Wednesday, 17 February 2010
As various little bits and pieces get finished for the Edinburgh exhibition and gallery trail (you can find out about that at Katie's Picture Show), and the final parts of Ella Bella come together in time to be sent off for proofing (see Ella Bella Ballerina)my mind is already looking ahead to new things.
I'm so often asked "Where do you get you ideas from", and today I am almost asking myself the same question. In truth there is no formula, and frankly every book is different, the process is different, the inspiration (if I can call it that) is also different.
Notebooks are my life-blood. Without them I simply could not work, and I begin by writing... in the sitting room, the dining room, kitchen, bedroom and even bathroom. On trains, out walking, in destist's waiting rooms. In my head... I write there too. And I have to fight past the initial sense of disappointment that I don't like what I'm writing, and try to make it better. Always I am trying to be better. Why? what drives me? well as I get older (and my birthday approaches...)I am increasingly aware that this is my time right now. And I would like to leave just one book behind that might do some good somehow in some small way and thus be considered a perennial classic. I also have two eager illustrators asking for stories. I won't jinx things by saying more. But I am optimistic (for once).
Meanwhile, my dear friend Nelly Miricioiu (see here) kindly introduced me to the man who runs the Royal Opera House gift shop. She could not understand why they did not stock either Orchard's Ella Bella or the Opera stories I illustrated for Barefoot. Happily both publishers have now been in touch with him and I understand that large orders are being placed, which makes me very happy. Not just for the obvious reasaon but also because I truly believe in the value of encourageing a love of classical music. This was very kind of Nelly to set up, especially as she is incredibly busy preparing for her performance of the title role in Verdi's La traviata at the Southbank on Sunday.
On that theme, the de Havilland Philharmonic Orchestra have pinned me down for another concert, on November 7th. The repertoire hasn't been decided yet, but as in previous years it will be a mixture of storytelling and live illustration, matching the original inspiration to the correct music. So a busy year is falling into place. But I always say I am at my most creative when I have too much to do! Bring it on!
Monday, 1 February 2010
Such is the response to my last post - and I'm very touched - I thought I'd post a quick follow up. Firstly because I found some very early experiments, in acrylic, clumsy pastels (which was my eventual choice) and watercolour. I always like seeing artists unfinished work, their disasters (I have plenty of those) and their process of work in general, so rather than throw these in the bin I thought I'd let you have a look at them. Just don't judge me too harshly, this is me being generous and exposing all my flaws, OK?
The other reason for posting is to say that all the kind comments people left about BOY have galvanised me somewhat and I have (sharp intake of breath) sent a copy to a publisher and they have expressed a tiny drop of interest...a sparkle in the eye...a wistful ambition. So we shall see. Meanwhile that superstar Jackie Morris has also mentioned the idea to a publisher she works with. And guess what? they are also not entirely uninterested!
Now, I'm the last person in the world to even consider counting any chickens before hatching. I wouldn't even count the eggs. But you never know... you really never do. There's just the tiniest fragment of hope that possibly...just possibly...BOY may have a happy ending after all. I'll keep you (literally) posted!
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