Art for Children’s books

Circus character by Phil Mansell

Circus character by Phil Mansell

As a break from writing plays, I recently had an idea for a book for children in the 9 – 12 age range. I’d stumbled across a website about Enid Blyton and it reminded me of how much I enjoyed her books when I was a youngster – particularly the Adventure series. Featuring two sets of siblings and their pet parrot, Kiki, these stories were, to me, much better than those featuring the Famous Five.

Looking at the illustrations reminded me of how, when I was reading the books (usually whilst eating a cooking apple!) I was transported from the back street slums where I grew up to islands, castles and valleys packed with adventure. It was this that inspired the book I am currently working on.

As I love drawing almost as much as writing, I decided I would illustrate it myself. Here are a few more illustrations I’ve done for books – some which were published, others still a work in progress.

A rough sketch for another children's book illustration by Phil Mansell

A rough sketch for another children’s book illustration by Phil Mansell

A fish and chip shop in 'Welcome to Jubilee Street' by Phil Mansell.

A fish and chip shop in ‘Welcome to Jubilee Street’ by Phil Mansell.

Cover art for 'A Bonfire in Jubilee Street' by Phil Mansell

Cover art for ‘A Bonfire in Jubilee Street’ by Phil Mansell

Artwork for a book I wrote for my son when he was a boy. Artwork by Phil Mansell

Artwork for a book I wrote for my son when he was a boy. Artwork by Phil Mansell

Artwork from 'A Bonfire in Jubilee Street' by Phil Mansell

Artwork from ‘A Bonfire in Jubilee Street’ by Phil Mansell

Artwork for an unpublished book by Phil Mansell

Artwork for an unpublished book by Phil Mansell

Cover of Welcome to Jubilee Street by Phil Mansell

About philmansell

I'm a writer, photographer, illustrator and film-maker with a Masters degree in Multimedia & Information Design from the University of Wales, Newport. I'm also volunteer PR Officer with Newport Playgoers Society who own and run the city's 400-seater Dolman Theatre. I trained at the London Film School where I specialised in script-writing, directing and animation, and had three films screened at the National Film Theatre. After teaching film-making, photography and art, I moved into the world of advertising and PR and was a professional writer. My play 'According to Claudia' was selected by Newport Playgoers Society to launch their 92nd season. It won the Award for Theatre Show of the Year 2014 presented by lifestyle and entertainment magazine Voice. It has since been published by Silvermoon Publications and is available from Amazon. Other plays I have had published include 'Poor Yorick', 'Bunkered' and 'Caddying for Godot'. Previously my one act play 'Poor Yorick' was a winning entry in a competition run as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Open Stages project and was performed at both the 400-seat Dolman Theatre and Blackwood Little Theatre. Another play, 'Bunkered', was one of the winning entries in a competition judged by Welsh playwright Frank Vickery.
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