Barbara Childs
Book Illustrations


Born into an artistic family I was drawing from a very early age.
I studied graphic design at Brighton Art College and gained my DipAd (BA equivalent) in 1969. My tutors included Raymond Briggs and John Lawrence. I did a further art teacher's diploma at Birmingham University and went on to teach in London for ten years. In the 80's and 90's I did workshops for children and the elderly in Lewes, Sussex.
It was at this time I started printmaking with the wood engraver Diana Bloomfield. She was a wonderful engraver and charismatic teacher. Wood engraving led to three illustration commissions. Firstly the Hip Flask in 2001 then a few years later Blackstaff Press commissioned me to do 25 chapter headings for Michael McLaverty's short stories. I was also asked by Snake River Press to do six wood engravings to illustrate Bloomsbury in Sussex by Simon Watney.
Perhaps because of my design training I have always enjoyed reducing an image to its basic pattern elements and in the case of wood engraving, enjoyed seeing the white image emerge from the blackened block. With Diana’s successor, Carolyn Trant, I started to work on a larger scale and in colour. I increased my range of relief print techniques, using lino and woodcut. I contributed prints for a series of artists’ books which are now at the British Library. They are of Lewes High street, Cliff High street and Lewes Pubs.

© Barbara Childs 2015