I always knew when I wrote Mr Mustachio he would be a darling, but when Maverick Books appointed Abi Tompkins as illustrator I had no idea what magic was about to commence.
He’s tall. His coat is made from camel hair (it’s like wool, but camel wool). And my, look at that moustache.
Abi’s joining us in Top Secret News today to give us a sneaky peek and talk to us about Mr M. Our picture book won’t be out until next year, but work is well under way and it’s looking great! Our editor Kimara Nye (who’s got her own picture book out too!) keeps forwarding beautiful sketches to my inbox.
Abi’s work is full of dreamy characters and fizzy colours. I could look at it all day long.
Abi, this is your debut book too isn’t it? Tell us a bit about how it’s going.
Hello! Yes, this is my first book and I’m very excited about it all. As soon as I got the script I could imagine Mr Mustachio straight away and the way he would walk down the street. It’s such a fun story to draw.
How do you work? What techniques do you use?
I start off with good old pen or pencil and my sketchbook to get out some ideas and then work them up and scan them. Then I work them up in Photoshop for colour and texture.
Could you ‘see’ Mr Mustachio straight away, or did you go through lots of versions?
I could visualise him straight away but I wanted to really capture his character. I think I have about 10 pages of rough sketches of him in my sketchbook!
Was the moustache hard to get right? There are so many styles you could have chosen!
Yes! This is what I found quite challenging, even though it’s just a moustache it’s kind of an extension of his character so almost has its own personality! If someone ever grew a moustache as long as his, it would be quite hard to maintain so I wanted it to be slightly wild!
Without giving too much away, what’s been your favourite spread to work on so far?
That’s tough! But it did get a lot of fun once he steps on that roundabout!
If you want to keep up with Abi you can…
She’s clearly one busy lady!
I’m so excited to be working with Abi. I know we’re going to make a great team!