Saturday, August 23, 2008

Late Summer Muse

Just some "life" updates to fill that lifeless void of a blogsphere....

August has been a fairly busy month. Beyond some major changes in my personal life, its been an eclectic period.

Several gigs doing some very diverse conceptual video game design has kept me busy (and in pocket), as has the beginning the thumbs and roughs for the next M.A.S.K DVD. On top of that I've been ironing out the kinks in a local authors story pitch adding a few illustrations and continuing the second draft of my own novel. Whether my own fictional muse will prove any good, time will tell.. though funnily enough, my own ye olde "just for fun" effort that I did when I was a student, DKA, is being translated into German for a second time. Go figure. Sometimes those shadows are difficult to shrug off.. particularly shadows of a particular Bat...

Continuing to tour with Clive Tandy on those book signings for Quarry Grove. Trafford Centre last week, Wigan today and Omskirk at the beginning of September. Those signings are looking to become events in September (Southport Waterstones is booked as an interactive event) and some libraries will be hosting us as well - if all goes well.

Funnily enough, we were asked today to choose a favourite book for the Waterstones to use as a recommendation. That sent me spinning - which book? Given the work I've been doing has been with kids, I figured a kids book would be best.. so I went with Fantastic Mr Fox! I remember being read that when I was at primary school in Chigwell, Essex. Dahl's description of the succulent food always made me hungry - the book was always read by the teacher just before home time, so it was a great appetiser for the dinner time meal. As I recall, Clive recommended the Artists & Writers Yearbook - a sound choice for any aspiring writer/artist.

Other than that, myself and Clive have finished Quarry Grove book 2 this month, which we're looking to pitch at a larger publisher. In fact, Book 2 has been a lot of fun - more than working on number one. The pictures are more exciting and vibrant (I've done framed pictures for number two rather than spot illustrations) and I've co-written the final product based on Clive's initial draft. I'm very happy with the end product.

Quarry Grove has been an enjoyable project for the past couple of years. As an illustrator, you tend to get clients commission you for parts of a larger project that you have no artistic control over. You do a book, you get your cheque, you move on. You do a series of storyboards, you get your cheque you move on. Etc. But Quarry Grove has been a project I've been able to work with a partner from the ground up. And with surprisingly good feedback it has lead to school workshops, book signings and interactive events. So while I won't pretend it pays brilliantly compared to client work, it has been a lot of fun and a real learning experience!

There was also a South Park review for a Season 11 DVD screener. I'll post that later!

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