There is something about a crescent moon which always makes me feel safe and sound because I associate them with bedtime stories. And I associate bedtime stories with comfort and love and the ability to suspend anything fearsome for a while, however big or small.
I was very lucky to grow up with a cosy bedroom, stories and hugs. I had an illustration by Molly Brett beside my bed which I loved and which could also be found in a book she made called Goodnight Time Tales... It may be no surprise to you that I still have the print & the book safe and sound.
A recent flick through this book made me realise how formative these cosy worlds were for me, and what a joy it is to pay it forwards through my own work.
Many of my illustrations find a home in children's bedrooms, and I love to think they may be a little window of comfort, a warm hug from the wall. So I often sneak in things which have that effect on me, the crescent moon and cosy glows, twinkly stars and joyful things. When I was asked to create an illustration for a children's ward in Dorset Country Hospital, this was the feeling I wanted to create. I wanted it to be filled with the warmth of a bedtime story and comforting things. This commission was in memory of a beautiful little girl named Daisy who was cared for on the ward and sadly passed away. I knew it would be seen by people experiencing some of the most difficult times of their lives and I hoped that even if just for a moment I could give an ounce of bedtime story magic, better still suspend any worries for a little while, that would be so wonderful.
Everytime I thought about what to create, I kept returning to bedtime stories and that is what unfolded when I put pencil to paper and a woodland sleepover took shape with a little campfire for toasting marshmallows and friends to snuggle up with.
I was delighted to make a trip down to Dorset to visit the hospital ward and to meet the lovely family who asked me to create this and see it arrive in its new home. Although the day was underpinned with so much sadness, the ward was filled with warmth, love, smiles, hugs and so much light which I really hope will continue on through Daisy's illustration on the wall.