12 Days of Illustrated Christmas News

A small pop up book illustrating 12 news stories from over the christmas period.


For our Christmas project we had to illustrate 12 news stories from over the holiday period. I started by gathering news stories that interested me and that I thought I would be able to illustrate. I then made the decision to work with pop-ups rather than just drawings as I found this method of working more engaging and less repetitive as just trying to draw out the news stories.

I chose a variety of stories from fake news to a story about a sheet of ice thats going to break off Antartica.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I then put all my pop-ups together to form a small book. I think they all worked really well together and that the mixture of humour and simple designs made each piece stand out.

Metamorphosis: Analysis of Work

An analysis of my own work from the project Metamorphosis based on the book by Kafka.

Analysis of my own work 

Gregor with a human face

This is one of the shadow puppets that I made based on the character Gregor from the book Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. Gregor is portrayed as a bug with a human face. I decided to do this as Gregor’s family see him as bug-like and monstrous in the book. I decided to give Gregor a human face as it shows who Gregor really is, a human, and it allows the audience to empathise with him. This design decision also makes the character look quite disturbing which is how he is described in the book ‘monstrous vermin;.

Mr Samsa

Another shadow puppet that I made was Gregor’s father, Mr Samsa. He has a hunched back, a large nose, receding hair line and a protruding belly. These features make him look elderly but not frail. He doesn’t look commanding or authoritative which suggests that he is not in charge of looking after the family, Gregor is. He looks well looked after, which implies his son looks after his family well.

The houses all vary in size and style. Some look more modern with aerials on their roofs whilst others look older.  This variation makes it difficult to place the houses in a specific time. This suggests the story could be taking place at any time, which implies that it is still relevant today.


Metamorphosis Summary

A summary of the work produced throughout this project and what I have learnt doing it.

The outcome of this project was to produce a shadow puppet show based on the book Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. We had to work as a group to write the script, make the puppets and set and to preform the play at the end.

We started by making the shadow puppets. This helped me to understand how to design simple characters that were easily identifiable as the characters in the book. It also helped me to understand how characters are developed. I also learnt how to exaggerate characters to make them easier to understand, for example I made a puppet of Gregor, the main character, as a beetle but with a human head to show that he was really human and not just a bug.

We then started making the props for the set. I learnt how important composition is when using cutouts of furniture to try and show the difference between a bedroom and a living room.

houses.jpgWhen making the city houses to make up some of the frame for the set I learnt again about the importance of composition. I learnt that I needed to vary the design of the buildings in order to make them look easily identifiable and more visually interesting as not much detail could be added to them as they were just silhouettes. I also used coloured acetate to represent the light shining through the windows of the building.

The final show lasted approximately 15 minutes. Below are some photos of the set whilst it was being assembled and the final set ready for the show. The different pieces of the set went together really well. We tried to include the surrounding city and apartments in the set. The final show went well, some things wet wrong but it added to the charm of it.

London Trip

Some sketches from a trip to London that I went on with other Illustration students from university.

Puppet from The Museum of Childhood

These are some of the sketches that I did whilst in London on a trip with university. We arrived in London on a Friday and went straight to The Museum of Childhood. Here we spent a few hours looking at all the exhibits. I drew a skeleton puppet which I found in one of the display cases.

wkNext we went to the Whitechapel Gallery. Here I paid to enter the William Kentridge exhibition, Tick Time. I found this exhibition really interesting as I was already familiar with some of Kentridge’s work but I had not seen any of his instillation pieces. I found his work very immersive and captivating. I especially liked the way he used sound and music to draw you in and make you feel like you’re part of the work and everything is happening around you.

On Saturday we went to The Hunterian Museum first. I found this museum extremely interesting, I enjoyed reading about the development of medicine and what surgery was like in the past. I also found the vast collection of strange samples intriguing, especially the partially dissected ones that were used to teach pupils about how things inside the body worked. Here I did a few sketches of some of the more visually interesting specimens.


We then went to The Imperial War Museum. Here I didn’t draw anything but I found the exhibits very engrossing. The exhibition about family life during wartime was interesting as it showed you how much it has an effect on everyones lives.

I then went to The National History Museum. I did not get to spend a lot of time here but I found the exhibits I did look at were very engaging. Here, I drew the building itself as it is a very impressive building because of its sheer size and beauty. I also drew the Diplodocus that stands in the atrium of the museum as it is an iconic exhibition in the museum.

The National History Museum
Diplodocus from The National History Museum


Metamorphosis: More Shadow Puppets

Some of the work that I produced for a shadow puppet show we are putting on in university based on the book Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.

Today we finished making all of the shadow puppets for a show that we will hold in uni next week, based on the book Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. We also made most of the props for the show. I made the puppet for Mr Samsa, the main character’s father and some pieces for the set including a portrait that hangs in the main character, Gregor’s room. I also made some furniture for his room. I made a door for the set and some food which Gregor’s sister delivers to him later on in the book.

My work was inspired by Lotte Reiniger’s as her shadow puppets are extremely detailed as well as the sets surrounding them. Her simple technique of cutting little details out of the black card easily creates different textures in the puppets clothing and in the environments surrounding them.

Using Interlibrary Loan

For my study group lectures on The Body in Art and Design I had to use interlibrary loan to find a book that interested me and that related to what we are currently studying.


For the constellation part of my course, the study group I am in , The Body in Art and Design, had to use interlibrary loan to find a book that interested us that related to our study group. The book that I chose was ‘Body Modification’ by Mike Featherstone. I chose this book as I am interested in the different ways that cultures and individuals chose to change and modify their body and the reasons why they decide to make these changes to their bodies.

Metamorphosis : Shadow Puppets

Initial ideas and work for a shadow puppet show based on the book Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.

Our latest project is based on the book Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. For this project we are looking at shadow theatres and puppets and exploring how they can be used to tell stories.

I started by exploring the scenery in the book, especially the city. I made some quick pop up pieces that were ideas for how the scenery could be represented in the theatre we will be making for the play.

I then started making some of the characters from the book. I tried not to draw them out in pencil first, instead I just started cutting out forms with the scalpel. I then used butterfly pins to attach the various pieces of the characters together.

I experimented with different designs for the main character Gregor. He is described as similar to a bug in the book so I chose to represent him this way. I also decided to show him as a bug with a human face as I think this is a good way to show that Gregor was originally a human, and it also makes it easier to empathise with him. One of the versions of Gregor shows him towards the end of the book, when he has become unwell and frail with an apple lodged in his back.