one last growl for monsterville

Today was the closing party for MONSTERVILLE! This morning I tried to figure out which outfit would best suit my Monster cake shop, and decided this one would do nicely, it looks like a whole tub-full of sweets piled up on top of my head. (I got it at the Vintage Fair in Birmingham’s Custard Factory from Julia Gandy at hOle button jewellery.) Dylan Owen on Twitter said it looked like my brains are exploding out of my head, which pretty much sums up Monsterville; it was a mind-blowing project to work on.

So I trotted back to the Discover Children’s Story Centre in Stratford, northeast London, for one last fearsome hurrah.

There were three of us illustrators who worked with the Discover team to make it happen: Neal Layton, Ed Vere and me. Neal’s wife just had a baby, so he couldn’t come, but Ed and I had another wild Monster Draw-off. It was SO much fun!

We drew loads of 3-minute monsters, including ‘Cutest Monster in Pyjamas’ and ‘Silliest Monster in a Car’. I didn’t get photos of many of them, but here’s Ed’s ‘Monsters in Love’ and my ‘Most Disgusting Monster’.

Ed gets very competitive. Here we are, sabotaging each other’s paper.

It was a great party! Here are some lovely outfits from the day, including a fab-looking member of staff (Discover, can you remind me of her name?) and our excellent DJ, Laura Holden.

I couldn’t get a non-blurry photo of the 1950’s themed disco, but you get the general idea…

Ed and I had a wander through our creation with Director Sally Goldsworthy, quite sad to see it all come down, but thrilled we could be a part of it.

Considering the monster village had to be rebuilt almost every day, with the kids going nuts in it, it’s amazing how well it held together. But when we looked closely, we could see a bit of wear and tear. Here’s the window display in the Lolliplops cafe; apparently someone has chewed off the eyeballs on top of the cake.

And Ed’s most excellent miniature cinema. He might get to keep that.

The party was part of a week’s festivities for The Big Write, so there was lots more fun stuff going on today, including a Giraffes Can’t Dance presentation by illustrator Guy Parker-Rees.

Chris Haughton also had an event (you might remember I went to his textiles launch not long ago). Both Ed and I are fans of his work, and we all ended up buying each other’s books and getting them signed.

Book signing love-in:

Thanks to all the kids and parents who came along, you were good fun!

Here’s comic artist/illustator/designer Richy K Chandler, whom I only really knew as ‘Tempo Lush’ on the Internets, and it’s lovely to be able to put a name to a face and meet the whole family. Here Ed’s showing his kid a photo of a mouse he caught in his kitchen the other day.

I got to meet Hugless Douglas in the staff room, just as he was finishing his shift. And I took this second photo because, well, you’ve always wanted to know what the insides of those costumes look like, haven’t you?

Here’s Discover Administrator Eleanor Butler giving me a little peek into the upcoming exhibition featuring… a littie trolley full of fake food, some construction hats… oo, a digital 3-D model…

… featuring COMICS! Comics will be the theme of the next exhibition, hurrah! Here are some mockups by Steve May. Not all comics are about superheroes [puts on didactic lecture voice] but a lot of kids love superheroes, and this show will be jam-packed with them. Exciting!

If you want to see earlier pictures from Monsterville, click on my Monsterville tag here and scroll through older blog posts.

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