Narrative & Storytelling

Projects, Visual Research and Blog

In response to some personal projects he’s set himself in the past, present and future. Illustrator and story teller Simon Hendley answered 5 of my questions.


Not All Wanders Are Lost by Simon Hendley.

Why is writing your own story so important to your project?

‘It’s a sense of freedom you don’t get within the real ongoings of the world today. Any world outside of this one can be exciting, fantastic and all together a wondrous adventure. The prospect of delving into one of my stories, is a way into the unknowable. How does one come to know the unknowable? They venture there.’


Gemstone – An East London Imaginarium by Simon Hendley

Why did you select the method of constructing your book. Printing, binding etc.?

‘My preferred method of book making can vary. Whether it be hand binded or professionally printed however, each will undoubtedly follow a similar theme when it comes to colour, and “feel”. My stories tell of worlds of curious creatures we were told of as kids, wars between Dragons and Men and all things fantastical. Therefore, old parchment colours always provide the richness of fictional history.’



The Blob The Girl and The Killer by Simon Hendley

What sort of materials, binding and printing methods can we expect from any future books?

‘I’m absolutely and unequivocally a traditionalist. There are so many out there bent and intent on leaving antiquity behind. I will certainly be looking to replicate and carry on the traditions of bookbinding. Yet, where it’s not possible or more plausible to assume alternative methods, I won’t be averted to them. So long as I carry on the correct colour schemes to provide the book with the right appearance.’  


Ghost at Aldgate by Simon Hendley

Your books vary from handmade editions to professionally printed, what are the benefits from the ‘old’ and ‘new’?

‘New workings certainly make for convenience and a faster method of production, and invariably, this is something which benefits all storytellers (and their publishers). However, the benefits of old methods speak for themselves. You only have to pick up a handcrafted book to realise its beauty.’  

What are the crucial ingredients to a Simon Hendley book?

‘Coffee, cigarettes and Damien Rice. No but in honesty, it’s important to go out for walks, go for a break, take the dog out or read a book or listen to the radio. All and everything around you can be inspiration. Everyone hears and sees, but the trick is to know how to listen and observe… something I’m still very much in the process of learning.’ 


Photo of Environment

Visual Research and Blog

View Black and White

This photo is taken out of my kitchen window. For reasons I don’t know recently, urban spaces (usually slightly rundown), have become quite alluring. Which has inspired me to start taking photos of urban areas such as roof tops, alley ways, shop shutters etc.

Matts Talk

Visual Research and Blog

The second talk with Matthew went into detail about design. He went into detail about his work with record sleeves, but used that as a metaphor for our blogs. He described how some record sleeves mirror others, some rebel, become art, serve a purpose. How it was always about the band being on the front until some designers made it almost impossible to tell who the band was just by looking at the cover.

Sara’s Talk – Visual Research

Visual Research and Blog


I started yesterday morning with a talk from Sara on VISUAL RESEARCH. Picking up on points such as, make your ideas visual its easier to see on paper than all cooped up in your brain. Look at what works and just as important what doesn’t work. Photograph things, film it, write it, reflect, annotate, draw, record, describe my reasons behind decisions.

people to research: littlescrapsofpaper. eekes. designobserver. typostrate. ilovetypography. urbansketchers.