Hugglewugs Go Global

Great news from (and for) Niamh Sharkey. She’s teamed up with Brown Bag Films and Disney to create a series about her characters, the Hugglewugs, entitled ‘The Happy Hugglemonsters’. And it’s going to be broadcast on Disney Junior in over 150 countries worldwide. Cathal Gaffney of Brown Bag said, “We are delighted to announce the production of this series, it is great to work with home grown talent like Niamh Sharkey and to bring an original idea like this to a global Disney Junior audience is hugely satisfying for all involved.”

Niamh’s been pretty tight-lipped about this; we both had work in the recent ‘Enchanted’ exhibition that toured the country – including a show in her home-town of Skerries – so I would have been in contact with her a fair bit . . . and she didn’t mention a word of this. Congrats to her on her fantastic and well-deserved success. Methinks she and her family will be having a very Happy Christmas this year.

Enchanted in Skerries

I was in the lovely setting of Skerries last night, for the opening of the Enchanted Exhibition in Skerries Mills. This is the fifth and last venue to host this collection of work by Irish illustrators, and it’s only on until the 25th of September, so if you haven’t seen it yet, and you’re interested in this kind of thing, go check it out now.

The exhibition features work from myself and four other illustrators:  Niamh Sharkey (that’s her in the picture), Adrienne Geoghan, Annie West and Bruce Ingman (an honorary Irishman, having married his way into the country from abroad).

So far, the exhibition has been hosted in Waterford, Galway, Abbeyleix, Newbridge, Drogheda and now it’s reached its last stop in Skerries. My thanks to Niamh and everyone else involved in bringing the show to the Mills, and the folks in Garter Lane Arts Centre who started things off, and then oversaw the move from each location to the next – it’s no easy task to organize and manage something like this.

The launch was the first event in the Soundwaves Music and Arts Festival in Skerries, and was officially opened by Robert Dunbar – reviewer, editor, advocate and arguably the grandaddy of the children’s books community in Ireland. Also joining the Skerries crowd for the opening was Polly Dunbar (no relation, as far as I know). Polly is a friend of Niamh’s and another excellent picture book author/illustrator. She’s based in the UK, but has been over here for a few months doing some design work for an animation company. Like most illustrators, she has more than one hat (and I’m sure she’d insist on all of hers being very pretty ones).

Remember, the show only runs until the 25th of September, and this is your last chance to see it. Get out there, look at some original artwork, check out Skerries Mills, maybe take in some of the other events during the festival, or even just go for a walk by the sea and make a whole day of it.

On the Box

I’m going to be appearing on Elev8, on RTE 2 at around midday on Monday (the show is airing earlier than normal because of Easter). It’s part of the promotion for the Drogheda Arts Festival. The Enchanted Exhibition, which started out in the Garter Lane Arts Centre in Waterford, has now moved to the arts centre in Drogheda, and is being launched at the same time as the festival there. I’ll be doing a session there too, at 10am on Saturday the 30th of April.

The exhibition features work from myself and four other illustrators: Niamh Sharkey, Adrienne Geoghan, Annie West and Bruce Ingman.

So far, it’s been shown in Waterford, Galway, Abbeyleix and Newbridge . . . and now it’s reached Drogheda. If you get the chance, you should go and check it out.

Obviously, it’s always great to get a spot on the telly, so I’m really looking forward to the show on Monday, but with only about three and a half minutes to talk, and no telling what questions will get thrown at me, the pressure’s on get the right stuff said!