The writing and illustrating life


I’ve been illustrating a lot lately, working on a picture book just for fun. I remember how I used to love drawing when I was a kid, filling many books with pictures of dogs and horses.


This is one I drew when I was 10 with my 72 Derwent pencils.


And now I feel as though I’m back in that place once again.

Illustrating is such a refreshing change from writing. I love playing around with composition using brush and ink and watercolours. My favourite things to paint are animals.

I’ve been feeling quite neglectful of my novel Hushing Wood though. I’m editing the story at the moment and some days I have to force myself to work.

So I’ve devised a way to trick my brain.

My writing tip


I select a paragraph, two if they’re short, and copy and paste them into TextEdit. Now I treat it like a short story, making each word pull its own weight. I find it works great for me. It means that I don’t feel daunted by having a whole chapter to edit.

Befriend a Child in Detention cards

These greeting cards, which I illustrated for BCD are once again ready for purchase. They are to raise money for Befriend a Child in Detention organisation which I am part of. If you would like to purchase a pack of four cards for $24 please email me.


Chinese painting workshops

Melbourne – I’ve been conducting a number of Chinese painting workshops for the City of Melbourne Libraries. There’s a lovely new library called Library at the Dock and this is the view. Tomorrow I give another workshop at City Library.


Canberra – I’ve been invited up to Canberra by the National Library of Australia to conduct 2 workshops one for children and one for adults to coincide with their Celestial Empire – Life in China 1644-1911 exhibition. If you live in Canberra and would like to attend here are the booking details.

Some illustrations from my picture book The Runaway Zoo



A writer’s life

This is one of the reasons I love my writing life. No, I’m not on holidays, I’m attending a mini children’s literature festival and staying at Mission Beach in beautiful Queensland. This was taken on my morning walk before my school visit.


This closeup shot looks like a mini city in the desert. They are tiny balls of sand made by little crabs.


Ideas are everywhere

While I was speaking at the school, showing the students my picture book, they said they’d like me to illustrate a panda. So I did and now it’s in the book. IMG_5864

And this illustration was inspired by a gorgeous little girl in my Chinese painting class

porcupine girl 1


Have a wonderfully creative week.

I hope you get in touch with the child inside you!

She’s right there waiting.

Gabi x

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