Milo Armadillo is a story about a little girl called Tallulah. Tallulah’s birthday is not very far away and more than anything else, she wants a pink fluffy rabbit. All of her friends have pink fluffy rabbits – naturally – so only the same will suffice. Children always want to fit in. Tallulah searches everywhere, but she cannot find one, no matter how hard she tries. So her cool Granny decides to make her one. She takes her needles and starts knitting, but ends up in a huge muddle – and instead of a pink fluffy rabbit, Milo Armadillo is born. Milo is cool. He’s sporty, he’s musical and adventurous. But he is not a pink fluffy rabbit. The question is, can Tallulah learn to love her pink fluffy armadillo just the way he is?
Milo and Tallulah
Milo and Tallulah
This is one of my favourite stories. Milo is an unassuming hero, the kind of person who is prepared to sacrifice himself in order to make his best friend happy. And like most people, she doesn’t realise how blessed she’s been until her little pal is gone.
The comments I receive from people all around the world about Milo and how he has touched their lives make me feel humble and so lucky. You all know who you are and I send you my love and thanks for your wonderful feedback.
Ok, so when I was in the very early stages of creating this book, I nearly lost one of my eyes. I don’t want to enter into any great detail about it; my eye was badly damaged but was eventually saved, and for that, I am grateful. For many months in between surgeries, I was unable to see properly. I was left in a truly terrible place and it was a struggle to do anything, let alone work.
I started to look at using a lot of collage and knitted textures and fabrics in the artwork, alongside the watercolour so I could still add a lot of rich detail into the art whilst my eyes were healing. I even knitted my own backgrounds!
Fortunately, it was perfect for this book. I realised at this time that I was very intrigued by the idea of using collage and knew that I was interested in experimenting with creating this digitally, but at this time – which was a very bad time – my priority was concentrating on surviving and hitting my deadlines. I didn’t want to let anyone down.
There was simply no time to experiment and play and develop, all the things an artist needs to do natuarally. All of that was robbed from me.
So, all of the art for Milo was created by hand, and some of the knitted textures I made myself.
Milo Wooly writing
But I think this book started me thinking about digital artwork and it’s possibilities… It was a struggle but I absolutely adore this book.
Here are some pieces of artwork from the book.
Milo Armadillo spread page
Milo Armadillo sketches
The book also came with a knitting pattern, so you can make your very own Milo Armadillo. Here are some images of my prototype.
Milo knitted doll back
Milo Armadillo front heart
I’ve met lots of Milos in lots of schools and festivals. All have been very cute!
After a steep learning curve, I created my first book with exclusively digital artwork and I’m tremendously excited about it!