Job sharing is nothing new for kiwi. For millions of years dedicated kiwi parents have worked together, to successfully hatch their precious chicks.
What is Mr Kiwi’s important job ?
Male and female kiwi both play a crucial role in the survival of their young. North Island brown kiwi nest twice a year, and relative to their size female kiwi produce one of the largest eggs in the world.
After this gargantuan effort the female is exhausted and must go away to rest and rebuild her strength. This is when the male steps in, taking on the wearisome task of sitting on their eggs for eighty days until they hatch.’
This kiwi character is the face of one of New Zealand’s successful kiwi recovery projects. I manage the art direction and graphic design for the Backyard Kiwi project.
At the book launch of Mr Kiwi has an important job Backyard Kiwi is officially ‘releasing’ a new kiwi print “Kiwi Mates” to add to the set of kiwi prints . Kiwi prints can be ordered from my online shop , some of the proceeds from print sales go to Backyard Kiwi so when you buy a kiwi print you are supporting kiwi recovery at Whangarei Heads.
I became intrigued by the complicated relationship between the cuckoo and the warbler. I have worked with writer Kennedy Warne and publishers Potton and Burton to produce a picture book about the ‘The Cuckoo and the Warbler'.
Illustrations are set in the flourishing forests of Whangarei Heads, where I first saw pīpīwharauroa and where the delightful call of the riroriro rings out year round.
As with KIWI the real story this work is 'hand drawn digital' In this work I played more with the process of layering colour much in the same way I do when I paint with oils and I love the transluscent feel of these illustrations.
The Cuckoo and the Warbler has a Storylines Notable Book Award and was a finalist in the 2017 NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults
In 2018 I started learning Te Reo Māori through Te Wānanga o Aoteroa. Thanks to my kaiako (teachers) and tauira (fellow students ) I have gained new insight into Tikanga Māori and slowly, slowly I am working out the structure of the language. Ngā Hoa is a story I wrote for an assignment to practice using tenses and asking questions.
It's My Egg
After watching hours of motion sensor camera footage of monitored kiwi I was horrified to see that - as soon as a kiwi egg is laid - the burrow becomes a magnet for an array of pests and predators, who regularly visit to see if the tender kiwi chick has hatched.
Kiwi are constantly at risk from mammalian predation, a harsh reality which triggered the idea for this picture book.
Working together with Kennedy Warne to tell the story of a modern day kiwi dad was an exciting and rewarding process.
Illustrations and spreads in this work are developed from a process of reduction where I have started with a blob of colour and erased the shape of the plant of animal out of that blob adding multiple 'erased' layers over that initial colour to build up form and tone.
Poised to dive in, a reluctant and gun-shy Olympia is lined up to race. She is terrified, but once submerged, she takes to the pool like a duck to water.
Olympia grew from a conversation in a kitchen shop with writer Rachel Spratt - we’d both seen a video of elephants swimming in a glass sided pool and between the aisles of crockery and stainless steel cooking pots the idea of a swimming elephant was hatched. I went home to draw and Olympia emerged from the depths of an Olympic sized swimming pool.
Olympia's relate-ability has inspired a devoted following and her capacity to stimulate pictures and stories is of elephantine proportions.
The basis of the swim illustrations is watercolour from which I add lines and overlay other processes to the original art work montaging the original art work into the page composistions.
KIWI the real story
This is a story about real kiwi, in a real place; the story of a dogged survivor, a bird which deserves our respect for its sheer resolve to survive and live its own life in the face of overwhelming odds.
Heather collaborated with co-author Annemarie Florian to create KIWI the real story which has received a Storylines Notable Book Awardit won the Childrens' Choice Award in the 2013 NZ Post Book Awards and was a Russell Clark illustration award finalist.
I describe my method for this work and 'hand drawn digital' each spread is made up of 1000's of vector points. Learning how to draw with vector points using my pen and tablet was wild, and fun experience. The working spreads look like the most complicated piece of knitting you could ever imagine. Being able to play with colour line in such a diverse way has - for me - produced an exciting and colourful result.
Flexing, bending twisting and breathing my uncooperative limbs and core into postures that bear little resemblance to the masterly poses of my teacher, has resulted in a surprising degree of pleasure and improvement in physical agility.
The ‘Yoga Moves Collection’ illustrates my interpretation of postures I attempt on a regular basis.
Walking along the bay after a winter storm Elsa and Mereanna found a rare treasure
These illustrations are drawn with coloured copic pens. The delicate tones and ability to overlay sits well with the scene where these pictured are set.
Water colour people
These illustrations start with a splash of colour and the drawing grows from this initial impulse.
Mixing water and colour on paper and letting them bleed together is a liberating way to make marks.
An upside down back to front whimsical visual exploration of a poetic little girl.
I used a combination of collage ripped plan paper water soluble pencil.
On a sailing sojourn to the Bahamas, Olympia became the most terrific companion, through these drawings we share her fear, frustration and fabulous fun.
Because I was on a yacht I resolved to sketch this series with pencil and an pen - I didn't find my eraser till I had filled my note book. It was fun and frustrating to have to work with the original sketches and make them work. After I found my eraser I did go back in and erase some of the water lines.