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Aberdeen colouring book pioneer designs special Oor Wullie for charity

An Aberdeen illustrator who has sold millions of colouring books across the world has joined a nationwide art project to raise cash for sick children.

Johanna Basford published her first book, Secret Garden, in 2013 and has since been at the forefront of the adult colouring book craze.

She is now designing a statue of one of Scotland’s favourite comic strip characters as part of the Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail campaign.

Her Oor Wullie model will be one of 200 which will go on show across the country before being auctioned off for charities.

The ambitious project will raise funds for the Archie Foundation, a charity which supports the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, as well as children’s hospital charities in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Mrs Basford’s Oor Wullie has been painstakingly decorated with intricate floral patterns, mimicking the designs in her books.


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Since her first publication, she has penned six more colouring books and sold more than 21 million copies worldwide.

Mrs Basford said: “I wanted to create an Oor Wullie that looked as though he had just escaped from the pages of one of my books.

“He’s covered in brightly-coloured florals and there are lots of little hidden surprises to be found within the botanicals like snails, buzzy bees and butterflies.

“I have spent weeks and weeks painting him, far longer than I had anticipated, but he’s been a real labour of love.”

Mrs Basford’s Wullie, dubbed “Inky Wonderland”, will be part of Aberdeen’s statue trail, which will run from June 17 for 11 weeks across the city.

The Aberdeen statues will then be auctioned off in support of the Archie Foundation.

The colouring book artist added: “No parents want to be at the side of their child’s hospital bed, but if for any reason my girls did need to go to hospital, I’m so very lucky that organisations like the Archie Foundation exist.

“It’s been an honour to be part of such a brilliant cause, and to help in some way by drawing pictures and doing a job that I love.”

The charity’s chief executive, David Wood, added: “It’s truly wonderful to have Johanna’s support for Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail.

“Not only has she created a unique and beautiful design for Oor Wullie, she’s also sponsored the statue.

“Johanna’s generous support will really make the difference to local sick children and their families.”

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