A month on from an amazing artistic experience as a student visitor to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair I am still buzzing with ideas and working on polishing my work to competition standard. Being there at the fair, in the presence of so many great creators and those supporting them (publishers, editors, agents, rights dealers etc) has reinforced my commitment to this new career path and made me want to succeed at it even more. If you wonder what success means to me, imagine having your own book deal and seeing your illustrations in a nice book on the welcoming shelves of Foyles or Waterstones or in your local library during a story time session run as part of their literacy programme – and I know that means an awful lot of hard work and idea generation….
On that note, here is what I am working on post Bologna: an artist’s book on the theme of travel. The idea initially came about when I was shopping for a shirt, an experience to which I responded by making a series of origami shirts complete with tiny hangers and a clothes’ stand.
Cute as that may be, I didn't find it spectacular! The shirt became a travel item when the only thing I had to hand to make it out of was a train ticket – the “been there, done that, got the t-shirt” project was born! Several trials and tests on, on my return from Bologna I decided to swap the physical origami shirt for a drawn character and use it to present my location sketches.
Where am I going with this? I think it somehow brings my initial project full circle and spins off in a new direction for which I plan to research children’s’ travel books and generally how children learn at different stages of their development. I am particularly interested in the 9-11 years old market to start with. More illustrations will follow on this theme.