Over the years of producing finished artwork from commercial designs for household brands and greetings cards, through to book covers, I had always flirted with the notion of being involved in the children’s end of the publishing world.

It would seem an obvious field to be in when considering my illustration styles and skillset, my experience in publishing and years of both traditional and digital production of print ready publications. Not to mention my childish sense of humour which can be verified by anyone who has ever spent ten minutes in my company.

I even have manuscripts from twenty five years ago written and dreamed up in collaboration with a friend who passed away suddenly at a young age. They have remained at the base of my art hamper ever since. A box full of creative projects in a coma. The Lazarus Box, to be brought to life at some vague point in the future.

Then, out of the blue a friend Seth Burkett, who is both an accomplished author and a publisher asked me if I would be interested in illustrating a thirty two page children’s book about Donkeys. I simply could not turn it down. It was way out of my comfort zone but the challenge was too intriguing.

In a zoom call I was introduced to the force of nature that is Marie Bates who is the proprietor of Blackberry Donkeys and author of “Donkeys Love Ginger Biscuits”. If I was already keen to work on the book, that was turbo-boosted by Marie’s determination to see it through and her appreciation of my artwork and my many versions in the search for the right characterisation of Donkeys who are not imaginary. Sox and Bandit are very real.

Recent family illnesses, COVID, lockdown and artistic pedantry on my part all lead to delays but we got there. We bloody published the book. We are so proud to have done it and I am now sucked in to process. That Lazarus Box is out of the attic.

Donkeys Love Ginger Biscuits” is available for sale as a paperback or eBook on Amazon or directly from Blackberry Donkeys.