A Life Drawing

A Life Drawing : Autobiography of Shirley Hughes

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The book begins with a small girl in West Kirby who is obsessed with comics: The Daily Sketch, The Daily Express and The Mirror-each of these newspapers helped to shape one of our finest illustrators. Shirley's story takes us from this gentle start, through the second world war, and to a career, which began with Art School in a blitzed Liverpool, led to Oxford, and then to London. Shirley reflects on art, and her own development, in a tale which is fascinating and full of personalities. She describes her own creative process as 'the nearest thing I know to flying into the sun' and it is this passion for the world of illustration, which shines through the book and gives it a unique personality. Lavishly illustrated throughout with sketches from her Italian sketchbooks, doodles from boring meetings, roughs from what would later become classic picture books and perfectly executed paintings done just for the fun of it, this book will be a treasured gift for those who love art and those who have grown up with the enduring characters from Shirley's books who inhabit so many homes through this country and beyond.

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  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 232 x 282 x 24mm | 1,202.03g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • The Bodley Head Ltd
  • LondonUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • colour illustrations
  • 0370326059
  • 9780370326054
  • 194,550

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Review quote

"[Hughes] tells her story with the same attractive clarity that makes her pictures so appealing." --"NAEA News"

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Flap copy

Lavishly illustrated, and with a text written as a personal storyline detailing this favourite author's remarkable life as an illustrator. Reflecting on art and her own development, Shirley takes us through her life: from a girlhood obsessed with comics, through the war, art school in a blitzed Liverpool, on to Oxford and then London. The book will be a treasured gift for those who love art and those who have grown up with Shirley Hughes' enduring characters.

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About Shirley Hughes

Shirley was born in West Kirby, near Liverpool, and studied fashion and dress design at Liverpool Art School, before continuing her studies at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford. She then embarked on a career as a freelance illustrator in London, where she still lives today. She illustrated other writers' work, including Noel Streatfeild, Alison Uttley, Ian Seraillier, Margaret Mahy and notably Dorothy Edwards's My Naughty Little Sister series. Shirley began to write and draw her own picture books when her children were young. Her first book - Lucy and Tom's Day - was published in 1960, and she followed it with, among others, Dogger and the Alfie series. Shirley Hughes has won the Other Award, the Eleanor Farjeon Award, and the Kate Greenaway Medal for Illustration twice, for Dogger in 1977 and for Ella's Big Chance in 2003. In 2007 Dogger was voted the public's favourite Greenaway winner of all time. Shirley received an OBE in 1999 for services to Children's Literature, and is the first recipient of Booktrust's Lifetime Achievement Award.

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