An interview with Ashling Lindsay

We’re delighted to share a special blog post from illustrator Ashling Lindsay.

As a picture book illustrator, Ashling has illustrated the award-winning The Night Box and new release Between Tick and Tock, which were written by Louise Greig.

Where do you make your work?

I like to divide my time between my home studio, my studio space at Belfast School of Art and the library whenever I can.

I’m most productive when I work alone, but it helps my work in a different way to get out to where the people are!

Ashling in her studio
Ashling in her studio

What have you been doing at Belfast School of Art?

I’ve just finished my first year of a two year MFA in Design.

I’ve been developing my portfolio, experimenting with technique and colour, writing and lots of reading.

What are your favourite picturebooks?

There are tons! But my favourites might be ‘The Shrinking of Treehorn’ by Florence Parry Heide and Edward Gorey, ‘The Moonman’ by Tomi Ungerer, ‘Madeline’ Ludwig Bemelmans and ‘The Giving Tree’ by Shel Silverstein.

More contemporary picturebooks would be ‘The Onion’s Great Escape’ by Sara Fanelli, ‘I can only draw worms’ by William Moffat, and ‘We found a Hat’ by Jon Klassen.

Who are your favourite artists?

I’m always changing the artists I’m looking at, recently I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at paintings from artists like Joan Mitchell, Gunther Forg, Helen Frankenthaler, Cy Twombly and Ellsworth Kelly.

Artwork, ‘Triumph of Galatea’, by Cy Twombly.
Artwork, ‘Triumph of Galatea’, by Cy Twombly.

What is your process for making books?

I’m still new to making books so the process is still changing, and maybe it always will? I want to keep experimenting and improving. For The Night Box and Between Tick and Tock there was a lot of colouring and a lot of editing. I’m trying to turn that way of working around, slightly.

Instead of spending the majority of the time tweaking artwork, I’d like to try putting more time into planning the artwork. That’s how I’m managing my current projects, and I’m really enjoying it.

Your first two books, The Night Box and Between Tick and Tock, are out now – what has the experience in publishing been like for you?

These books have been an amazing thing to do, and have given me a great start into making books. The Night Box was nominated for the Kate Greenaway Illustration Award, The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and the Klaus Flugge Illustration Prize, which really has been a highlight in my year.

Another great moment was when I got this photo of drawings that the cool kids in 5W at Greenbank Primary School did based on the Night Box. I just love them.

Picture of drawings from 5W at Greenbank Primary School.

Thanks Mr Waters!

What are your plans for the future?

I can’t announce much of what I’m doing at the moment, but one thing I can say is that I am working towards writing and illustrating my own picture books and having loads of fun!

To find out more, visit Ashling Lindsay’s website or follow her on twitter @AshlingLindsay.

Between Tick and Tock by Louise Greig and Ashling Lindsay

Between Tick and Tock is the second magical picture book from the author and illustrator of The Night Box.

High above the bustle of the city, 
are eyes that watch, and hands that know, 
it’s time to pause the clock . . . 
and for one tiny second between tick and tock, the city stops!

Liesel notices the things that everyone else is too busy to see.

When she hears a stray whimper and watches a lonely boy on a roundabout, she decides it’s time to pause the clock and lend a helping hand. While the city freezes, Liesel quietly carries out little acts of kindness and breathes colour, life and happiness back into the city.

Louise Greig’s lyrical storytelling highlights the magic in everyday experiences and is accompanied by Ashling Lindsay’s warm, endearing illustrations. A wonderful picture book about the importance of kindness, looking out for others and taking time to appreciate the world around you.

The Night Box by Louise Greig and Ashling Lindsay

The Night BoxThe Night Box is an enchanting bedtime story about a small boy who is the custodian of night, from talented new picture book author and poet, Louise Greig, with beautifully atmospheric illustrations by Ashling Lindsay.

Max has a key and a box of midnight blue. 
When he turns the key in the lock – 

Day slips inside as Night sweeps out. 
Darkness tumbles into the air.
It dances and whirls around the room. 
It goes under the bed, under the chair – everywhere!

Louise Greig’s lyrical voice and Ashling Lindsay’s warm, endearing illustrations hold a candle up to the magical nature of night-time in this soothing picture book. Perfect for cosying up to read and share before bedtime, The Night Box is an original bedtime tale that sits perfectly alongside classics such as The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark – great for reassuring little ones who have a fear of the dark and calming down lively children before bedtime!

‘Tender and domestic, luminous and star-shot, Lindsay’s illustrations perfectly complement Greig’s soaring, unrhymed poetry, creating a sense of night’s scale, richness and enveloping magic’ – The Guardian

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