Megan Dowsett is a creative consultant working in museums, galleries and the arts, an illustrator who is finding her voice through personal and local projects, and a parent to two young beings who can't help but influence her creative journey.

Through the name Norris and the Flamingo, she shares the sense of adventure that runs through all of life, wherever we are on our journey. A sense of imagination, of possibility and discovery, for children and adults alike.

31 May 2011

Lauren Child

It’s probably a bit of a cliché to follow the work of Lauren Child but I guess a popular author must be popular for a reason! I’d always noticed Lauren Child’s work, and was standing in ‘Tales on Moon Lane’, when I became completely bewitched by her version of ‘The Princess and the Pea’, alive with stage-set backgrounds, and her usual heavenly mix of drawing and collage characters. Amazing how such simple faces can catch so many people’s attention. Anyway, I’m inspired by her resistance to commercial fame, and determination to use her work for the benefit of the global community, by this article which I came across in my colleague’s Baby London magazine.

27 May 2011

3 Flat-Pack Flamingo Boxes

Flamingo Boxes 003I was nattering away about my ideas for birds and boxes from South America, when Beth caught me off-guard by asking me to actually MAKE one of the boxes I described, for her to give as a wedding present. The criteria: small enough to travel to Romania; acceptable for 'him' on the outside and as flamboyantly pink as possible for 'her' on the inside. That's all. Free reign. The budget was tight, so I decided to make the most of the time I was devoting and build three boxes. And here, at last, they are, before one makes its journey to Romania.Flamingo Boxes 006

24 May 2011

The Art of Hendrick's Gin

A little excursion to Brighton this weekend brough me into contact with Brighton Fringe, and in particular, an 'event' organised by Hendricks Gin. It fascinated me on every level for bringing together all the art forms in such an eccentric and creative way - exploring the curisoity train was truly an adventure, and as you can see from the artwork, they have clearly engaged involved some brilliant illustrators in creating an eccentric, old fashioned and inspiring 'look' which flows from the advertising and the website right through to the train and the costumes of its staff. Hop on board for an interactive play, or book yourself in for some 'bibliotherapy', or simply explore the curiosities abourad the train. But above and beyond this, they had found the perfect key to engaging adults and persuading them to participate ... write a short and utterly eccentric story, read it to the barman and then exchange it for a gin and tonic!

21 May 2011

Monoprint Mayhem

Art Club 001I have often used a form of monoprinting with groups at Orleans House, ever since watching Sally Cutler at work with schools, back in the Dulwich days. But I've been increasingly fascinated by the other ways of monoprinting, the expressive and experimental forms that I see in exhibitions. And, well, what better way to try out a range of effects than with 15 small children? We made the most incredible mess!

17 May 2011

Hand-Drawn London

The Museum of London is currently showing an amazing array of hand-drawn London maps, which make me long to map my life in creative and obscure ways. A little biased perhaps, but I still think the Brixton Tree by Liam Roberts is a quirky stroke of genius ... it makes me wonder how many other streaks of nature we could find in the meandering journeys of London's roads.
... Inspired by many of them, its hard to choose which maps to show here. But this map by Flory Leow inspired me for the way the map tells a story. The touching story of ordinary life, love, and all their discoveries told, not in a linear way, but through the twists and turns of mapping.

15 May 2011

Sock Monkeys

Sock Monkey 004Sock Monkey 002Sock Monkey 006I thought it might be fun to make a sock monkey for the new baby. And then I realised, it would be even more fun to invite said baby's mother round to make one herself. Thus, the re-installment of 'making things days', an amiable tradition of crochet, paint, cutting, tearing and general mess making in the company of wine and chatter.

After a slightly-less-leisurely-than-usual day of stitching and stuffing (soundtrack: "if I have to stuff another leg..." and "it looks more like a cow than a monkey"), here are a few finished sock monkeys - by Christine, Hannah and myself. More to follow, perhaps ...

10 May 2011

Morley Gallery: Draw More

Quito Cathedral is in the Draw More exhibition at Morley Gallery from 11 May to 11 June ... do have a look if you get the chance (but do also check the opening times first).

7 May 2011


Flamingoes 001 I continue to use the inspiration of the birds that marked my trip through South America. Watch this space ... this print is will one day become a flamingo box!