A freelance illustrator made a guest appearance at the all-star London Film and Comic Con this weekend.
Emmeline Pidgen, from Astley Park, Chorley, joined the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch and Pamela Anderson at the event, which attracts over 95,000 visitors annually.
“I did a panel talk which went really well,” she said.
“It was themed on creating worlds for children and other people who were on the panel included Lew Stringer who has done comics for the Beano, also someone from The Phoenix Magazine and a publisher from Hachette as well as other comic artists. We talked about the kinds of things that are important for children’s book and about print verses digital media in comics.
“It was all about how people prefer printed books to web comics on screen.
“I was invited after someone saw my work at a thought bubble festival in Leeds.”
As well as appearing on the panel, the 29-year-old had a busy three days selling her comics and prints, drawing live portraits, doing signings and running portfolio reviews for budding comic artists.
“It was really busy, I met so many people and made some great contacts,” she said.
“I also spotted John Rhys-Davies who played Gimli in The Lord of the Rings. He was helping everyone off the coach when we got back to our hotel in the evening.”
Following her undergrad in Cornwall Emmeline decided that if she wanted to make a success of her illustrations she had to pack in her job and dedicate her time to it.
“I had a part time retail job in Preston when I was first starting out,” she said. “But I kept finding I was quite drained.
“I’ve always known I was going to be an illustrator.
Since then Emmeline’s illustrations have been used for advertising for businesses.
She has also drawn illustrations for children’s books including The Lavender Blue Dress by Scottish author Aidan Moffat and a variety of other books for international publishers and is currently working on a graphic novel of her own,
“I am about to approach publishers with it,” she said.
She is inspired by Saga novels, an epic fantasy comic book series written Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples.
Asked what advise she might give to herself looking back at her early career Emmeline said: “I would have told myself to trust my intuition more and to be kind to myself because your whole career is a learning experience.”
She also said that having the confidence to say no to working with certain people was a big plus.
“I’ve dealt with bad clients and late payments and now I can kind of tell who I don’t want to work with.”