HomeBooks by AgeAges 9-12Illustration Inspiration: Jackie Morris, “The Wild Swans”

Illustration Inspiration: Jackie Morris, “The Wild Swans”

The Children’s Book Review | October 16, 2015

Illustration Inspiration_ Jackie Morris, “The Wild Swans”

Jackie Morris lives in Pembrokeshire, Wales, with children, dogs and cats. Ever since leaving college, Bath Academy of Art, at least one cat has watched over her while she works. Big cats and small are a passion in her life, and it was while reading and watching her cat Pixie sleeping in winter that the idea for I am Cat came about. Among her many books for Frances Lincoln are The Ice BearThe Snow Leopard, and Tell me a Dragon.

Latest published book …

The Wild Swans

Inspired by …

A need to discover what is at the heart of the story

Art medium used …

Watercolour and 54 years of practice

Artistic process …

First write. I write in longhand on top of the hill or sitting on a beach, cliff top nearby. I often walk with cats as company as well as dogs. Then I type up the script onto a computer. I think differently when I use a pen, to how I do at a keyboard.

Next I will work out what I want to illustrate. In The Wild Swans I also went to find and sketch swans so that I could understand better the shape of a swan. To be very honest I also went in search of stinging nettles, which was quite painful at times.

Favorite place to create & illustrate …

I write outside. I find the rhythm of walking helps to separate me from the mundane every day worries and puts words into my mind.

I paint in my studio, the attic of my small cottage beside the sea in Wales.

Most used art supply or tool …

No 4, series 7 sable brush from Winsor and Newton

Illustrator idols …

Errol Le Cain, James Mayhew, Chris Riddell, Angela Barrett, Shaun Tan, Brian Wildsmith, EH Shephard, Hannah Firmin, Angela Harding, Eric Revilious, Maurice Sendak

All-time favorite children’s book you didn’t illustrate …

The Arrivals by Shaun Tan

A literary character to create art with …

Thomas The Rhymer

Currently working on …

The Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris

Mrs Noah’s Pockets, written by me, illustrated by James Mayhew

Fox, written and illustrated by me, based on a true story set in Seattle

One Cheetah, One Cherry, A Book of Beautiful Numbers, written and illustrated by me.

Connect with Jackie Morris …

JackieMorris.co.uk | Facebook | Twitter

The Wild SwansThe Wild Swans

Retold and illustrated by Jackie Morris

This very beautiful and lyrical extended version of the fairy tale ‘The Wild Swans’ by Hans Christian Andersen is the much anticipated companion to East of the Sun, West of the Moon. With strong characterization of the heroine and also with more rounded characterization of the wicked stepmother than in the original version, and with delicate watercolor paintings throughout, this is both a wonderful story and delightful gift.

Ages 11-14 | Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Bks | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1847805362

Available Here: 


Follow along on Jackie Morris’s blog tour.

Next Stop 10/17: Curling Up with a Good Book  

Enter to win a copy of The Wild Swans (Quarto Publishing Group USA, 2015), written and illustrated by Jackie Morris.

Discover more picture book illustration inspiration and books like “The Wild Swans,” by Jackie Morris, on The Children’s Book Review by following along with our Illustration Inspiration series and articles tagged with  and 

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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