Author Archives: Lara

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.

Illustrators Fair

PrepSo it’s been a little quiet around here recently…
Where have I been you ask? Busy watching Indy films? Well… yes, but that’s beside the point. Last Sunday I was taking part in the Illustrators Fair at the House of Illustration! Ooph, I’ve been super busy and this is the first chance I’ve had to post about it!

With only two weeks to sort stuff, things got a little manic. There was a fair bit of rushing about and fun last minute games like oh wait, I don’t own a tablecloth! and where the hell have all my scissors been spirited away to? Steve got over-enthusiastic and ordered enough bubblewrap to post a small elephant.

Packing up my prints, papercuts and cards into a little wheely suitcase was an interesting bit of Tetris. Ouch, how did I lug all that to Kings Cross on the tube?


My super-talented friend Jennie and I shared a stall, which was great fun (if a little nerve wracking, it’s the first time I’ve done this sort of thing). Ah look at that lovely stall and its giant disapproving moon.

The fair had a great atmosphere- so many people showing interesting work and generally enthusing about illustration! It was good fun sitting at our stall, chatting to people and soaking up the cheerful vibes. The organisers did a great job making the place welcoming and easygoing!

There were also various talks and workshops throughout the day which I am kicking myself a little for missing- dah, next time I’ll have to be more organised!

I sold a few prints and cards which was a happy bonus. I’ll be adding the rest to a store which will be coming to the site SOOON. So come back and have a look!

Things I learnt:

  • Wear comfy shoes. I love my trainers so
  • Bring tea. More tea. All the tea… why is there no more tea?
  • People like to chat, so say hello! I’m not the most effortlessly extroverted type, but I really enjoyed seeing people respond to my work and chatting to them about their own stuff

Things I did not learn:

  • How to wrap small round mirrors neatly
  • To put the key to the cashbox somewhere sensible
  • How to sit on a tiny stool without looking like a strange gnome

Maggie approved of the free postcards (thanks Marcus!) with pictures of her on them.