Di and Mel taught together at Hamlyn Banks Primary School. Di was a classroom teacher and Mel was the Visual Arts teacher. When Di finally decided to publish her first book she immediately thought of Mel and approached her to be the illustrator.
First time author and first time illustrator – what could possibly go wrong?
The journey started with the first illustrations on the 1st October 2019. The animals were taking shape.
First round of illustrations
Mel played around with many styles and there were countless messages sent between the two. In February 2020 they were able to get together and Di spent a long time talking about the animals and their character traits, what they were like, what they enjoyed doing, their eating habits, their sleeping habits and so much more. It was from that moment that Mel knew the animals and they instantly became alive.
Butleigh Farm is a real place that visitors can go to so many photos were sent to Mel and with her eye for detail and skill with shape and colour the illustrations brought the farm and all the characters to life.
‘Butleigh’ is the name of the property that has been our family home for 15 years. When we first saw the property we knew it was where we wanted to bring up our family.
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