A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.

An Illustrator’s Routine/ My Day

People who film themselves writing with brush pens make it look easier than it is!

So, I am supposed to be writing about my routine as an author and an illustrator. However, like most self employed work there isn’t necessarily a routine! I thought it would be more interesting to document what I did at work yesterday (Yes I worked on a Sunday!)

This is the view from my window by my desk. You can see Norwich Cathedral (and several pubs nearby!). As you can see it is a very grey November day, perfect for working at the desk without distraction!


My desk isn’t very big, and the room around it is covered in paper from what projects i’m working on but I like to keep the little things around to make me happy! Such as my desk assistant. (he doesn’t have a name yet, any suggestions?)

The FIRST thing I did yesterday morning was all the admin. This involves : Spreadsheets for Etsy sales, checking e-mail, Blogging (although i’m actually very behind on updating my blog currently, I need to do this!) and promoting on Twitter and Instagram! These little jobs can take up more time than you think so I try do as much as possible every day to stay afloat.
Once that’s all out of the way I can get to drawing!


This is my hand working on a latest spread for a picture book proposal. It is my first ever crowd scene in a book and i’m hugely enjoying the challenge but i’m SO glad there isn’t a deadline because it is taking forever! So i’m doing little bits of it in between other work in hope to finishing it eventually! I spend a lot of time working digitally and so I like to listen to podcasts. Actually, podcasts have been the biggest lifesaver as a freelancer! Here are a few of my favourite podcasts for you to stick on whilst drawing,scribbling, daydreaming etc: My Brother, My Brother and Me, Sawbones, Welcome To Nightvale and Goosebuds (You can find them all on iTunes).


I wanted to show that I don’t ALWAYS work digitally. In fact, I hand draw everything and ink it up by hand too. These are character sketches for something exciting and secret.

That was pretty much my day in a nutshell and how I spend a lot of my days as an illustrator! I hope that was an interesting read, if not here’s an illustration of a frog!


P1010333 copyGrace Sandford

Grace is a freelance illustrator and designer working from the south east of England. She graduated with a degree in Illustration from the University of Lincoln in 2013 and went on to work as an illustrator and designer for children’s magazines, board books and picture books.Twice a week Grace also works in the office of a Junior School and teaches art to some of the pupils. Nature and fantasy are often strong themes of Grace’s work and she has been inspired by nature ever since she was a child, always choosing to draw from nature in her work or by which book to read! Continue reading…


“Sandford’s illustrations, done from the cookies’ perspectives, help to leaven the story’s earnestness. They portray the gingerbread cookies with lots of personality and individuality.” — Kirkus Reviews for Tough Cookie

About gracesandford

Children's Book Illustrator -

3 comments on “An Illustrator’s Routine/ My Day

  1. jessicaevans915
    November 10, 2015

    Thank you for the frog (although the post was also good!). I think you should either name your bunny post man Norman (for Norwich Cathedral) or Cliff Clavin (for a postman on an American TV show). Best of luck on your exciting secret project! 🙂

  2. gracesandford
    November 12, 2015

    Thank you so much Jess! Cliff Clavin is an AMAZING name – Cliff it is. Thank you for such an epic name 😀

  3. jessicaevans915
    November 13, 2015

    Woohoo! I’m honored! 🙂

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