Marie Gabriella Blunck
The Secret

Children's Publishing

Un-commissioned | Professional

Why did you make this work:
As a mother of an adopted child I aim to create picture books that support children with developmental trauma. Having relocated from London to rural Suffolk after years of working in theatre, I observe the close relationship between children and animals and use this to communicate issues children face at primary school age.

How was the illustration used:
This selection of illustrations is from a children’s book I developed over the past year. The Secret is about a girl who treasures the special feeling a secret gives her. She must keep it safe at any cost, even when it starts to take over her life. Unable to find a way out of this conundrum alone, she discovers friends and family can help release her anxiety.

How did you make this work:
I work with drawing, print, photography, digital collage and painting. As part of the development process I select sketches that give clues to characters’ perspectives. Once these are scanned I add colour and texture. Textures are chosen to depict the themes, for example: Cardboard/paper – used to contain something secret, but can decay; Mold/lichen – rapidly developing and covering.

Social Media: Gabriella Blunck-Ward

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Over 20 years of work in theatre as a professional and educator, Marie creates interactive stories for children and young people. As designer and artist she collaborated with theatre groups such as Slung Low and spoken word artist and author Steven Camden (Polarbear) on new works at the Barbican Centre, Roundhouse Studio and BAC, and designed and illustrated a permanent work at the V&A’s new European galleries.