Carollers in a Snow Globe – Christmas Card 2017

Christmas Card 2017  | © Natalie Knowles 2017I am delighted to reveal my illustration for my annual Christmas card. I get the most positive feedback and comments from friends, family and followers about my Christmas cards. This support inspires me to keep drawing. This is the fourth year running that I have produced a Christmas card and I really hope that it fulfils expectation. The conversation about the subject of the card began in the summer! Carollers in a Snow Globe is inspired by my friend Katy, who asked me to draw a snow globe. The Victorian-style carollers reflect the theme of my commissions this year, where I have undertaken several period projects (including Victorian London Fantasia).

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Women Who Draw

Women Who Draw | © Natalie Knowles 2017

I am delighted to be listed on the Women Who Draw directory. Each female artist has to upload drawing that is a full body image of a women that represents them. The image has to be on a white background. There was no question of which image I would choose to represent me as an artist; my Sir John Tenniel inspired ‘Mad Alice Dum‘ – a line drawing that I did in 2007/8 as part of a collection of Alice in Wonderland collage characters (see this blog post for more).

YHA (Youth Hostel Association) Christmas card 2017

Merry Christmas YHA | © Natalie Knowles 2017

The YHA (Youth Hostel Association) commissioned me to design a Christmas card, which has morphed into two designs! One of the cards is a typically festive fireside scene and the other represents UK YHA hostelling culture including the beautiful York and Ilam hostels and Christmassy backpackers.

It is always a delight to work with the YHA and I look forward to continuing our six year relationship.

Illustrating Liangfeng village

Fishing in Liangfeng | © Natalie Knowles 2017I took a morning walk by the river in Liangfeng. It was about 9am but already touching 40°C. There was no one else out walking! I could see people in their yards, in the houses that flanked the mountains, and I could hear dogs barking in the distance. I noticed movement under the canopy of trees and bushes that grew by the river; there were people in the river! I realised that they were fishing and I watched them at a distance for some time. They took regular breaks and sat on the rocks by the shallow river side. Amazingly, they seemed to be catching the fish with their hands! I was soaked in sweat and burning in the sun, so I returned to the cool hotel room. I wondered how many hours they would be out there fishing?

A presentation in China

On Thursday 27th July 2017 I gave a presentation to over thirty artists and creatives in Chongqing, China. The venue was Testbed 2, a converted factory which now houses creative businesses. I showcased three years worth of illustrations based on my home town, Sheringham. The reaction was incredible. The audience were amazed and intrigued by Sheringham’s carnival, the Viking festival and the Lobster Potty weekend.

I gave a thirty minute presentation which was followed by an hour of enthusiastic questions. The main comment of the evening was that my love for my home town was palpable and this emotion is abundantly clear in my artwork. Fellow artists, Alex (the owner of Testbed 2); Jizong, a talented oil painter and Songkang, a fellow illustrator, said how refreshing it was to see an original artist and true creative in an industry where there is so much imitation and replication of other artists’ styles.

My sincere thanks to Yishi Fu and Bruno PR, Anna and team, for organising the event. Special thanks to Yishi and to Dora for being incredible translators on the night.

I must also thank Myke Joyce and Cate Tooke, a Sheringham-based folk duo, for supplying local music. The songs are: ‘This is my friend’ (written and performed by Myke Joyce, produced by Ervin Munir), ‘Billy Boy’ (written by Steve Jackson and performed by Myke Joyce and Cath Tooke). Ervin Munir has written, performed and produced ‘The Return’ and ‘Fall Apart’.

The Album ‘Chilled Lobster 01’ was released in 2015 by Rock the Lobster, who run an open mic evening twice a month in Sheringham. The album and tracks are available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Visit http://www.rockthelobster.com for more information.

Read more about the presentation here: A presentation in China part 2

The University of Brighton press release about my visit, read more.

Natalie Knowles

The Carnival Queen is now a book!

carnival_queen_cover | © Natalie Knowles 2017(The cover image is a link to Amazon where you can preview and purchase The Carnival Queen)

In 2016 I had an exhibition of illustrations based on the story of a small-town carnival queen. In fact, this is a story that I had been promising to write for 11 years! My best friend and I had dreamed this story up, embellishing it with anecdotes from our teenage years.
Now, I am delighted to be able to tell my friend that I have written the story and it is illustrated with the pictures from last year’s exhibition.

The Carnival Queen is available to buy in paperback or download for the Kindle from Amazon.

This is a link to the paperback of The Carnival Queen on Amazon.
This is a link to the ebook of The Carnival Queen on Amazon. Suitable for Kindle, tablet and mobile devices.

The Blind Men and the Elephant

The Blind Men and the Elephant | © Natalie Knowles 2017

I was challenged by a colleague to do an illustration based on the poem ‘The Blind Men and the Elephant’ (John Godfrey Saxe, 1816-1887). Recently, a friend of mine had a commission to do a children’s picture book based on elephants and she had told me how it had taken three weeks to get a pleasing shape and look for her elephants! So I was delighted that I managed to complete this illustration in one day … just don’t ask me to do another elephant any time soon;)

Click here to read the poem ‘The Blind Men and the Elephant’.