Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Mr Nicolini - Frances Ives

The first contributing illustrator we're welcoming to the blog is the wonderful Frances Ives. I absolutely love this black & white study of Mr Nicolini! What do you think? Let us know!

Want to take part? Send an email to

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Introducing Mr Nicolini - Abby Wright

A big hello and welcome to this new contribution project - Mr Nicolini. 

Mr Nicolini is a contribution blog that not only celebrates the wonderful character of an elderly Yorkshireman, but also brings together creatives from all backgrounds. It was started by illustrator Abby Wright to encourage creatives to come forward and contribute beautiful pieces of work that they could be proud to show.

Mr Nicolini illustration by Abby Wright
Mr Nicolini, or Nick as he's more commonly known, joined our family more than thirty years ago. He's been with us since and is still living with my mum and feeding the cats to this day. As children he would collect us from school, take us to lunch, go with us to feed the ducks (and subsequently carry me when geese came near!) and quickly became an extremely important member of our immediate family, another Grandad.

When I return home, I always take photographs of him (he's quite the character!) After posting an image on Instagram saying how much I'd love to illustrate him, it was suggested that I start a blog, sharing illustrations of him by myself and many other wonderful illustrators. I thought it was a fantastic idea and was astounded by the number of people asking to be involved. As well as illustrators, I hope to involve all creative types in this project - from knitters to writers, if you can find a way to represent him with your talent, we would love to see it!

Before I leave, I thought I should share a little more about the man himself.
Some of Nick's favourite things include reading, animals, Westerns, boxing, walking the dogs, telling jokes, history, dinosaurs, beans on toast, crosswords, sharing facts, wildlife books, cats and the Italian food of his roots. Nick turns 81 today (Happy Birthday Nick!!) but still walks the dogs and travels into the village daily (the village were everybody seems to know who he is). My siblings and I often joke about his permanent frown but don't be fooled - he's a happy, cheeky chappy! When we were young he would crawl on the floor and pretend to be a horse for us to lead around the living room, run for us to prove he could and put up with my sister's endless questions of "do you remember dinosaurs?" A favourite memory is my sister and I borrowing his belongings to create little shops which we would then invite him to visit and be our customer (we took our games very seriously). I remember him often parting with 20p to be able to go and read in peace! Having little family of his own, he has been the best 'adopted' Grandad we could ask for and I can't think of a more appropriate way to honour this fantastic man in my life. I will share the creations with him, I'm sure he will enjoy them!

I believe Mr Nicolini could be a fun way of getting lots of creatives together, both new and more established, in the same place. I love seeing participation blogs and this was a fantastic opportunity to start one myself. I think it is a great way to not only honour his sweet nature, but to make sure he is always remembered and never forgotten. Who knows, maybe we can make him a little bit famous!

 Please send an email to if you would like to take part. Finally I would also like to thank Scarlett Tierney for suggesting I started this blog.

Hopefully you like what you've seen so far and we'll see you back soon for the first of many contributions!

Abby x