Hi, I'm Ella, a children's book author and illustrator living in Cambridge UK with my husband, 16 year old son and Sonny the tabby cat!
I completed an MA in Children's Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art in Jan 2022 and I now work part-time as an Associate Lecturer there, teaching across all modules.
I run a Substack newsletter with a paid subscription option where I share insights into my process, peeks into my sketchbook, behind-the-scenes videos and lots more.
I'm a bit of a late bloomer with illustration - after doing a BA in Fine Art Painting, I worked in Children’s Publishing for 20 years as a Designer and Art Director (among other things!) but in 2019 I realised I needed to follow my passion for art, drawing, painting, and Children's books, and I decided to take a leap of faith and become a student again! The MA was the most amazing two and a half years and I am so glad I made that leap!
I love to work in traditional media and I'm drawn to the happy accidents and rich textures that are made when creating work on paper. I invariably make a mess, and that way, I make new discoveries too. My work is rooted in observational drawing - finding the beauty in the everyday, through experiments in colour, texture, light, and composition.
I am drawn to character-driven narratives that tackle both the joys and struggles of growing up. I was always a daydreamer and grew up immersed in an imaginative world, and books created a freedom that has never really left me. I love the magic that stories and illustrations can conjure up, and I like to play with the boundaries between real and imagination in my stories, keeping them both grounded in the familiarities of childhood, while straying into the imaginative world. I also love a bit of off-beat humour with a twist of the absurd. I like to bring my design background into my work, focusing on the interplay of colours, with bold and striking compositions, and rich mark-making.
When I'm not making art, I love to knit, sew, go for long walks, scour charity shops, and car-boot sales for treasures, which help inspire stories!
LET'S WORK TOGETHER.
EXHIBITIONS & EVENTS
Panelist - Dog Eared Children's Book Festival, 2023 (What Do Publishers Do All Day?)
Panelist - Dog Eared Children's Book Festival, 2023 (Trends in Publishing)
AWARDS & OTHER