Saturday, 17 July 2010

distracted by a giant turnip

You might think I've been neglecting the growing boy a bit of late... and you'd be right. I do have some new roughs which take the story in a slightly different direction, but for now I'm busy beavering away on illustrations for a book of children's dramas. You can see what I've been up to here.

Monday, 8 February 2010

plant a pumpkin

Things are growing slowly, slowly, slowly... The design job stretches on and on, the original deadline of tomorrow has moved and looks set to keep moving through no fault of my own. Very frustrating when I have other projects I'd like to work on. Meantime I am trying to squeeze the Growing Boy into the small spaces between other work. This is a tiny detail from the illustration I'm working on (with the tomato juggling) - a pumpkin plant and tomatoes and a snail (almost).

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

new gardening tools

Since they arrived last week my new watercolours have lain, unopened, until today. It has taken huge restraint on my part, but I have had to ignore them while I got on with some urgent design work (it has been hell - I could see them out of the corner of my eye the whole time and I would much rather have been messing around with paints, brushes and water than formatting text!).

I finally got my chance tonight and it's amazing how having new tools can make you work in a more exciting way. My trusty old watercolour box has been with me since my college days (a long time!) and I guess I am just in a rut with them. They're like a comfortable old pair of slippers and I use them without thinking really. I've been opening all the new little foil wrappers and laying out the colours like jewels, testing them out and playing around - each one is more fabulous than the last! It has made me think more about the feel of the book and the mood of the illustrations, rather than just reaching mechanically for my old favourites. More importantly, I'm having fun with them!

The new illustration is still in the early stages, so nothing to show quite yet, but I'm pleased with the way it's turning out...

Thursday, 28 January 2010

sun dirt water

The pressing need to focus on other work (in this case the puppet festival brochure with a fast approaching deadline, gulp) ensures that I am pulled towards developing the Growing Boy instead. I am completely predictable in this respect - you can guarantee that, whatever I am actually supposed to be doing, I will be irresistibly and inexplicably drawn to do the exact opposite. (The only time I really worry is when I get the overwhelming urge to clean the cooker, this is procrastination in its ultimate form!).
Knowing that my time is pretty much spoken for for the next week or so at least, I pulled myself away from my sketchbook and treated myself to some new watercolours and some waterproof pens in sepia and black, in readiness for when I can work on this again (by which time I expect I will have noticed some other urgent household chore that needs doing immediately...)

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

growing [again]

I have been visiting with the growing boy again and playing around with words. He has become like my own child now with a life of his own - the story has changed so much since it first began (and I notice too that he is beginning to crop up in other work when he has not been invited!). In my head the words mesh together to make this wonderful, magical world where he gets from start to finish and it all makes perfect sense (to me at least!), accompanied by fabulous, quirky and luminous illustrations of course! In reality, it is a little trickier to get it moving smoothly from one spread to the next and still work as whole... and it doesn't flow yet, it is still far too clunky. Lots of writing, scoring out, moving things around and, still, not quite there yet.

The story has become more surreal too, I'm not sure yet if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Only time will tell.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

like a hardy perennial...

[edit: maybe try one with added mischief!]

Growing boy / greetings card! All is explained here