Just a mermer

2004 will be all about writing and illustrating a children’s book. Hooray! After saying that I am going to do that for the last four years (and a lot longer before that in a “when I grow up” kind of way), I am now really going to do it. An idea popped into my mind last week and after giving it some more thought I have become completely inspired. Yesterday I started a little bit of an illustration when I really should have been working. Sometimes this is when I get my best work done — as if guilty pleasure fosters creativity.

As you can guess by clicking on the above picture, the story will be about a mermaid… a reworking of an old classic. Of course, I am not 100% settled on this idea, but at least the ideas have started. There is much fun to be had.

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53 Responses

  1. ditzyspice@hotmail.com says:

    What a lovely idea! Good luck with the book!

  2. Oooooh… Aaaaaahhh… I love all the textures, how are you doing that?
    I’m very excited, I wait to see what you create. I’m already inspired.

  3. SillySaito@aol.com says:

    Claire -I am a (fairly) new fan. . . but I have been MESMERIZED by your work, your blog, your creativity, and your spirit! You are an quite an inspiration for an inspiring illustrator. The mermaid is absolutely gorgeous.
    Leslie in L.A.

  4. Dianne@nospamrigdonia.com says:

    I love it!

  5. awesome!! yay, I’m excited! I’ll get one for me, and one for my future unborn child, one for my cousin Michael, one for Aimee’s daughter Kaitlyn…. etc etc. 🙂

  6. Adorable! I’d buy a book about her! 🙂

  7. She is so beautiful. I look forward to seeing more of her.

  8. kath@auntymonkey.com says:


  9. imlucia@yahoo.com says:

    oh i can’t wait! oh but i guess i’ll have to though… lookin’ really good *two thumbs up*

  10. Claire, I work in a bookshop and I can just tell this is going to be a great book.
    For the longest time I’ve been fascinated with anything about mermaid folklore and I’m sure this will be no exception.

    Best of luck with keeping the ideas flowing!

  11. hunniebee5@hotmail.com says:

    she is gorgeous! i can’t wait!

  12. The little mermaid is my favourite children story, and your mermaid is just beautiful! Good luck!

  13. oh yeah! so beautiful… i can’t wait to see the progress

  14. Ooh, It’s beautiful. I can’t wait to see this book!
    You rule, Claire.


  15. oh! I love her! If the rest of the book is anything like that, please tell me you’ll be selling it in the States. :^)

  16. gorgeous colors… you’re as always amazing.

  17. katharine@rogers.com says:

    It looks wonderful! Can’t wait to read more about this diversion…
    Side note on the comments: why is it that British people named “Katherine” often go by the nickname KATH, whereas elsewhere, we would never shorten it that way? Instead, we go by Kat or Kathy. Just wondering.

  18. suanvuyanovich@hotmail.com says:

    You are an incredible artist Claire. I’m really looking forward to getting a copy for my baby Chloe.

  19. sugarbean888@hotmail.com says:

    i love the pattern that is on her lower half! Soo cute…like an origami mermaid.

  20. This illustration looks good. I actually wrote a play and just had it performed a week ago, about the Russian version of mermaids, Russalki. FYI, as a bit of background for you, Russalki are the reincarnated spirits of unmarried maidens who drowned, or died in water somehow before being married. Russalki would lure men to them, kiss them, and drown them. They are often seen either naked or in white dresses. In water they have fish tails, but they can also walk around on dry land with legs. They have long hair, which is sometimes green. For the most part though, they aren’t very nice spirits, although they can be nice if you leave them offerings, such as linen and painted (easter) eggs.

  21. good luck! I hope you will post updates and tidbits!

  22. amymlehr@yahoo.com says:

    Claire,Just wrote an email to you about this illustration. I wanted to give you a heads-up about it, since I think it could be valuable in your endeavors.
    Can’t praise your site or work enough! It’s pretty exciting to see all the things you’ve been doing over the years! Love it all!
    Belated Happy Anniversary~
    You go girl!

  23. amymlehr@yahoo.com says:

    Wow! The Russalki info is so romantic and poetic! Bet that was a gorgeous play!

  24. Claire,
    Just as an idea, I met a well known comic book artist – David Mack – he was more recently known for his work on Daredevil for Marvel comics but is reknown for his own series called Kabuki. Something strange I found about his approach to writing and drawing was that he drew images for the story first and then wrote the script from there. He’d lay out his initial drawings on a large table and shuffle drawings around in position if it enhanced the feel of the story. He’d then rewrite the script to fit the imagery. Kind of weird to hear something like that these days but it works extremely well. I’ve tried it and it can make for a great story and art to compliment one another.

  25. mailmes@airpost.net says:

    Great as usual but the telescope looks like it is poking her in the eye or growing out of her eye.
    otherwise, wonderful.

    everybody needs constructive ctits, right?!

  26. that is fantastic Claire. Best of luck with it all.

  27. excellent claire!i know that one day your work will be shown in the museum of children’s book illustration.

    good luck!

  28. vibegrrl@hotmail.com says:

    I would SO buy that in a heartbeat! Your illustrations are beautiful…

  29. Exciting!!! I’ve been waiting to see it happen for a long time*:Dyipee!

  30. ooh… consider it on my wishlist.
    even if i’m still many years from being married and having kids 🙂

  31. argh! im so excited! I already know two special somebodies who will absolutely love this for a gift 🙂

  32. Yay Claire! Rooting for you! The mermaid looks lovely, and I’m looking forward to more reports about how it is going. Isn’t playing hooky because you’re making something beautiful great?

  33. What a lovely picture! I look forward to see the rest of the illustration! It looks like a great project!B

  34. Trés jolie! You know, with your talent, you could do a whole series of fairtytale retellings.

  35. I wwas hesitant to add anything, because everyone has already said exactly what I wanted to say, but your little mermaid is so inviting and charming, i couldn’t resist adding my voice to the chorus! I especially love the deep sea feeling and colours, and the large rectangular format… it gives a real sense of ease and freedom, and really hints at the vastness of the sea! And I agree that the story of the Russalki is certainly intriquing… but perhaps a little grim for a children’s book. Anyway, I think it’s a lovely, lovely idea, Claire! Can’t wait to hear more!

  36. that’s brilliant, claire, can’t wait to see how it turns out. i would have a child purely as an excuse to buy your book 😉
    happy belated anniversary.

  37. reel@post.com says:

    Texture is superb, but what’s w/ the telescope? The more I look, the more it look like she’s pulling it out from her eyes. 😛 She also needs a hair-do, pronto!

  38. claire_indeed@yahoo.com.au says:

    Woohoo! Claire, whatever you do, I will buy it. Your illustrations rock! Good luck!!

  39. rharmakazee@hotmail.com says:

    I work in the Children’s department of our local library. Illustration is so important with children’s books, and I think your pictures would certainly keep the kid’s attention. I’d buy your book for sure.

  40. fiona.dalton@ozemail.com.au says:

    Hi Claire, I’ve been a long time lurker here/ admirer of your site, but have never posted until now. All the very best with your beautiful mermaid book. My little girl is only 3 months old, but I know she would love your book – as much as I would love sharing something so gorgeous with her. I can’t wait to see the rest! Cheerio,

  41. smellebelle@yahoo.com says:

    Hehe…looks like you’d better do a large print run, Claire.

  42. I’m also going to add to the chorus and say that your mermaid is very beautiful and that you are very talented. Add me to the print run as well. Also, in reference to melanie’s comment about the Russalki idea being too grim for children – the original tale by H.C. Andersen was also pretty grim. Disney made it a bit more cheery; happy ending, etc.

  43. Although I don’t feel like swimming this time of the year, I still like your mermaid. Guess it’s summer now in Australia?

  44. imlucia@yahoo.com says:

    we miss you! is everything okay? i hope so.

  45. Great idea! Good Luck with the book, I will look for it when it’s published, my daughter LOVES mermaids!

  46. You’ve brought me out of lurkdom.
    She’s lovely. Make her happen.

  47. Claire,
    Beautiful illustration. I’m sure it will be a success. Oh, to have your gift. Instead, I rely on stick figures and clipart. Good luck and don’t quit!