I'm excited to of been invited to join Big Book Publishing in Auckland, New Zealand in their book launch of a series of children's stories that I've had the privilege of being the illustrator for.
Based on early New Zealand hero's, both Pakeha (white people) and Maori, men and women, called "The Chronicles of Paki", these stories are largely unknown and have been an absolute delight in diving into and creating. I've been wowed by the history of my country and its people from those pioneering years, which was made all the more profound as I learned that I'm related to a couple of the hero's through my own family tree as I'm a descendant of the Nahpui tribe of the far north of NZ.
The authors approached me last year though a recommendation and then Big Book Publishing offered me a contract which was my first! So that's super exciting for me. Since it's been a busy year as I've needed to juggle creating an 18 page full colour book every couple of months while volunteering and keeping up with other client work. But that challenge has paid off and now I've started producing a book a month and half way through this series. I'll be illustrating 5 more by the end of September.
I've loved the true to life historical theme of each story, having researched the time periods and kept as close as possible to the era. As a child I very much loved picture books with their vibrant colour and it is a real treat to be part of this project, commemorating the bicentennial of New Zealand.
So I'll be visiting Auckland between April 15th - 30th where I'll join the team and celebrate a job well done. I've secured a housesit on the North Shore for the two weeks I'm there, where I can concentrate on working before I head back to Australia. The beauty of being able to work remotely is a major draw card for me.
If you're in Auckland and would like to meet up come along
Church of the Holy Sepulcher,
10 Burleigh St, Kyber Pass.
Time 10am Thursday 17th April
See you there!