How are you Emma?

Here’s a recent article I wrote on Medium about my ongoing treatment for Secondary Breast Cancer. I wrote it because various kind friends and colleagues had been asking after me and the answer was complicated.

I am still working on my illustrations but focussing more on personal projects and keeping pressure off myself. You’re still welcome to get in touch re: small and non-urgent projects but please be patient if I don’t respond right away.

Animal Illustrations for Emotions/Communication Flashcards

I have been working with a German publisher on a series of illustrations for therapy flashcards. Each one uses an animal to represent a particular emotion (e.g. feeling happy or carefree) or a concept (e.g. co-operation/teamwork). 

Cartoon animal illustration of penguin and chick parent child love by children's illustrator Emma Metcalfe
Emperor penguin and chick: Depicts feeling loved and secure

The flashcards are designed for adults, so it was really important that the animals didn’t look too cartoony or babyish, but still needed to be expessive, allowing the viewer to empathise and get a sense of the emotion.

Imperial War Museum Sporting Stories Illustrations

I was commissioned to produce a series of illustrations for Sporting Stories events at the Imperial War Museum and Imperial War Museum North.

Sporting Stories is a series of events about sport during wartime.

First World War Red Cross Women Ambulance Drivers playing Tug O War at Sports Day by Illustrator Emma Metcalfe
Red Cross ambulance drivers taking part in a Tug O’ War at a sports day

Imperial War Museum Sporting Stories Event Trail Leaflets Summer 2019
Sporting Stories info leaflet

Keeping busy!

Sorry for the long silence on the blog front. It’s because these days I am normally too busy drawing!

Here’s a sneak peak at at work in progress, a wonderful Redwing feasting on hawthorn berries (I saw my first ever Redwing this winter).

colourful simple hand drawn cartoon illustration of a redwing bird by children's educational wildlife illustrator emma metcalfeI’m also working on Lazy Lords and Poor Old Peasants: a new children’s guidebook for Oakham Castle, lots of lovely illustrations of puffins and pufflings for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, a whole set of new children’s trails for Scarborough Museums, a new children’s trail for The Eling Experience and a project with my good old friends at Castle Howard. I’ve also got several other really interesting projects in the pipeline, so 2018 is shaping up to be a great (but very busy) year.

Exhibitor-Banner-728x90Thinking about a project and want to meet face to face? I’ll be exhibiting at the Museums and Heritage Show in London on the 16th and 17th May 2018 – come and say hello!

Illustrated map of 18th Century Worcester for children

hand-drawn colourful illustrated children's map for museum educational activity by illustrator Emma Metcalfe
Illustrated map to support educational museum workshops with primary school age children

Illustrated map to support educational museum workshops with primary school age children

Here’s a recently completed commission for the Museum of Royal Worcester, a lovely illustrated map to help children image what Worcester might have been like during the 18th century.

The map illustration is large format (reproduced as a 1m x 1m floor mat) and will be used as part of schools workshops at the museum, and highlights key landmarks, as well as conveying a general sense of place.

If you are interested in commissioning a hand-drawn illustrated map by Emma, please get in touch to discuss your ideas.

Museums and Heritage Show 2017: Another great show!

Children's illustrator Emma Metcalfe displaying bespoke artwork, illustrated children's guidebook and family trails
Illustrator and children’s trail and guidebook designer Emma Metcalfe at her stand at the 2017 Museums and Heritage Show

The Museums and Heritage Show seems to come around so quickly these days. I couldn’t believe it when I looked back through some old photos and found that 2017 would be my eighth year exhibiting at the show!

What I like best about the show is that it’s very friendly, with a real informal feel to it. As an independent ‘one-woman-band’ it’s all the more important for me to make those personal connections and for people to get to know me as well as my work.

Fellow stallholders are always friendly and supportive, and it’s nice to share cups of coffee and words of encouragement when it gets a bit late in the day and we’re all feeling a bit weary!

Now back at my desk, I’m keeping busy working on writing and illustrating Monks, Mischief and Marauders, my new children’s guidebook for Peterborough Cathedral to be launched in June this year.

Later in the year I’ll be exhibiting at the Museums Association Conference 2017 in Manchester. Come and say hello!


Birds, Beasts & Medieval Treasures: St Mary’s Church, Nottingham

Front cover showing interior of St Mary's Church with lion and unicorn illustrated cartoon charactersIllustrated children's trail depicting animals to spot around the church

I really enjoyed working collaboratively with Jarrold Publishing on this new children’s activity trail for St Mary’s Church in Nottingham. The trail contains two activities, a Beast Hunt aimed at younger children, and a more general trail identifying the church’s main features.

The lion and unicorn characters are based on statues in the church.

New Range of Souvenir Products for Bolton Castle

Photo of Bolton Castle range of bespoke illustrated children's souvenir notebooks, mugs & coasters with illustrated designs

Here is a new bespoke range of products I’ve designed for Bolton Castle. The products include glossy A5 notebooks, children’s sketchbooks, mugs and coasters and the designs include medieval knights, horses, shields and the Bolton Castle coat of arms.

Now on sale at Bolton Castle so look out for them if you’re visiting this summer.