I have several ideas on the go at the minute. One is far more ambitious than anything I've done before, and is tying me completely in knots.
I'm trying to take babysteps into fiction, you see. I've bitten the bullet and I'm attempting to write my first chapter book- but with pictures that work like a picture book. So, not just an ordinary staggeringly hard task, but a mixture of staggeringly hard tasks. Neither of which I've really done before. Good one, Cass!
Anyway, I've come to a bit of a standstill, and I'm well-aware I've been working the old procrastination rituals over the last couple of days. I think it's time to take an official break, rather than starting to beat myself up about it.
I've decided to re-visit Quentin Fox for a bit instead. You may remember that Quentin proved to be popular with the publishers as a character, but I couldn't find the right story for him to make both me and the publishers happy. I didn't want to sell him short, and a lot of the stuff I came up with was either too old for the publishers or too twee for me.
When I come up with a character I really like, I find it quite hard to confine them to a story. It feels like I'm limiting them somehow. Perhaps because a lot of the time I'm trying to squash them into a story that doesn't quite fit. I'm desperately trying to learn the art to story-writing at the moment, and I think part of it for me, has been to learn patience. You hear about people rustling up a story in their lunch break (one Alex T Smith springs to mind) but I think I have to learn that for me, although ideas come easily, whole stories are blimmin' hard work!
A while ago, I started playing with this cut out technique for background. I was trying to remedy another one of my bad habits- the fact that I tend to overcrowd scenes. I wondered if I was to create a background without drawing whether I'd still have the same trouble, as it really is my pencil that allows me to get carried away. If I worked more purposefully (creating each individual piece) would I still be so free and easy with detail? Whilst I love detail and will go to any lengths to defend it (despite the fact that it's SO out of fashion at the moment), I think this quieter result does make you appreciate the little bits of detail more. Weirdly, since it's so different from my normal stuff it still feels very me too.
I find some images grow over time. I've had this image sat around for a while, and slowly, slowly, slowly it's been growing a story somewhere in the background of my mind. This afternoon I thought I'd find out whether this story is ready to be put down on paper yet. I feel a bit nervous, so wish me luck!