8 October 2021

Take a look at Lyra's Oxford, illustrated by Chris Wormell in his latest collaboration with Phillip Pullman.

Posted in: Illustration, Publishing

Next week sees the publication of Phillip Pullaman’s short story “Lyra’s Oxford” in a beautiful gift edition, fully illustrated by none other than Chris Wormell. Hot on the heels of his commissions to illustrate the Book of Dust trilogy and the luxury edition of Northern Lights, Chris has sent much of the year fully immersed in Phillip Pullman’s world.

Deviating from his normal process slightly, Chris and designer Tom Sanderson batted ideas back and forth about how best to layout the illustrations;

“Normally, when illustrating a story, I jot down picture ideas as I read the text – too many, usually – and then edit these down as the designer and I plan how the pages might be laid out. With this project, however, the designer, Tom Sanderson, gave me a fairly tight layout of the whole book, with spaces for illustrations. This changed a little as I drew sketches and had a few ideas for illustrations that might work better than those suggested, but not much.”

With tight deadlines to finish the illustrations, Chris had long hours scratching away at wood blocks before printing them and colouring them digitally using his Cintiq & Photoshop, “In a paradoxical way the covid lockdowns have been rather helpful.”

Once again. Chris has helped transport reader’s back into the magical daemon filled world of Phillip Pullman’s stories, with incredible scenes from the alternative Oxford;

“Probably what I enjoy most about illustrating books is getting lost in the world of a story for a few months, and helping, a little, to create that world.”

Lyra’s Oxford is available 14/10/21 from Penguin Books.