Dide Tengiz is the winner of the New Talent Children’s Publishing Category, sponsored by Walker Books! Find out more about Dide and this winning project:

About the Project

This is a picturebook that I made as my last project for my Masters in Children’s Book Illustration. It is a surreal story of a giant, who represents what we would usually describe as ‘mother earth’ but we soon realise she is a vulnerable child, much like the Earth, she needs taking care of.


The brief was set by myself, to make a picture-book for children aged 3-5. I wanted to make a book that carefully balanced illustration and text to tell a story.


I loved the idea of creating a story inspired by traditional folklore. I’ve been inspired by folktales and imagery in this book.


I used a mixture of Winsor and Newton watercolour inks and pencils. I edit all my illustrations on photoshop after I’ve painted them.


I usually start by illustrating the characters. I also did a lot of observational drawing in Wales last year which helped with forming some of the landscapes I used.


I wouldn’t usually describe myself as an author so writing the book was challenging for me.  But it also gives me a lot of freedom to tweak my illustrations and have total narrative control.


I think I always learn after a project the same thing and then forget it when I start a new one. I will make hundreds of drawings I don’t like, I will have to change the story, paintings, colour palettes and storyboards over and over. But that makes the finished piece all the more satisfying when you feel you get it right!


When I started this project, it was mid-winter lockdown in the UK. So, I was roller-skating, baking, pickling things and watching cartoons. I still do all of those things.


547 cups of tea


Have a bit more patience with myself and trust the process. I think I can get easily frustrated when things don’t instantly look the way I hoped they would.


Trust the process! I think social media can be really bad for making us feel that everything everyone else makes is always amazing. But we so rarely see the dozens of sketchbooks and storyboards and ugly drawings that came before the polished ones that we see on instagram. It’s obvious advice but I forget it pretty much every time I do a drawing I dislike.


My short-term plans are to continue to develop this book and hopefully have it published. My long-term plans are to publish loads of books and get a pet cat.

Dream Commission

I would love to somehow incorporate travel into my work. I would love to be commissioned to document by illustrating my travels across the world.

Favourite Thing to Draw

I like to people watch and draw.


I share a studio space in Bristol with lots of talented illustrators.


Thank you to the AOI and WIA, I am so grateful! I’m also extremely grateful to my tutors on both my BA at UWE and MA in Cambridge. They managed to adjust to online teaching so incredibly well!