Welcome to my website. I am an artist, illustrator and children's author based in Solihull, West Midlands. I create mixed media pictures, ceramics and illustration. Please use the navigation menu above to look around and see examples of my work.
Latest work - Trout Reclaiming The Thames
Ceramic mosaic with key on wood panel
63 x 32 cm inc. frame
I have a BA(Hons) in Graphic Design and an MA in Visual Communication, specialising in illustration. My illustration was Highly Commended in the 2008 Macmillan Prize. I also have a Postgraduate Diploma in History of Art and Design and in 2017 attained a BTEC Level 3 Award in Education and Training to gain practical skills in teaching/training adults.
I worked as a graphic designer and as a marketing administrator before taking up writing children's stories in 2004, inspired by the picture books I was reading to my daughter. I also began developing my painting, ceramics and illustration through local art and writing classes. In 2008 I had two stories published by Scholastic Children's Books; 'Ordinary Oscar', a picture book (reissued in 2010 as 'I Want to be Famous') and 'Bongo's Chance', a short story in the 'Wow! 366' Scholastic Anthology. 'Ordinary Oscar' was shortlised for the Portsmouth Book Award in 2009 and was read by Shobna Gulati on CBeebies Bedtime Hour in 2011.
In 2010 I began exhibiting my paintings and ceramics. As well as participating in art fairs and group exhibitions I have curated three solo exhibitions and have run art workshops for adults and children at The Core in Solihull and the RBSA Gallery in Birmingham. My arts experience also includes photography, painting murals and stage scenery, creating theatre props, working as a marketing assistant in an art gallery and working as a school art technician.
While working as an art technician for Solihull School - a private school for children aged 7-18yrs - the Junior School Head Teacher commissioned me to write and illlustrate a children's book using characters I had created on my MA. The book acted as an introduction to the school for new pupils and Scuffle and Twitch became the Junior School mascots. Since then I have been working with the Junior School Head Teacher on commissions to illustrate assemblies, learning resources, stationery and signage, often using hand-drawn lettering. In 2016 I was commissioned to illustrate a Scuffle and Twitch themed BookBench as part of the Birmingham Big Read. The BookBench was exhibited in John Lewis, Solihull, during the summer and became a permanent feature of the school. Solihull School won the Gold Stars 'Best School Marketing Campaign' award for Scuffle and Twitch in 2016.
All images copyright of Laura Adkins 2019
All rights reserved