Here’s a few sketches and prep work from the books I’ve done.

I find it helpful for myself to look back at where a project started and track how my thoughts might have changed along the way.

Cota Fhir Mhara

This story really struck a note with because of the setting as much as the story. The tailor lives by the coast in his old cottage in hard times.

Being from Mayo and having grown up by the coast I can read this story and smell the salty air.

I lived my formative years in such an old thatch cottage  until we moved about ten feet to or new house.

These are a few roughs for the cover, I definitely wanted to try something graphic or at least simple.

I was hoping the image would encapsulate the story without telling the whole tale straight off.

The tailors workshop was his cottage- so I wanted to try show some element of the interior as old irish cottages tended to look. Thick walls, cold flag stone floors, bare rafters and of course a broad hearth and the sacred heart picture on display. The finishing of the Merman’s coat was the opportunity I was looking for though it’s subtle enough in the background .


This is an image that did not make it to finished art. Instead I opted to zoom closer to the man and the money and the hope in his eyes.

Fiachra Fanic

This is a book for young children with a lot of slap stick humor. Fiachra is a clumsy fella but he gets a way with it and never seems to get badly hurt. Meanwhile everyone around him is on high alert for his next “disaster”


I started off with a slightly goofy but conventional style and teased out the facial features until I felt it fitted the tone of the character.