Papercut commission

the-clawIn December I was commissioned to make a layery green papercut as a present for someone. Weeee papercut! This was good fun to work on, though a little challenging as due to an irritatingly extreme cough, I was ill during the week I had planned to work on it. Wielding a scalpel while coughing violently is not such a good idea I find.

I had to do it all in a bit of a mammoth paper cutting session over one weekend to make sure it was ready in time and boy did that mess up my hand! I virtually had a claw by the end of it. Claw Hand.

papercut Here’s a little cartoon to show you the claw hand. (No, it didn’t really turn green thankfully! But the fingers did start to point in alarming directions for a bit… Yikes.)

I made a gif of the different layers for fun (what? Yes I am very cool and fun). Shame I forgot to take a photo before I glued the door and roof bits in. Nevermind, you get the idea.

The last image is the finished papercut in the cool glassy frame my client found. I thought it worked really well for this kind of design. Hopefully it is looking good and behaving itself in its new home!

I’m glad to say my claw hand has now fully recovered, so if you’re interested in commissioning one of these papery bad boys for yourself or a loved one, give me a shout!




Christmas fair

lamb2Thought I’d write a belated update on what I’ve been up to besides eating too many mince pies and watching Die Hard.

In December I took part in the Made In Surbiton Christmas fair in The Lamb pub which is a bloomin lovely, cosy place. It was extra Christmassy at the time, what with fairy lights, a (fab) band getting people to sing along to songs and the smell of mulled (wine? Mulled something anyway) drifting about. Ooo it warmed my cockles!

I was a little nervous setting up, what with everyone else seeming to know each other and all the locals chilling out in the pub greeting each other like long lost friends- it all made me feel a bit like some damn outsider taking up a whole table of precious cosy room in the small pub! But actually everyone was super-welcoming and lovely!

It was great chatting and seeing some of the neat crafty stuff people are making. Thanks to everyone who came along and said hello- apologies if I sounded a bit gravelly towards the end of the evening, I was starting to lose my voice!

lamb1I always enjoy talking to people at fairs but also find it incredibly tiring! It’s partly that I’m one of those irritating introverted types, and spend a lot of time on the tube so tend to instinctively freeze in horror if someone starts talking to me! But I suppose I’m also just a bit out of practice at talking about my work.

I don’t want to come out with naff cliché answers to questions but I’m also aware that people might not want to stand around listening to a slightly confused ramble about the different things that influence me or how I work! They’re fun questions to answer though. I guess that’s a subject for another blog post.

One more thing to add: I loved that big solid hunk of a wooden table I had at the fair. I loved it so much- look at that grain, I mean, come off it. *Furniture swoon*

New Year toot toot!

tootHey. Hey, did you see this? There’s this new year thing. Pretty nifty innit? This little doodle and I wish you a very happy one! Hooray! Woop woop etc.

Sorry it’s been a while, I was pretty busy in the run up to christmas and then I had a very important appointment with some cheese and biscuits and mulled wine, so that took up a lot of my time, but I’m sure you will understand. I’ll be back soon with some more updates!

Diary of a Headcase book cover

I’ve been wanting to share this for a while: my lovely friend Faiza* has written a book about her experiences following a brain injury she got in a serious car accident. She asked me to do the cover for it and here it is.

Diary of a Headcase cover illustration by Lara Crow

The accident and Faiza’s recovery are not my story to tell, but I thought I’d write a little bit about working on the cover and the ideas behind the image.

Chatting to Faiza and reading bits of the book, I was thinking about the things she mentioned when piecing together life after the accident. I wanted to represent something of that, so there are the odd puzzle piece, a map, letters, notes, books, photos and receipts. (incidentally my desk looks a bit like this, only with more half drunk cups of tea and pencil shavings).

I like the idea that these solid, fairly mundane, everyday objects can give you a window into the more elusive internal life of memories and ideas. I wonder if that’s partly why people find it interesting to look at other people’s bookshelves and desks when visiting? (or is that just me? Oh dear *blush*). Ah no come on, I’m not the only one. There’s that whole ‘shelfie’ thing. Mmm books.

Although we originally discussed a more science-y and crisp design, I wanted to keep this cover from becoming too clinical. I tried to find a warmer, more personal side because to me, this seemed more a memoir than a science textbook (although it does have a lot of scientific discussion and I learnt a lot!). Hopefully Faiza agrees!

Working on it took ages. Dah, I think I need to buy a new computer, this one is getting so slow and chuggy! A few unfortunate crashes and I ended up doing lots and lots of changing something, paranoidly saving the file. Change something else, save it again! SAVE SAVE! Argh!

So anyway, that’s about it from me, why not buy a book from Amazon or Lulu and read more? I can recommend it, it’s a lovely mix of personal story, humour and neuroscience. A winning combo for sure! A donation from the sale of each book goes to Headway too.

*A nom de plume! Dah, I want to be a writer so I can have one of those!

Feeling weird like a wobbly werewolf!

Ah the exhibition is finished now. What fun it was! Thanks to the people who bought prints- hope they are all behaving themselves on your walls!

I’m feeling a bit coldy and wobbly today and what with the storm outside, I thought I’d sit down and write a little post about this wobbly werewolf illustration. He’s one of my favs I think.

Werewolf illustration by Lara Crow Scruffy doodle by Lara CrowHe started out life as most of my work does, as a little scruffy doodle on some scrap paper. Here it is, with some trees which I ended up changing in the final version. Ha- green biro for the win!

It’s not very impressive sounding but I often end up doodling stuff in green biro, for some reason I find it takes the pressure off compared to black. I’m all like, pah, doesn’t matter if this turns out rubbish, it’s just a stupid green scribble. The green is somehow more forgiving and I suppose on some level I hope it makes me think about things more organically. Or possibly I just happen to have that pen lying around a lot.

I wanted this guy to look alarmed. I was pondering werewolves (apparently I do this quite a bit) and how a lot of artwork tends to show people turning into one, rather than one turning back into a person. I was thinking about the moment when the wolf starts to turn back to a human and suddenly knows he’s a monster and looks in horror at his own hands, realising the terrible things he’s done. But that’s a bit heavy, so I gave him some scruffy jorts as well because they make me laugh. I was tempted to make them purple like the hulk, but no, that’s probably a bit much.

Originally I doodled him in a wood, but the more I worked on this, the more I felt it needed to be more open and lonesome, so the cliff appeared, with the jagged forest below. For some reason this is how I imagine the landscape around the castle in Dracula (which I re-read the other week) only probably without the jorts. Haha, jorts.

So yeah, that’s a little bit more info on one of my favourite recent pieces of work: the werewolf. He is available as a print if you like. Or as a rather fetching mirror. I’m sure I’ll do another werewolf illustration sometime soon, they are just too enjoyable!

Exhibition is up!

Smaller-framesPhew! Sunday was a busy day of framing, kerfuffle, pondering heights, wrestling with string and losing the scissors (where are they now? WHERE ARE… oh wait here they are), but the exhibition is finally up!

It will be running from today until 4th August in The Press Room cafe in Surbiton. Seller of lovely cakes and tea (and I believe rather nice coffee too- alas if only I could drink it). A couple of minutes from the station, which is just 20 minutes from Waterloo.*

The Press Room staff were all rather lovely and understanding about me bumbling around, trailing bits of bubble wrap, tape and string and generally getting in their way while they were trying to clear up- thanks guys!


Here’s a picture of me wrangling the pictures up onto the hooks. Yeah that’s a whale cardigan. I am very fashionable.

It’s been a lot of work but great fun. I’m pretty happy with this group of beasties and I hope you get a chance to come meet them!

The framed prints are all available for sale in the Cafe, or unframed through my website shop. Ooo colourful monsters to brighten up your wall!

Give me a shout on Twitter (or email!) if you do pop by, I’d love to hear what you think of the exhibition or if you have any questions about my work. Ok so here’s one more photo from the shop- couldn’t resist putting up one of the lonesome monster, my poster boy!


* 20 minutes! Dang, that’s really no time at all, you should totally pop over, maybe get some cake, it’d be ace.

Getting ready!

Newt illustration by Lara CrowDespite a head cold that’s doing its best to ruin my week, I’ve been busy getting ready for my first solo exhibition: Beastly encounters! Here’s a sneak peek of one of the little blighters now.

It’s at The Press Room in Surbiton, a little place where they sell excellent tea and cake and is therefore in some sense my spiritual home. Starts on the 14th July. Oh crumbs that’s quite soon…

Now I just need to send some files off to the printers, work out which beasties will play nicely together and wrestle them into their frames… eek! Stay tuned for more updates.

Shop is open!

prints I’ve been beavering away this weekend and just added a shop to the site! Phew! Very exciting all round.

I’ll be selling prints, papercuts and mirrors, with new items coming soon, so stay tuned.

If you’re looking for a beastie print to brighten up your wall or a papercut present for your favourite person- have a look! It’s up there in the menu. Nice.

If there’s anything you don’t see in the shop but wish that I sold, drop me an email! It’s always nice to hear from you.