your book might get published elsewhere in the world? In the meantime where can UK buyers get hold of the book?
Pagina found my floral drawings through Instagram (!) a year ago and wanted to make book with me. The book has been published in Finland (only the poster book so far) and in Japan and of course Sweden. Maybe it will be published in other countries aswell further on, but nothing that I know of at the moment. The books are available for international purchases at

Maria Trolle notepad_sketchpad
You have also done some lovely notebooks with Pagina, what other products feature your designs?
There is a notebook, a sketchpad and notepad with motives from Blomstermandala, but at the moment I don’t think they are available at Penstore. There will be some new products with my designs this summer, but that is for a different company.

Maria Trolle new book
Maria Trolle new book
Exclusive sneak peaks of Maria’s new book.

How much input have you had over paper choice and binding? How does that production process work with your publisher?
My Publisher decided the paper and binding, they know what papers work the best for coloring. I was really happy that they wanted my book to be hardcover since it gives the book a special feeling I think. Since I’m also a graphic designer I did all of the books designs myself, such as the cover and lay outing, typography etc.

Maria Trolle new book
Maria Trolle new book
More exclusive sneak peaks of Maria’s new book.

What kind of tools do you use when drawing and what size or scale do you work at? And how do you ensure a clean final image for print?
I sketch with a pencil and then I draw with fineliner pen, with thin tips, mostly 0,1 – 0,7 in tip size. I draw on a A3 size paper, (297mm x 420mm) And after scanning the image I correct little mistakes in Photoshop in my Macbook Pro.

Blomstermandala Chris_cheng5
Blomstermandala Chris_Cheng3
Blomstermandala coloured by Chris Cheng

How long did it take you to complete your most recent book?
My recent book took me about 4-5 months full-time to make.

Blomstermandala Jane Smith
Blomstermandala coloured by Jane Smith

What does your work space look like?
I have a workspace on the top floor of our house, but it is much nicer to draw on our dinner table so I sit there most of the time. There I get contact with the garden through our windows. When I didn’t have children I had a studio in Stockholm, but since our children are small it is to time consuming to work in the city. I don’t want them to have too long days in daycare/preschool.

Blomster Mandala Hazel Smithies
Blomstermandala coloured by Hazel Smithies

Blomstermandala meg_how2
Blomstermandala coloured by Meg How

I believe you have young children, how old are they and how do you juggle your role as mum and fit in your work around them?
My boy, Ulf is 5 years and my girl, Viola is 2 years. I must confess that it is hard work to be a mum and try to work as much as I do. There are many, many working evenings after they’re gone to sleep to be able to keep deadlines even though they both are in preschool/daycare during daytime now. A year ago when I was still on maternity leave with Viola I made the whole poster book only at nighttime. But it is still worth it I think, and I don’t work when they are awake, that time is familytime only.

Blomstermandala Morena_vajak
Blomstermandala Morena_Vajak2
Blomstermandala coloured by Morena Majak

Trolles Garden
How did you learn to create such beautiful letters out of flowers and leaves?
Hmm, I don’t know, basically it starts with just another drawing, and I make sketches before I do the real drawing with ink.

When did you get into producing custom screen prints and who produces them (and where)?
Two years ago I had an exhibition with a floral theme, and that was when I had some screen prints made at a small company that makes handmade screen prints.

Blomstermandala Michelle White Banaszak 2
Blomstermandala Michelle White Banaszak 2
Blomstermandala coloured by Michelle White Banaszak

You have said you would like to create your own children’s books – is this idea any closer to reality? I’d love to see what you do!
Actually it is! But nothing I can tell of yet so shhhh… ;)

Have you ever coloured any of your own work and if so could you share some examples with us?
I have not had the time yet, but it would be fun to try!

What are you working on next? Will there be any other colouring books, and specifically any more with black backgrounds as I hear those have been a major hit!
I’m working on a new coloring book that will be released in October. It will be quite different from Blomstermandala, and with fewer pages this time. It will be 48 drawings but on 96 pages, so only one side will have an illustration. The pages are made so that you can easily pull them out of the book, and the paper quality will be very good, thicker paper than in Blomstermandala. There will of course be lots of flowers and nature in this one too, but also other motifs. Hopefully I will be able to make some of the pages with black background in this one too. It will be quite exciting to see what people think about this book, is will probably be my most personal work so far. The name is yet not completely decided so I’ll have to wait to reveal that.

You can follow Maria Trolle on facebook here and instagram here and here. To win your copy of the Blomstermandala Målarbok please visit this post on my Facebook Page and leave a comment or a sticker. The winner will be chosen at random on Sunday 5th June. Open to UK readers only (if you are based abroad and would like to enter then please be prepared to pay for postage, which could be up to £12: it is a heavy book. If someone based abroad is chosen then I’ll wait 2 days for postage payment before drawing another winner). Good Luck!

Many thanks to the members of the following Facebook colouring groups for the use of their beautiful coloured pages:
The Blomstermandala Colorists (Fans of Maria Trolle’s Coloring Artworks)
Maria Trolle’s Coloring Creations
Coloring Creations
Adult Colouring Book Reviews

Categories ,Adult Coloring, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Coloring Books, ,Blomstermandala, ,Coloring, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring Book, ,Colouring for Adults, ,Giveaway, ,Hanna Karlzon, ,illustration, ,interview, ,Pagina, ,Pagina/Printworks, ,review, ,Swedish, ,Ulf, ,Viola, ,Wildflowers

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