Elissa Elwick, a 2008 Illustration graduate from The Arts University Bournemouth is celebrating with the publication of her first book, ‘The Princess and the Sleep Stealer’ which she wrote and illustrated following graduation.

‘The Princess and the Sleep Stealer’ follows the story of Princess Luna who is the sleep keeper of her little town, sprinkling sleepy dust over the houses every night, until the sleep-stealing pirates take the dust and create a moonlit race over sugar mountains and through liquorice trees to get the sleepy dust back!

The inspiration for Elissa’s book, which has been published by Macmillan, came during her final year on the Illustration course, where she wrote and illustrated a book as part of her major project based on fictional characters the BobWobs. She continued to work on the book for six months following graduation, eventually creating ‘The Princess and the Sleep Stealer’ with the BobWobs being an integral part of the story. Elissa commented “I sent my final major project off to Macmillan and they called me in for a meeting. They couldn’t offer me a deal with my initial idea, so I continued working on it following graduation and amalgamated the characters with a new storyline and illustrations which Macmillan loved, and have now published as part of a book deal.”

Elissa, originally from Northampton but now living in London, chose to study Illustration at the Arts University due to the broad nature of the course, being able to explore different styles within the subject including 2D and 3D illustration. She also benefitted from the opportunity to study abroad with animation students in Paris as part of the Erasmus scheme, which the Arts University is part of. Elissa continued “It was great working alongside the animation students in Paris; I studied life drawing and illustration while over there, but I was also able to explore different parts of animation with the students, including how to set a scene, which really helped me develop my own skills.”

Hannah Ray, Editorial Manager for Macmillan’s Picture and Gift Book list commented “Elissa has a huge imagination, packed full of fantastical worlds, incredible creatures and crazy characters. Endlessly enthusiastic, it was a pleasure to work with her on her debut picture book.”

Lisa Richardson, Illustration Course Leader at the Arts University commented “We are incredibly proud of Elissa. Her publishing deal with Macmillan is testament to the dedication, perseverance and hard work that she has undertaken on ‘The Princess and the Sleep Stealer’. Working on both the illustration and storyline for her book shows incredible skill and we all wish her well and look forward to following her progress in the future.”

Elissa, who also makes greeting cards and runs illustration workshops, is now working on other books and plans to enter the toy market with characters from her imaginary universe. For more information on Elissa, please visit http://www.elissaelwick.co.uk/