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Passionate about art and design from an early age, Bex studied graphic design at Central Saint Martins after completing her degree in Art History at Reading University. She has worked in various jobs in the London art world including the Royal Academy and the Medici Society but it was her role sourcing antique and vintage textiles for the major fashion houses that inspired her love of pattern and colour.

Bex’s preferred medium is traditional gouache, watercolour, coloured pencil and crayon. She is known for her love of colourful wildlife and botanicals with a vibrant colour palette and playful details.

When she is not working or with her three children, Bex likes to unwind on long hikes with her partner, doing yoga and enjoying the peace and tranquillity of the natural world.

Bex has worked on many exciting projects including greeting card ranges, packaging, stationery, clothing and jigsaws. Her client list includes Anthropologie, Olympia Le Tan, Design House Greetings, Museums and Galleries, Amber Lotus, Paperie and French toy company Djeco. Acollaboration with gelato company Nubocha won her a GDUSA award for packaging.

 

Bertie and the Ginger Cat is her first picture book.

She lives in the UK.

A fresh Voice
A talk with Bex Parkin
 

What was your inspiration for this sweet story?

The inspiration behind the story was an image I discovered of a huge, abandoned glass house. It was very old, with a twisted metal frame and had broken glass panes with trees and plants bursting out of it.  I started to imagine a magical world hidden inside and what secrets it could hold. I think the whole book grew from three images in my head - the cover, the koi pond scene and the swimming lagoon image. Artistically I knew exactly how I wanted them to come out and then the rest of the story grew around it.

 

This is your first book. Can you tell us about your journey to getting it published?

I put together a few spreads for my agent Jehane who encouraged me to write a brief synopsis and start to consider what the three main characters would look like. I created lots of different versions of Bertie until she appeared on the sketchbook page one day! Once the project had been filled out enough, Jehane took it from there!

 

The book is a lush, wildlife paradise. Tell us about the mood you wanted to convey for Bertie's world and why.

I knew with certainty that I wanted the colour palette to convey the mood in each part of the journey. The beginning of the story is intentionally dull in colour to reflect the fear Bertie has of going outside and of new experiences.  As her bravery grows, I have introduced more colour, particularly when Bertie enters the colourful glasshouse. From then on, her adventure is full of bright colour and joy.

 

What do you hope your readers will take away from Bertie's adventure?

Berties story is all about bravery. With the help from her friends, she discovers that fear is just a thought, and it doesn’t have to stop her from living her big adventure. The tiger represents her own strength that she simply needed to find within herself.

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