Bold Beasts | Introducing the Bold Beasts Artist, Joy Rutherford
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Introducing the Bold Beasts Artist, Joy Rutherford

As some of you who follow us on our social media channels will know, we at Bold Beasts are due to make an appearance at the upcoming  The Art of Storytelling show, which runs from Monday September 10th – Saturday September 29th at the wonderful venue that is the Michaelhouse Centre, on Trinity Street, Cambridge.

It’s a long, varied event, which celebrates the art of some of the country’s independent authors and illustrators, and we can’t wait to be involved. To be specific, our illustrator Joy Rutherford will be apearing at the ‘Private View’ event, which starts at 6:30 PM on the 13th September. As such, we thought it would be a good idea to introduce you to our beloved artist ahead of this event!

Joy was born in Hampshire, and grew up in Yorkshire. As a child, she was fascinated by folk tales and heraldic beasts. One of her go-to favourites was Roger Lancelyn Green’s King Arthur, with paper-cut illustrations by Lotte Reiniger.

Joyce originally did an MA in Medieval Studies at York, and also spent many years working in after-school and holiday playschemes for children of all ages. She taught English to adults from basic to university, while learning printmaking at night school.

It was a combination of auspicious circumstances that led to Joy becoming the artist for the Bold Beasts series. As a mature student, Joy graduated from MA Children’s Book Illustration CSA in 2014, and found there that she loved treating stories as theatre, with scope for movement and excitement.

It was during a previous educational stint at teacher training college she met her oldest friend Rachel Braddock,  the Bold Beasts author. Together with Rachel’s husband Bob, the trio founded the independent company Bold Beasts, and they haven’t looked back since. They asked Joy to illustrate the adventures of Rachel’s Beasts, “Brave, boisterous and bad”, and found her style to be a perfect fit. And of course, working with your best friend is a pleasure in itself!

The illustration above is typical of Joy’s illustration style. In this image, Bold Beasts protagonist Obadiah the Ostrich is rescued from a fire by a brave little bird and long-suffering elephants.

As aficionados might be able to tell, Joyce usually works with watercolour pencils, pens and wax. We think it’s a charmingly beautiful style which lends itself perfectly to the Bold Beasts stories. We love Joy, and we’re so happy that she is on this adventure with us.

We hope that you can join us at the event on September 13th. Even if you can’t make it to our event, he whole festival is a very exciting prospect, and definitely worth a visit if you live in Cambridge or the surrounding areas. To find out more about the various events that are taking place, you can click through to the link in the first paragraph of this article.

You can find out more about Joy, Rachel, and the Bold Beasts ethos here at our official website. You can also visit Bold Beasts on Instagram, where we post every day. We hope our feed will bring a smile to your face!

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