Todays feature is focused on Steven Lenton – the talent behind fabulous character based print company 2d Scrumptious and children’s book illustrator.
Steven, is also an animator and illustrator who has Art directed BAFTA winning animations.
Where do you get the inspiration for your wonderful 2d Scrumptious prints?
My original inspiration was Crouch End where I live – this was a great starting point for the creation of a range of characters, dogs and beloved local landmarks. This lead to more dogs designs, then the Royal Wedding and Diamond Jubilee. My new work is going to feature a range of Zoo animals in tweed!
Can you tell me about your children’s books that will be available to buy soon?
My first release is a board book with Little Tiger Press called ‘Five Christmas Penguins’ This fun book has a very eye-catching, red shiny cover and will available exclusively at Sainsburys from September. I am currently working on the follow up to this featuring a family of very cute Snowmen.
My second is a picture book written by award-winning author Tracey Corderoy entitled ‘Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam’ all about two robber-dogs that discover the wonders of baking! This is with publisher Nosy Crow and is out next March.
Is this something you’ve always wanted to do?
Yes I have always wanted to make children’s books and create a brand/products. Anything that involves designing characters is something that I really enjoy so this is a great way of inventing new characters every day
How did you make the transition from animation to illustration?
When I had long animation contracts I would work on my own ideas and characters in the evenings and weekends – it took years to build my confidence to finally work on my first prints for the exhibition in Crouch End that I did with Mia Nilsson at The Haberdashery cafe. The exhibition went really well and these prints are still selling well today. From this I built a portfolio suitable to send to Children’s book agents and publishers and fortunately I was signed up.
You have a very long list of work credits – I’d love to know if you have any personal highlights so far?
My first job working at Ragdoll has a special place in my heart. Visiting the Teletubby set and working with the creators of this show and In The Night Garden was a great experience and I learned a lot about TV production. Holby City was also very different – I was starstruck on a daily basis, having lunch next to members of the Eastenders cast in the BBC canteen was truly surreal!
What is the best piece of advice you could give to someone wanting to start a career in your field?
Its such a cliché but keeping drawing really is the key. Using observational drawing as the basis for all your work is the best way to create original and refreshing design.
What does the rest of 2012 hold for you?
I’m working on a new brand idea involving a collection of very charming little characters. I will also be starting work on my second Nosy Crow book and preparing for the book launch of ‘Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam.’ I’m very excited about this as there will be lots of activities for little ones and fun products based on these two loveable dog characters!
You can find 2d Scrumptious prints, cards and other lovely goodies at notonthehighstreet.com Thanks to Steven – I am in awe !
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