Thursday, December 18, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
I'd like to say I arrived fashionably late, swanning in to sighs of awe from the crowds. Unfortunately, I wasn't really late, I was just wearing so many layers it took me an hour to get out of the cloak room... and the only swan was the origami-ed one of clothing detritus I left behind. Note to self: It's hard to look posh, when your upper extremities are trapped in the swathes of a cagoule. Inside my woolly fiasco and increasingly panicked that this wasn't 'the done thing', my opening appearance resembled that of a girl with her head stuck up the bottom of a giant jelly fish. This wouldn't have been so awful if I hadn't had to repeat the unsuccessful operation numerous times, as the party moved venue.
Slightly flustered, and with hair that performed advanced geometry lessons, I skulked into the main room and swiftly buried myself in well-to-do armpit, as I searched for someone I knew. By now it was heaving, and the air was heavy with every women's perfume known to man.... I'm quickly learning that a bloke in publishing is a very rare creature. If you're a heterosexual, lady in publishing and looking for lurrrrrve, I'd advise taking up a pottery evening class.
Anyway, I located the spiky haired lovely, Lynne, and tried not to crush her with the weight of my relief and joy. She was in conversation with an equally gorgeous Hayley Welsh, whom I immediately felt at home talking to. Hayley’s a soft-spoken, Blackpool lass with gigantic suitcases of talent – I’m betting she’s another name to be watching out for in the future. I found pictures of her work on her website afterwards. It's a mark of how nice she is that I still want to be in the same room as her, as her first book (quite mad and mostly produced in paint on the back of cardboard boxes) is going to be amazing!
The three of us cornered art director, Claire, and proceded to be pelted by mini-food trays (is it just me, or do mini-foods just make people feel large and frumpy?!) Certainly, they’re much harder to eat than first they suggest, as you’re never quite sure of what consistency they might be and thus how much ‘pincer’ pressure to apply…
Claire was talking to Melanie Williamson, amidst some rather boistrous ferny-typed plants that kept gleefully batting everyone on the head at inopportune moments. (it was a bit like being in the jungle... if the jungle rained tiny banoffee pie's and smelled of Armani) Melanie (who’s books are selling like hot cakes ((and probably taste just as good)) ) is one of THE most mental people I've ever met- She’s a bit like a stand-up comic who's main act revolves around children's books. I’d give her 10:10 in any comedy review.
I also met the marvellously handsome, Chris Mould. He was not the middle-aged, balding bloke I'd imagined, but a very dashing northern bloke; who works with a pencil like a be-sworded ninja. He’s been a favourite of mine for a while now. I’m a sucker for a well-drafted line! And discovering he can't carry a tune on the lip of a beer bottle has done little to put me off.
The big news of the night for me though, was meeting the author of my text for the first time; A lady called Mara Bergman. It was a very nervy and long-awaited event.
To me, being a picture book author seems a very strange thing; to think up a text, which you must care so much about and then having to offer it to someone else to depict. Obviously, a picture book should be half about the words and half about the pictures, but I'm not sure if it were the other way around and I was the writer i.e. the first in there with the ideas, whether I wouldn't have a terrible time handing over the reins. It shows an amazing amount of trust and throughout this project, I have felt an almost overwhelming level of expectation not to mistreat that trust.
However, although Mara is an award-winning author and her book, 'Oliver Who Would Not Sleep', is one of the few picture book texts that I genuinely admire, I needn't have worried that she’d be as intimidating in person. She’s one of those people that immediately relaxes you so that want to curl up on her knee when you talk to her. I only wish I'd met her sooner, as it would have helped the work flow so much more easily, knowing what kind of person she was. Meeting her has made me feel so much more energised about this last push to finish the book.
So, tired but feeling warm and fluffy inside, I clicked my heels together and headed off home. Ah, but first I had to face that dreaded cloak room one more time… Bum…
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
On the plus side, I'm quite justified in thinking about Christmas now. We've reached that Christmas Danger Zone; the one when it first appears a nice, healthy, 'look-forward-to-able' distance away, then you blink and suddenly it's there, slapping you upside the head. I've noticed the odd Christmas song has sidled nonchalently past my lips, disguising itself as an advertising ditty (and let's face it, these days, they are pretty much one and the same...) The pitch of my yowling (yuleling, indeed) gradually increases in hysteria as the days until my deadline shrink away.
I think it worth noting, for the me of a few months ago's sake, that publishing deadlines are not to be considered too lightly. What I mean by this is, although my final deadline isn't until February, I failed to take into account the interim deadlines that would allow the hand-in in February to take place. For example, there is the minor matter of the biggest office holiday of the year right slap bang in the middle of my work time. From now on, I will consider any picture book deadline to be a full month before it actually is. I'm fairly certain that I'll finish in time, but I like the idea of having that last few weeks for feeling smug... or redoing the whole thing!
So, what's news? Well, firstly, I got my proofs back. It wasn't the Edvard Munch, finger-through-nearest-eye socket, horrific experience I'd prepared myself for. My art director, Claire, did sophisticated, understatedly chic stuff with the type and the paper made it all look snazzy. I think the main help of this interim proofing process was it allowed me to think of the project as a book for the first time. Previously, as much as I THOUGHT I was thinking of it as a book, I wasn't actually really even thinking of it as a sequence of images. I think this is quite a common problem for art graduates, going into publishing. It's easy to concentrate on getting one image right, only to forget you've got another 6 gazillion to do. Certainly, it is a common complaint from publishers, that an artist cannot carry off an entire book. Anyway, it was quite a revelation to finally get my head around what it might look like on the shelves.
Secondly, I got a chance to go to my first publishing party. I've been asked to work for Egmont a couple of times. Once on my own project and once on a fiction project. Sadly, due to timing of prior work engagements, neither actually happened, so I was really chuffed and surprised to be invited to their Christmas do. I did feel slightly like an imposter, having to explain to everyone I met that I wasn't actually currently working for them, but everyone was so lovely it didn't seem to matter- I was accepted with open arms and a vol-au-von or twelve.
The gig was held at the London Transport Museum and I have to confess it made for a very surreal night. I'm sure you can imagine the scene, but let me waffle on anyway. The thing about the London Transport Museum is it's filled with... London transport, right in the centre of London which is filled with... London transport. Effectively, the museum is like some sort of Escher/fractal-esque situation. It even has commuters... stuffed for realism! So, in the middle of this heavy traffic jam, traffic lights flashing and buses set ready to collide, there was this huddle of folk in posh frocks, eating truffles on sticks. Very odd indeed. Incredibly enjoyable, nonetheless. I have found that different publishers have different 'feels' to them. The Egmontians seem to have a very 'family' sort of a feel, which is very welcoming.
I got to meet the amazing Shirley Hughes aswell. She's the closest I think I'll ever come to meeting a real-life Agatha Christie character. I can quite imagine her deftly solving the odd, cosy, fireside murder in between drawing kids.
One of the best bits of the night though, was catching up with fellow illustrators, Lynne Chapman and Ellie Sandall. Lynne, I met for the first time just recently, but already feel I've known for years and Ellie was a course mate at Anglia... and quite the star of the night. Her book, 'Birdsong' went down a storm at Frankfurt. As with publishing in general, it's ridiculous for me to tell you to watch out for it when it comes out, as that won't be until 2010, but in a year or so when she's famous, I'll say, 'I told you so!'
My trip to London was topped off nicely by a sighting of local hero, Simon Pegg, walking his pooch, 10 mins away from my house. What a man! What a dog! I thought briefly about kidnapping him and taking him home to live in my cupboard. I know I'm home when I catch a glimpse of the great Mr Pegg.
Other than that, I'd like to put out a book recommedation. I feel this book deserves to be talked about, but I'd never heard of it before a random pick at the library.
I, Nigel Dorking- by Mary-Anne Fahey
I can't recommend this book highly enough. I haven't read a book for this age group in ages that I've enjoyed as much. It's got that perfect blend of painful and laugh out loud honesty and observation. About a young lad coming to terms with his parents break up and life around him... but far more subtle than that!
Right, I had better go get on with making my Christmas card. I thought I was doing well, but I have been told that the child I drew looks like it might just eat other children... not an appealing character trait in children's publishing, cannabalism... Hence, I may go back to re-work an old image... I shall attempt to post my efforts tomorrow.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Go to her myspace page and read her blog here- Oi! Not yet! Stay right here and read mine first!
Anyway, I thought it was such a great idea that I'd do my own (I'm also loving the excuse for another one of my lists too- some sort of psychological throwback from writing letters to Father Christmas, I think....
Trouble for Trumpets - Peter Cross
My Dad bought this book for me when I was two and, looking at Cross's lavish images, I knew from then on I wanted to 'do that-' Okay, okay! There was a five-minute madness when I wanted to become a fashion designer... and a barely mentionable insanity when I wanted to go into advertising... but for the most part, I remained faithful to my fantasy to create fictional worlds, just like the great Peter Cross. Looking at this book again and again, still has that effect on me.
Faeries - Brian Froud
This book met me when I was in my early teens. It had a diary-like/sketchbooky format that so appeals to that age and it had the most beautiful artwork, worth keeping secret. This was the book that introduced me to a new love; Dadada-DAHHHHHH! Introducing..... THE PENCIL! It was one of the first books I'd seen that contained black and white drawings and I fell totally and utterly for the purity of these pictures. There were colour plates too, but I wasn't nearly so interested in these. I've had a deep and ongoing 'love affair' with my pencil ever since.
The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster
I remember listening to this on audiotape, sat on a sunny floor and eating tutti-frutti's. This was one of the first audio tapes I ever listened to and one of the most perfect memories I have. There were the Famous Five and Narnia, of course, but this is the first one I remember listening to for the sake of it, with nothing else in the world I needed to do.
Oddly, I'd just discovered how grown up 'being bored' made you feel. It's a strange thing, as people almost never actually feel bored as adults, do they? There you have it though- and this book was all about (and completely was) the antidote to boredom.
I re-read Phantom Tollbooth recently and it's just as good without the tutti-frutti's.
I'm going to continue adding to this list as I think of necessary additions.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I was taking it slowly, admiring the fetching Autumn coats the trees were wearing, and generally minding my own very non-muddy, clean and dry business. I don't quite remember the moment of certainty creeping up on me but, alas that moment came with great squelching gusto; A moment when the error of my previous actions was henceforth undeniable... The world slowed down.... I gulped loudly... and then I descended gracefully, arse first, into the world's biggest boggle (part bog/part puddle). Yes, Siree. I went down and I darned nearly went under.
It was one of those full body slides that you play back again and again in your mind's eye. It started as a child on a waterslide and finished as an obese hippo squelching sedately into a waterhole and got funnier with each play back. The whole epic journey from forth-standing, world watcher to buttock-sloshing, mud be-decked, sky-gazer gurgled about inside me. The comedy of the matter burbled around my navel, grew in force about my oesophargus and then, when I could no longer take it, spewed forth from my mouth in giant hysterical hiccups. Of course, being a lone female in the middle of a field, in the middle of the mother of all boggles, I tried to stifle my increased mania, stuffing a fist in my mouth to staunch the flow... as if the fact that I was laughing to myself was the embarrassing factor in this picture. I had leaves in my hair, for the love of Pantene!
The dog looked at me in a disgusted, 'You're only s'posed to blow the bl**dy doors off!' manner.
When I'd finished wallowing (literally), I flapped my way home... looking much like I'd scuba-dived in a sewer and interspersing my 'serious' face with great guttural guffaws which generally escaped me when the nearest person was in spitting distance.
- I broke my computer
- Lost an afternoon's work (non-related to first computer incident- as far as I know- but does back up my feeling that computer 1 and computer 2 are in cahoots and may be plotting to assassinate, or at least mildly inconvenience me...)
- Re-did the work, only to find it was the one bit that Hodder didn't like...
- I lost my house keys in the very same boggle-ridden park. This time uniquely increasing my misery by donning complete 'jogging gear' in order to do so. I was locked out of the house for no fewer than 3 and a half hours... and as every one knows, the very best items of clothing to go jogging in... are one's pj's. I'm not sure my dog will ever respect me again.
- Dog got runs and left chocolate puddles all over living room floor... Quite possibly a protest?
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I've started my third final piece today and as it's only a littlelun, I hope to finish it by Tuesday. This actually puts me ahead of my plans by a little and I'm not sure what results I'm creating, but I'm loving the process.
However, I think the problem is, all the looking ahead... wondering if I'm on schedule to finish a book by February (to me that feels like a tight deadline!), knowing what the next project will be and letting my mind wander to that occasionally. Planning my own potential texts efforts and then looking at publication dates in 2010. It all makes me feel quite impatient. I feel like I've spent so much time thinking about this project and planning for it, it should be finished by now, dagnammit. I'm having trouble not believing it's December too. I keep wanting to send everyone Christmas cards... I'm as bad as Woolworths and Argos for trying to cram Yuletide cheer down people's necks on September 1st.
At the same time, knowing all the things that I have to do up until next August (!) is helping me not waste my time nearly as much as I used to. It looks like a mammoth and exciting list. I think I just have to remind myself to stay in the present a little more.
Here are some of the non- workrelated things I've done this last week and felt chuffed about.
1. found a new favourite cafe and spent some valuable cake-eating time catching up with a dear friend.
2. Learnt how to cast on and started making myself a scarf from squishiest purple wool I could find.
3. Met 3 fabulous new people.
4. Listened to 'Eat, Prey, Love', by Elizabeth Gilbert. Amongst all the new-ageyness that made me cringe was a lot of fun stuff and feel-goodness that I'd recommend. Elizabeth Gilbert reads it herself with a lovely soft accent.
5. Bought some comfy monkey pants!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Okay, well, update.
I'm in the middle of my first final piece (it having taken longer than I suspected it would- of course!)
I had thought I was over my jitters about my work. Apparently not. I still found myself hurtling wildly toward it paint brush in jousting position, hand over eyes. Attack! My footfall slowing though with the ever-increasing proximity of duh-duh-daaaaaah... the 'easel of doom'. The resulting meekest of paintbrush taps barely reached its' target. Much mopping and then frantic slewing of said work then occured in order to ecxordise the work of the vaguest hint of a tint. Now I know how Lady Macbeth felt! 'Out damn spot!'
Well, anyway, it might have a way to go, but I'm hoping to have sent it Hodder bound by Friday. There we go, I've uttered the words. Now, it won't be just me I'll be letting down if that doesn't happen!
I've been selected for the second time for the Cheltenham Illustration Award Show. I think it's on until the 31st of October, so if you find yourself in Gloucestershire with nowt to do, please pop along. I think it's a particular honour this year as my work will be exhibited alongside the rather marvellous Shaun Tan's. I think they had entries from all over the world this year so I'll have to really pull my socks up for next year's entry.
Yesterday, I attended a SCBWI meeting in Manchester. The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators has branches throughout the UK and I urge everyone interested in either area to go try them out.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
The author has seen my layouts and is apparently very happy. The publisher is pleased with how I've resolved my backgrounds. A couple of small changes and I'm away to do my final pieces. *does a little dance* I'm really excited about it too, which I thought at this stage might be impossible!
Right, I shall work on some thing to hopefully post here later.
In the mean time, have a look at Simon Wild's website. The man is a don with colour and a fiend with the ol' b+w. He's also more productive than a family of chimps with the runs too, so there's always something new and exciting to look at.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
However, my head still feels slightly full of cushions. Especially when it comes to my work.
I'm still trying to mesh the different elements of my Hodder colour studies together. It seems ridiculous to be having such difficulties as the backgrounds are quite minimalist. I'm not sure now whether there are problems, or I'm just not used to working in such a way.
Anyway, here's another experiment >
I think it's currently looking too computery (technical term, stay with me!) and the lighting is wrong, but as a first attempt, I'm quite pleased.
As an aside, does anyone have a comfort angle? As you may have guessed, I tend to draw a character first off in profile. I find once I've drawn them in profile, I have far less problems tackling them from other angles.
This (and you may also have guessed it) is the 'little boy' character I instantly tend to think of. I'm working with multiple characters at the moment, but he's my sort of default. He greatly resembles my brother as a child- what can I say, we were a fugly family...!
I'd be interested in knowing if other people have 'default' characters and where they think they've come from.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Somewhere between working on a project that I can't show and having been a big snotty, monkey, I have lost a good few days on here. Maybe you enjoyed the respite. Maybe you haven't even noticed. Perhaps I've just blown my own cover as well as my dribbly red proboscus...?!
During that time, I have made no work I can air and made no thoughts other than, 'squelchety, squelch! Arooooooooooooooooooooooooog!' (That's the sound of my nose-blowing resonating through brain cells).
Therefore, I shall tell you that the background style of the book seems to be going well, but I'm still sussing out how to draw the foreground inanimate objects. So far, the elements of the picture are going together like an anchovey chutney and bakewell tart... I will try to resolve this little problem today (the demand for anchovey chutney and bakewell tart trifle being shockingly low). However, I will also make a point of trying to get some sort of doodle to add onto this blog. I'd also like to cover another picture book too and put up a link to a fabulous article I found online the other day. I'm holding up my hand now in a firm promise (well, a gesture of affirmative that I shall try to, anyway...) that I will get that sorted this afternoon sometime.
Friday, October 3, 2008
I hope (I initially put 'think' but realised it might be tempting fate!) most things are now sorted, but I keep having minor heart attacks regardless. During this project, I fear I may have turned into a less witty, more neurotic Woody Allen...! I 'fear?' Yes, I've almost certainly turned into the wooly one!
I worry that if I look at the book plans again I'll suddenly see major glaring mistakes popping up all over the place... how, without noticing, I've accidentally replaced my main character (a small girl) with a yetti or something equally as inappropriate... or perhaps, I've somehow worked out the whole book back-to-front (not quite sure how that works, but if it DOESN'T, I'm sure I've done it!)
I think I might be experiencing the illustrator's equivalent of that awful dream where you turn up to work...naked... except of course, that most of us illustrators work at home so it's our prerogative to turn up to work naked! Huzzah!*
Apparently, I actually have some readers now, so I hope the both of you have a lovely weekend!
Here's a doodle from one of many ideas I'm pootling away with.
Monday, September 29, 2008
On the plus side, I've finished a first draft of my second ever picture book text... and I'm really pleased with it. I've absolutely no idea if it's any good (in fact, I'm fairly certain it isn't!) but it has a beginning, a middle and an end. I can describe the plot in one sentence. It has a (kind of, sort of) moral and a climax... and most of all I just really enjoyed writing it.
Being an illustrator, I'm beginning to realise, is a career with a very odd pace to it. It's quite easy to go a week without feeling like you've really achieved anything if you're not careful, lost amongst leaky water colour tubes, enormous wads of putty rubber and mouldy tea cups!
I thought it was just a matter of setting goals and sticking to them, but now I realise that you have to be flexible and move those goals accordingly. If I'm having a pants drawing day, I need to change direction and colour-up a picture or do some writing. Arg! If only I could remember to remind myself of this advice everyday... I'd never regret the loss of a day, or worse still, not even notice that one's gone by! Anyway, for the moment, I feel fairly chuffed with myself so that's all that counts!
By the way, I listen to audio books whilst I work. I've just finished this one and I'd recommend it to anyone and everyone. The story is beautifully written, the narrator's voice is mellow and the whole thing is fantastic to work to. It's the kind of story you're sad to say goodbye to... and not just because you now need to find another to take its' place (gosh darn it!)
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Anyway, I left off the last thread talking about what makes a picture book a picture book and I think I'll try to start this one with what in my opinion makes a picture book a great picture book.
To work in picture books meant not only altering style, but re-thinking format. I'd enjoyed the luxury of creating great vast slabs of illustration in my previous work, but it is rare that picture books are double page spread after double page spread anymore.
To clarify my thoughts on picture books, I've sort of begun a never-ending collection of the good ones. I wanted to look at some of those individual books and share my feelings as to what makes them great.
'Beegu', By Alexis Deacon.
A tale of an alien that doesn't belong.
Beegu's been out for a little while, but I have to admit I haven't yet bought it. This point is of interest in itself. Whilst it's pretty near impossible to argue against the fact that Deacon can draw, I was not initially drawn (no pun intended) to his work. There was something about the muted colours... (I know, pot calling kettle and all that...!) Or, maybe it's not the muted colours, but that he tends to use cooler colours... yes, I like that better- makes me seem less of a hypocrite! Regardless, I first picked up the book, had a quick flick through and put it back.
However, the fact is this, every time I go to a book shop or library I return to Beegu and I think the reasons are these.
1. Whether or not I initially liked the illustration, it is bold and different and that's refreshing in today's UK market. It does stand out on the shelf. Let's face it, we all judge a book by its' cover. However, I'd like this point to stand down for the others- Let's pretend I'm not as shallow as I obviously am and consider the other less cosmetic points more important for once!
2. The story has a universal theme. Everyone has felt they don't belong at some point in their lives and so it's hard not to connect with the book on some level.
3. It's sensitively told. Deacon shows what happens to Beegu, rather than tells us. This is an infinitely more powerful way to tell (a misleading word there, eh?) a story as we can make up our own mind about the situation... and when we do, we are far more likely to bond with it as we've placed a piece of ourselves into it.
4. (3 and 4 sort of connect. 4 being the reason for 3, pretty much) The word vs. picture relationship is phenomenal. Deacon allows the pictures to take centre stage and only uses text to clarify. His words are so restrained, being the bare minimum to allow the story to take place.
This makes the book stand out as (contrary to what you would believe in a picture book section)it makes Beegu one of the few books that you may actually be bothered to read before you buy; the rest being too wordy by far! This gave the book two bites of the apple for me as an accidental reading of the first couple of pages had me hooked.
This word picture relationship allows Beegu to be a 'grower.' Many of the books on sale have texts that tell the exact same story as the illustrations and no more. This always leaves one mode of communication lacking. Either the text is more poorly written than the illustrations portray the events, or the text is great but poorly rendered by the illustrator. If a book has text and illustration telling the exact same story, they must compete and the book almost always 'does itself in' this way. The parent cannot be bothered to read it or the child doesn't have the patience for the parent to read him what he already knows from the pictures. Beegu is what most picture books are not. It is the perfect balance of both, making the complete product stronger as a result and more appealing at each reading.
Every writer or illustrator can learn something about picture book storytelling from Beegu. Next time I visit a book store, I have promised myself I shall buy myself a Beegu of my very own!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
The thing I wanted to write about is something I've been thinking a lot about since finishing the course. It's the matter of content in picture books. I may need to do this blog in installments, since I've come to the conclusion the subject matter is a mammoth disguising itself as a mouse.
A little bit of background.
During the course, I remained fairly convinced that I would draw for older kids (I think you'll see what I mean by looking at my website). The only problem being that I loved visual story-telling.
Whilst I'm still raring to get my teeth into front covers and the like, I also wanted to learn the art of narrative and this only really currently exists in picture books.
Picture books are published in the States for readers up to the age of 7 (or in rare cases up to the age of 11). However, in the UK, 3-5 years is your market. So, you see my dilemma. To admit defeat on visual storytelling, or to adapt ones' style for a younger audience? I'm a complete stick-in-the-mud, if you want to be polite, (and a stubborn ass if you don't). There was no way I would give up on visual narrative so adapting my style was the only option left, but what did this mean?
I'm not sure I was even clear on what a picture book was. What was the difference between a picture book and a story book for example? I'd been using the two words interchangably before. What were the essentials to the picture book medium?
For the record, a picture book is a book told primarily by visuals, with text to clarify or to meet the pictures where illustration is impossible. Words and pictures should complement but never repeat eachother's point. A story book is when a text can exist on its' own to give a complete narrative, but with pictures to break it up. The story book is near extinct as it sadly isn't deemed saleable.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Hmm... well, it seems that if this here writing malarkey is going to happen, it's going to be in the mornings. Already then, I am breaking rules.
As you know, I was going to put what I'd worked on that day at the top of a post. If I do so now, the most I can put is, a large bowl of cereal and having 'gotten up'. Though both feats are worth celebrating, I'm not sure a public statement is necessary. Thus, perhaps I shall put what I worked on yesterday instead... Starting from today's work tomorrow (if you see what I mean!) since I'm telling you now, yesterday was a pretty poor show and I only managed 3 character sketches.
To make you forget the tragedy of it all, I'm going to attempt to stick in a photo of my studio here. Its' chaos will serve as Derren Brown mind trick to confuse and blur.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
So, let's get this show on the road, as they say.
Since I am currently the only viewer of my blog, I'm going to start out by doing a little something for myself. At the beginning of each post I shall list, Briget Jones style, the work I have consumed each day. This will hopefully help me keep more of a record of my day and more importantly, the work I heartlessly shunt into the corners of my studio and forget about.
I shall start by telling you a little bit about myself... but even before that, I must put in a disclaimer. Sorry.
The punctuation and grammar found in these blogs may not contain any likeness to that found in the outside world.
Right. I finished an MA in Children's Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University, in January. I think the three main things I learnt at college were, how to work, how to take and use criticism and how to survive.
There is a lot of debate for potential illustrators in such places as The AOI forum on whether or not to go to college and if yes, which college to go to. What I can tell you is that the days when you are actively taught things seem to be over. I've never learnt print-making or photography, about the golden section (?) or colour theory. What I will say is that my time under the care of the grumpy Martin Salisbury, the gentle John Lawrence and the sweet James Mayhew allowed me to become an illustrator. I simply couldn't have made the transition without them. At a risk of sounding like a cliche, with gentle (and not so gentle!) nudges in the right direction, they helped me find 'me'.
So, unlike a lot of the BA students I've talked to, when I emerged in January I felt ready. Ready to face the 50:50 daily ratio of work and promotion and ready to face possible rejection too.
Rats, it's getting on, I'll come back to this later.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
In the mean time, welcome to my blog. With the following (here's hoping) posts, I intend to tell you a bit about what I do, keep you up-to-date with my work goings on and I'm sure I shall rant a fair bit too.
I now pronounce this blog open for business. I think I shall celebrate with a rather large slice of cake...