Laura Hughes - Illustration

@laurahughes-illustrator / laurahughes-illustrator.tumblr.com

Laura Hughes, illustrator. London UK. hug.laura@gmail.com

Quick, Barney, RUN! is out now!

Written By Pip Jones and illustrated by me.

It's raining, it's pouring. And Daddy is snoring. Mummy is working. Oh, EVERYTHING'S BORING.

What can Ruby Roo do on a rainy holiday? Use her imagination! This jaunty, thrilling rhyming text sees these two intrepid explorers sail through the air in a seaplane (cardboard box) and land in the Amazon jungle (house plants) . . .

Publisher: Faber & Faber

I am absolutely honoured to announce that There’s a Pig Up My Nose, written by John Dougherty and illustrated by myself, has won Oscar’s Book Prize 2018!

The award was set up in memory of 3 year old Oscar Ashton who died of an undetected heart condition, and as well as being a wonderful and touching way to pay tribute to a young reader, the prize aims to highlight the importance of reading together with young children. It’s a privilege to have been involved in this very special award. 

There were some really fantastic books and an abundance of talent on the shortlist, so I was delighted to make the final five, let alone win the award! I would like to say thank you to the judges, Oscar’s parents - James and Viveka, and to publishers Egmont for all their support.

 The first time I read John’s story I absolutely loved it, and knew right away that I had to illustrate it. There’s a Pig Up My Nose is a warm and quirky tale about a girl who (you guessed it) gets a pig stuck up her nose. John wrote the story while he was still a teacher, however the book wasn’t published until 2017 – a whopping 20 years later! Take a look at John’s excellent blogpost for Picture Book Den, where he writes about the book’s journey to publishing, and how perseverance can really pay off: https://picturebookden.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/how-pig-got-published-john-dougherty.html  

When creating artwork for picture books there will often be many stages of rough sketches, with the images changed or adapted based on feedback from the publisher and the writer. Sometimes tough choices are made, but these changes help to make the narrative clearer and results in a much better book!

This is one of the initial rough sketches for my next book with Pip Jones, called ‘Quick, Barney, RUN!, which will be published in July. It was omitted from the final artwork in favour of a garden scene, which was much more appropriate for the story.

Pip Jones and I will be appearing at Edinburgh International Book Festival on Tues the 22nd of August for a special Chocolate Monster themed event! Expect: chocolatey facts, a quiz, live drawing and storytelling, with an added twist.

More details and tickets on the Edinburgh festival site here: https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/laura-hughes-pip-jones-chocolate-monsters

I spent a lovely sunny day at beautiful Ink@84 Books in Highbury, creating an illustrated window for Independent Bookshop Week.

Here's the finished display in support of The Birthday Invitation, my new book with author Lucy Rowland (Bloomsbury). I painted the parrot character directly onto the glass with acrylic paint, and then added some home-made bunting, paper invitations and tiny hand-drawn party hats. A BIG thank you to Lizz at Bloomsbury for her excellent bunting hanging skills!

**Special tip: If you're thinking of having a go at an illustrated window, don't forget to take a pair of sunglasses! It can be difficult to paint in direct sun.

Ink@84 is a beautiful bookshop in North London. You can find them here: www.ink84bookshop.co.uk They also do very lovely coffee ;-)

I’ve been slightly neglectful of this blog of late (my Instagram feed is much more up to date, honest). I plan on using this platform to share thoughts and advice going forward, but in the meantime I’d like to introduce my latest book...

The Birthday Invitation

When handing out the invitations for her birthday party, Ella mistakenly drops one on the forest floor, and who should find it? A wizard, of course ... and a pirate and a parrot and then a whole host of wonderful characters!

The Birthday Invitation was written by the super talented Lucy Rowland, and I was lucky enough to be chosen as the illustrator on this delightful tale. Credit must also go to the designer Goldy Broad, who created the layouts and ensured the illustrations had the pace the story required. The book is out now and published by Bloomsbury.

If you’d like to discover more on the making on this book do have a look at this blog by my agent Bright: http://brightgroupinternational.com/all-posts/behind-the-book-with-laura-hughes-and-lucy-rowland

Hey, How do you make your illustrations so crisp and clear, they are awesome. How do you make them? is it water colour? I find your work inspiring, I would love to know more about it


Thank you! I use lots of different materials, but mainly inks, and occasionally coloured pencils and collage. I use a range of standard brands that anyone can find in their local art shop - Daler, Derwent, Winsor and Newton etc. Hope this helps.

BREAKING NEWS: a chocolate monster is on the loose! Keep watch, and close all cupboard doors. No chocolate bar's secure...

Wanted: The Chocolate Monster, by Pip Jones and illustrated by me, is out NOW.

Draw For Your Mind is a new project that aims to raise both money and awareness for the Mental Health charity, Mind.

Organised by illustrator Charlotte Cooke, Draw for Your Mind will culminate in an art auction of books, prints and original work, donated by children’s illustrators.

I have donated an original pencil and ink sketch from Daddy’s Sandwich, as well as a copy of the book signed by myself and writer Pip Jones. The sketch is 160mm wide by 173mm tall and is the original rough sketch for the finished artwork that appears in the printed book.

The auction will begin around 7pm on Thursday, 23rd February, and will run for 3 days, until Saturday 25th. Visit http://drawforyourmind.com/the-illustrators/ at the start of the auction on Thursday to view the listings for all artists, including mine.

100% of the proceeds of this auction will go to Mind and will help those suffering from mental heath issues, so please dig deep!

Introducing ‘There’s a Pig Up My Nose’, the perfect picture book for boys and girls – or for anyone who has ever got something stuck up their nose.

There's a Pig up my Nose, is a story about a girl called Natalie - who has a pig stuck up her nose, and her classmates, who help her get it out.

Written by the hilarious John Dougherty, this book was an absolute blast to illustrate. I'll be sharing some artwork previews on this page soon, so stay tuned!

There’s a Pig Up My Nose is published by Egmont and is out now!

In need of some last minute Christmas gifts? I’ll be at Chats Palace Makers Market on the 17th of Dec, where I’ll be selling prints, cards and original artwork, alongside some of my books.

This will be my first market, and is located just around the corner from my old gaff in Homerton, so it has a special place in my heart. Come and say hello!

Last year I had the pleasure of working on ‘River Rose and the Magical Lullaby’. written by original American Idol, Kelly Clarkson.

River Rose and the Magical Lullaby tells the delightful story of a little girl who is too excited about her upcoming trip to the zoo to fall asleep.

I enjoy illustrating books with a wealth of animal characters, so Kelly’s story instantly appealed. River Rose is an adorable but adventurous spirit – based on Kelly’s own daughter, so keeping a lot of looseness and energy in the artwork was key for me.

It was a joy to have been chosen for this project, and to work alongside someone as talented and well-loved as Kelly.

River Rose is out now, published by HarperCollins US.


I’m delighted to announce that my next book will be ‘There’s a Pig up my Nose’, written by the excellent John Dougherty. It is a hilarious tale of a little girl who manages to get a farmyard animal stuck up her nose, and how her classmates work together to get it out. ‘There’s a Pig up my Nose’ will be published on January 12, 2017 by Egmont. P.S. The cover text comes in a very fetching FLUORESCENT pink!

Wonderful to hear that 'Daddy's Sandwich', written by Pip Jones and illustrated by me, has been chosen as a White Raven 2016.

White Ravens are book recommendations in the field of children's and youth literature, selected by the International Youth Library in Munich #WRlist2016 http://whiteravens.ijb.de/book/10

‘Wanted: The Chocolate Monster’, the follow-up to ‘Daddy’s Sandwich’ will be published by Faber&Faber next year.

Today was a good day! Two years ago I received a birthday card with a lovely cat in a tub with champagne which I totally fell in love with. It's one of the few cards I've actually kept but of course I forgot where. In the past few weeks I started drawing a lot and was looking for inspiration in the style of the card, but I had no idea who the artist was. So after endless searching for illustrators I found the card again today and found that your other stuff is just as pretty! :) I really


Fantastic! I’m so glad you found that card and pleased to hear it has been an inspiration for you. After your lovely message I thought it would be fitting to post a little snippet of the design here - see previous post. Thank you!