The Tale of Mr Boris and Miss Babs

Private Commission, 2021

One Saturday morning in March, I woke up to a DM from a lady reaching out to me on Instagram; “Hi Jamie. Are you taking commissions at the moment? If you are, I’d love to meet to discuss. Thanks, Mrs C.”

Without any details as to what this enquiry entailed, she sent me her phone number and asked her to give her a ring – not my usual method of picking up new art projects. To my surprise this unexpected interaction would lead to one of my favourite projects I’ve ever had the pleasure of working on. 

Mrs C. had found my account after searching for a local artist to help her realise an ambitious and truly unique 80th birthday gift idea for her husband’s mother. Many years before, when the grandchildren of this family were young, their dear grandmother would tell fantastical made-up stories to the youngsters, many revolving around the adventures of two farm cats and their animal friends. Mrs C. and her husband, upon discovering the grandmother’s many handwritten stories earlier that year, wanted to have the tales of Mr Boris and Miss Babs created as a real, professionally illustrated and published storybook. 

The process of meeting this family and working alongside them to help realise the characters and locations in their grandmother’s stories was nothing short of an absolute pleasure. We had many phone calls and emails back and forth deciding the finest details, interpreting paragraphs into sketches and eventually producing a full rough layout of the book. From here the family were happy to let me jump into creating the final colour illustrations, and relaying with a local print expert to get the book printed. 

From first taking on the project to delivering the final 26 digital illustrations took around 3 months to complete, and it was such a delight to see the final version in print.

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