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  • Writer's pictureJessica O'Connor

Dilwyn! You Little Beauty!!

With a big smile on my face I can share that Dilwyn The Welsh Dragon will be this Friday's CBEEBIE'S BEDTIME STORY!! The talented actor Tom Ellis will be reading Dilwyn on Friday 28th May around 6:45pm on the Cbeebies channel.

Published by Owlet Press for The Royal Mint, Dilwyn was written by Samuel Langley-Swain and Illustrated by ME!

With Dilwyn's rise to storytime fame (haha) I thought it would be nice to give a little more detail of the development of my baby welsh dragon and also a little about the project.

The project was commissioned early last year. The Royal Mint's aim was to have a story created that told children about The Royal Mint itself and gave the children a cute character that was centred around Wales (where The Mint is situated) and a narrative around protecting the coins.

Bringing Dilwyn to life and working with Owlet Press to deliver the brief was a dream. Such a down to earth publisher they made the whole process run smoothly and co-ordinated everything.

The brief for DiIwyn's character was pretty simple, a cute version of the welsh dragon!

To create Dilwyn I started by figuring out what the adult version would look like. I created the adult and teenage version first because I needed to reference elements of the classic welsh dragon seen on the welsh flag and then adapt that iconic dragon to reflect in my own version and style. I had to also be sure that my dragon would look visually like an adult, but also not be scary for the children reading the book. After I had sketched and tested colours for adult Dilwyn, I worked backwards and sketched out how I saw him as a baby. This was an easier process because it was taking elements of him and playing with scale and proportion till I sketched something that looked right. My favourite image of Dilwyn is the one of him freshly hatching out of his egg and I was so happy this illustration made it into the final book too.

Creating this book feels so long ago now so it's lovely to re-look at my work and think about the project again. I know realistically its only been a year since I finished work on Dilwyn, but this has been my busiest year in publishing to date so for me it feels a lot longer. As an illustrator I have learnt a lot this year and my style has strengthened so it's really nice to mark a year of growth with Dilwyn making it onto the TV this week.

Check out Dilwyn on Cbeebies, Friday 28th May around 6:45pm

Jess x

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