Thursday, June 25, 2009

Made me smile!

Have you ever seen anything cuter?!! Stumbled on this during my research for my book stuff! Check out the flicker site from hippoPAPPA + mum for more amazing creations!....Hhhhhmmmmm, am suddenly hungry!

Type the rest here

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Work in progress

Thank you to everyone who passed on their best wishes on the news of our big move. It's exciting stuff!

But, now it's back to earth for a little while....
Today I got serious about making a start on the new book brief I have been given. I wanted to share a bit more detail about this process, and thought I'd start at the beginning!

Click the below link to get all of the details.

So, how did this all come about? This particular publisher contacted me via email. I have not worked with them before, but they had seen my page on The Style File website and contacted me directly.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am not the only illustrator working on this brief, but obviously only one of us will be selected to follow it through to publication.

As, always, the first place I start with this sort of project, is to RESEARCH. I checked out the publishers website to see the type of books they have already published, but I also wanted to get an idea of range of authors and illustrators they already publish. Obviously they have some great talents already on their books, but this has actually given me more confidence to understand that they must be looking for something totally new and different to what they had done before -OBVIOUSLY!

The next stage of my research was to hit the book stores and check out what has already been done on this topic or theme. When I read the brief I was initially not convinced that it had not already been done before, but I was surprised to see that no-one had in fact taken the proposed angle on this theme before. I often read about looking for "gaps in the market" and this was a bit of a lesson for me that there are still new ways of approaching things!

Part of this brief included mentioning 4 illustrators who they wanted us to check out for an idea of the approach they would like us to take, so obviously I also spent some time looking through some of their work.

As funny as it sounds, I then just let things mull over in my brain for a few days - and then hit the bookstores again! This time looking for things to inspire some of the ideas I have for where to start on this project.

So, today it was time to just get stuck into it. I surrounded myself with illustrations and books of some of my favourite illustrators to get me in the mood to start drawing, and once I started, I could not stop! I am already loving this project. I have so many ideas, that I actually wish it was a done deal for me so that I could run them past the publisher to get some direction on which way to go with it!

In the absence of this luxury, I just ploughed through a few different approaches, and will look at them again with fresh eyes later in the week - in the hope of getting a clearer perspective on which idea will be the strongest approach to present.

I have until the end of this month to present my ideas, and I'd have to say I wish I could work on it all week (and not go into my full time job!) As much as I love my job, I am feeling really inspired to just focus on this new project! Regardless of whether I get the chance to see this job through to the end, it's already reminded me of how strongly I NEED to get more active in this arena!

I'll try to keep you posted on my progress!

Monday, June 8, 2009

That "other" BIG announcement!

Does this make you want to just pack up and get away from it all? It just feels like a holiday spot doesn't it? Well it did for us - so much so, that we bought it! This is the bathroom in our BRAND NEW HOUSE IN THE COUNTRY!

Ahhhhh! So this is what has been complicating our lives (in a good way) of late!!
Click the link below if you want to know more!

We have decided on a treechange and have bought this gorgeous 18 acre property in the country! It's in central Victoria and as you can see it's a lovely little stonehouse built by the previous owners. This is our dam/lake!

It was a dream we thought was in a 10 year plan for us, but when it came down to it we weren't really sure what we were waiting for! We decided to just have a bit of a browse on the internet to see what you can get for your money - we did not even know where we wanted to move to! Three weeks later we stumbled across a gorgeous "it doesn't hurt to have a look" property and two weeks later it was ours!!! This was all 6 months ago! The long settlement has allowed us to finish off the little things in our house - which turned into a 5 month project! So our Melbourne house has been on the market for just 4 weeks, and we pick up the keys to our new place in 2 weeks! FINALLY!!! Here's our driveway:

It's all part of a plan to SLOW DOWN a bit and to do the things we have always dreamed of NOW! For me that's more art and craft stuff, along with writing and illustrating my own books. We will build a new little studio for me to make this happen in! For Ray it will be about permaculture and gardening, and for BOTH of us it's all about self-sufficiency and a healthier lifestyle! I grew up in a small country town, so I have some idea what we are in for but my brave husband has always lived in the city so it will be a huge adventure for both of us!

No doubt I will give you some more detail over the coming weeks, but it will be a bit of a weekender for a bit until we sell our Melbourne home, or at least rent it out if it comes down to that!

One more exciting piece of news it that I have just been approached by a brand new independent Australian Publisher to consider a new kids book opportunity! I am very excited and despite my plan not to take on new freelance projects for a while, this opportunity just can not be ignored! My motto has always been "to go where opportunities present themselves" and it's always worked for me!

So I am one of a handful of illustrators that have been invited to respond to a short brief set by the publisher to help them narrow their search for an illustrator. The brief is right up my alley, so to speak, and could be a great chance for me to get published in what I call my "True" illustration style.

So while it's a relaxing day at home today, it's also a chance for me to start working on some ideas for this brief. I hope to be able to share what I submit, a little later on. I will write in more detail about how this all came about when I have some more time, as I hope it will help other budding illustrators.....

So for now, I need to get back to the sketchbooks and try not to be too distracted by the excitement that awaits us in just two weeks!