Sunday, 31 July 2011
A family holiday in Cromer in the middle of a book isn't ideal, but I duely packed up the illustrations for Katie and the Starry Night to continue "colouring in" the drawings. The flat was booked months ago and the clash was unavoidable. Had the weather been fair it could have been rather a relaxing thing to be painting by the sea. The flat is on the very edge of the land, overlooking the pier, a spectacular view, and it's a place we've rented for several years. But apart from one day, the weather was disappointing, cold, dull and uniformly grey. Disappointing to the family, who were stuck in the flat with me unable to give lifts to places. Me disappointed, as the light was so dreary it was very hard to keep colours pure and consistant.
At least we caught up with our friends, the Salisburys (Martin Salisbury runs the MA in Children's Book Illustration at Cambridge Art School; our respective boys get along famously) and David Hughes, and his wife and Dog Dexter. David is as mad as the day is long, a bit like his brilliant and fearless illustrations, which makes him great company. and it was lovely to meet Dexter in real life...
Progress was made on the book but mixing family and work time really doesn't work for me. I don't think people realise the responsibility the illustrator has, taking care of the final stages of a book, and therefore always squashed for time if scehedules have slipped. It can be tough. Unfortunately a lot of deadlines fall in the summer, because books need to be prepared for the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. So illustrators rarely get a summer holiday of any length. Same at Christmas: January deadlines for the Spring Bologna Bookfair often impact that holiday too. These days one has to be grateful for the work. And I love my job. But right now I sure could use a holiday!
Thursday, 21 July 2011
Lots of distractions - lovely ones - have interrupted the flow with Katie and the Starry Night: The Ella Bella event in Cheltenham was swiftly followed by a giant pop up book at the Pop Up Festival. (Click on the words to find out about them!). But here are a couple of glimpses of how it's coming along. Van Gogh is surprisingly hard to pastiche. There is real rythmn and order to those swirling marks, and following his forms and yet trying to be spontaneous is pretty tricky. No wonder he cut off his ear!
More to follow as my August deadline approches!
Wednesday, 13 July 2011
I should be working on Katie and the Starry Night. But I couldn't resist creating this little poster for a performance this autumn of Peter & The Wolf.
Not only will I be narrating the story, I will also be illustrating it LIVE on stage! Crazy? yes! Fun? you bet!
It takes place in Saffron Walden, a jewel of a town, at 3pm on October 16th.