Welcome to the my blog. My name is Lucy Farfort i'm a freelance illustrator & designer maker. This is where you can find out what i've been up to of late, read my attempts at a decent post & the rantings of a visual addict. Hope you like it. You can contact me to say 'hi' by email on lucy@lucyshappyplace.com
If you would like to take a look at my work (& i would very much like you to) please visit my site:

Friday, 28 February 2014

New Beginnings

I'm writing this post as it seems appropriate given that today is the last day in February and that marks two months left of my day job at Newcastle University, before I make the move to becoming a full time freelance illustrator.
As I sit here writing this butterflies are fluttering round my insides. Its not all nerves though, there is also a great deal of excited and anticipation.

For the last 7 & ½ years now I've been working undercover as a research secretary for a study. Haha, well not exactly undercover more just in full view working to pay the bills, and i've enjoyed it too. However it is definitely not what my heart wants.
Being an illustrator or at least being in an art/design related field is something I've dreamed of from the age of about 10, but since graduating I've never felt confident enough to go for it. It's always been something that has had to fit in around other regular salaried jobs, and I happened to fall into admin when I started doing that kind of work in summer holidays. Admittedly though I do love the organising bit of it...ok not files, but the events and workshops and things.

Anyway it was around the time when my mum passed, that I thought I can't go on like this - juggling various freelance jobs alongside a part-time job and working 55+ hour weeks. There is going to come a time when this isn't sustainable anymore.
At that point though, dealing with my mum's death combined with a looming potential redundancy, my mind was set on a different path, one which involved a full time, permanent admin job that would bring in money so I could visit my dad & sister down south more often. So when I was offered a contract extension last April and the chance to get permanent employment a year down the line, I thought accepting was the right thing. Actually I was doing the right thing, back then, but a couple of months down the line I realised something. I was coasting, taking the easy option and all before I had even given it a proper go. I also realised something else, life is too short for regrets so I took the decision to finally jump in feet first.

So friends after many months of saving and preparation in just two months from now I'll be saying goodbye to my day job and risking all to follow my dream.
I'm desperate and determined to make this work, so if you're reading this please send some positive vibes my way.
Perhaps its crazy, but I know my 10 year old self would thank me for it.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Mug shots no. 4

As promised i'm back with a new mug shot illustration plus a giveaway. I would have had it up this morning only for some reason Blogger decided that it wasn't going to let me upload images so that scuppered that!
Still its all sorted now & i've chosen the very cute Red Panda as my subject for this week's feature.
This one's name is Howie:

Age: 5
Favourite colours: Sunshine yellow 
Favourite food: Red berries 
Favourite quote: 'I want to put a ding in the universe' - Steve Jobs

Once again i'm giving away a signed one off print and the original pencil drawing pictured below to anyone who wants it -

To take part all you need to do is share the giveaway via Facebook or Twitter & any entries will be put in a hat & picked at random this weekend.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Breakfast time!

Not much time to blog today so i'm going to keep this short and sweet by simply sharing with you a new illustration for the story i'm working on.

Nothing like a fish breakfast to set a bear up for the day. Speaking of breakfast its about time I had mine.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Mugshot giveaway 3.5

Well technically this is neither installment 3 nor 4. Sorry to say that I didn't get a chance over the weekend to finish a new painting for today's feature. I intended to spend time on it Sunday afternoon following a kayaking trip, but the paddle which i thought was going to be about 2 hours turned out to be a grueling (but fun) 4 and 1/2 hour stretch of several miles of continuous rapids. It was pretty tough going and by the time we got back it was around 5.30 and I was to say the least knackered.

I did however manage to do the sketch for the next mugshot and finally do the name draw for last week's coati illustration. So without further ado the winner of the previous giveaway is @rosemarymaddy who shared it by Twitter.

I'll do mugshot number 4 next Tuesday I promise, but in the meantime here's a scan of the sketch:

Friday, 14 February 2014

In the cellar

This week i've been rushing around trying to keep up with various projects.
I'm a bit late with this post today as I wanted to finish a piece of work before blogging. In previous posts I mentioned having written a children's picture book story...actually 2 now, so currently i'm in the process of getting a couple of finished illustrations together, along with a book dummy so I can think about submitting to publishers.
Really pleased with how the first final piece has turned out, using a combo of gouache, pencil, ink and digital media.
These are the pencil drawings:

The final illustration -

and this is the finished double page spread along with the text:


Before I put this to bed the text needs a bit of work to make it more visually interesting, but for the most part its complete.
The plan is to do another couple of illustrations, one for a single page and maybe a vignette and then try my luck with some publishers.
Right I better get onto the next job. Phew no rest for the wicked!

Monday, 10 February 2014

Mug shots no. 3

First off congratulations to Kate Harland for winning the capabara print.

Today's mugshot animals are a pair of coatis. Again it was created mainly using gouache. I'm really enjoying painting with this media again, so where the opportunity arises it will definitely feature more heavily in future commissions, particularly with respect to the children's related illustration. 

Names: Rumpus and Meep
Ages (respectively): 1 & 1/2 & 2
Favourite colours: Meep likes Turquoise, Rumpus couldn't decide.
Favourite food: Figs
Favourite quote: 'He ain't heavy he's my brother' The Hollies. Ok so its not really a quote but hey.

As promised i'm giving away a signed one off print and the original pencil drawing pictured below to anyone who wants it -


To take part all you need to do is share the giveaway i've posted on my Facebook page wall or share it via Twitter & any entries will be put in a hat & picked at random on Friday. 

Friday, 7 February 2014

Just a Big Kid

Since deciding to write a children’s story last Autumn I’ve been reading as many children’s books as I can, with regular trips to the library for a new stack. Naturally picture books have always been close to my heart anyway, but I can't think that i’ve ever crammed so many into my head in such a short period of time.
 I’ve read around 60 since October and can’t remember all of the titles, but those I can recall I would like to share. Here are a list of the 25 or so I can remember with my top five at the end (you’ll notice many Oliver Jeffer’s books in the list)

Ferdie and the Falling Leaves – Julia Rawlinson & Tiphanie Beeke
The Ant and the Big Bad Bully Goat -  Andrew Fusek Peters & Anna Wadham
The Tiger Skin Rug – Gerald Rose
Shine Moon Shine -  David Conway and Dubravka Kolanovic
The Great Paper Caper - Oliver Jeffers
Up and Down – Oliver Jeffers
The Way Back Home – Oliver Jeffers
The Heart and the Bottle – Oliver Jeffers

The Hueys in The New Jumper – Oliver Jeffers
Milo Armadillo – Jan Fearnley
The Baby Dragon Tamer - Jan Fearnley
Her Mother’s Face – Roddy Doyle and Freya Blackwood
The Monster Who Ate Darkness -  Joyce Dunbar and Jimmy Liao
The Scariest Thing of All – Debbie Gliori
Colin and the Wrong Shadow – Leigh Hodgkinson

The Tea Party of Miss Moon – Princess Mary Thurn-Taxis
I Want My Hat Back
- Jon Klassen
Scruffy Bear and the Six White Mice -  Chris Wormell

Tell Me a Story Mummy – Carl Norac & Mei Matsuoka
Bug and Bear
– Ann Bonwill & Layn Marlow
UnPOPpable -  Tom Hopgood
In The Attic – Hiawyn Oram & Satoshi Kitamura
Lunch Time - Rebecca Cobb
Melrose and Croc A Hero’s Birthday – Emma Chichester Clark
Alfie Gets in First – Shirley Hughes
The Paper Dolls -  Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb

Top five from the list starting with my favourite:

1. I Want My Hat Back, Jon Klassen – A short and simple, well-constructed story with a brilliantly dark sense of humour. The end is guaranteed to make you laugh and want to read it over again. So good I had to own it, heres the copy I got for Christmas:

2. The Tiger Skin Rug, Gerald Rose - A really original and captivating tale, with lots of fun colourful illustrations. This satisfying read made me smile from ear to ear.

3. Her Mother’s Face, Roddy Doyle and Freya Blackwood - This is a very moving story about a child coming to terms with her mother’s death. Sad but touching and if you’re like me be warned you will cry.

4. The Great Paper Caper - Oliver Jeffers – Well of course I love all of Oliver Jeffers Books but this is one of my favourites. Its clever, charming and funny.

5. Ferdie and the Falling Leaves – Julia Rawlinson & Tiphanie Beeke – A very sweet, heart-warming read with a lovely twist at the end and charming illustrations.

I’ve now got another 12 waiting on my desk to get through and at least another 50 which I need to get my mitts on.

Would love to hear from you if you have any picture book reading suggestions.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Animal Mug Shots no.2

Last Tuesday I mentioned that there would be a new weekly post, featuring an original illustration  which is off the back of me brushing up my inking skills.

Since my first attempt I've purchased some gouache. I used to use this medium a lot but not having done so in such a long time I forgot how great it is to work with. This is now definitely my medium of choice when it comes to painting my drawings.
I'm really pleased with the results of this week's mug shot and I hope you like it too, because from now on every week i'll be giving away a signed, one off print of the original illustration, along with the original pencil drawing.
To find out how you can win read on, but first onto the drawing. I thought it would be fitting to make this week's mugshot Valentine's themed, so here are Godfrey and Mildred the happy Capybaras with their bio below:

Names: Godfrey and Mildred
Ages (respectively): 4 and 5 
Favourite colours: Orange and mauve 
Favourite foods: Melon and Sweet Potato (not together) 
Favourite quote: 'Love is a serious mental disease' - Plato.

I was thinking about giving away the finished original, but I just can't part with it. However if you do want to win a signed one off print and the original pencil drawing....


all you need to do is:
- go onto my Facebook page and share the image & giveaway i've posted on my wall, with your friends and leave a comment so i can get in touch with you for your address if you win. You have from now until Friday morning when i'll put all the names in a hat & pick a winner.
Will be back next Tuesday with another mugshot.