Monday, February 12, 2007
12th February. For the past few weeks I have been working on illustrations for a book, at the moment called "Starlight, Starbright". Written by James Mayhew, the text is a lullaby, beautiful and rhythmical.
In publishing some things move really slowly while others take on a momentum that is hard to keep pace with. I have a novel that has been with a publisher for six months, an idea for a book that has been knocking around another publisher's office for a year now, and then there is this book. James sent the text to Tessa Strickland at Barefoot Books in Bath a few weeks ago. Tessa loved it and James said he wanted me to illustrate it. Tessa wisely said I was too busy, but I begged to differ. Last year "The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems" came out in print, sold out and is being reprinted. I am about to start "The Arabian Nights" for them, another huge undertaking and it seemed to me that to work on something so much shorter, and with a similar spirit to "Little Bear" would be a better follow up to "Classic Poems", which had been a huge undertaking. Also I am not one to pass up such a gem of a text.
We are now waiting for the contract to arrive and already I have roughs and am working on two spreads in colour. Foolishly I decided that it would be a great idea to give "Starlight..." a blog to follow its creation, from the initial spark of an idea in James's head to sitting on a bookshelf and from there into the hands of readers. Now I sit here wishing I hadn't as I try to get to grips with blogging software. Thousands of people do it. It can't be that difficult!
The book has already been to two meetings, one in the UK and one in the USA at Barefoot's offices there, where the editorial team looked at some sketches sent via email and "Can You See a Little Bear?", our previous collaboration, which received rave reviews.
The next step for me is to prepare a dummy book with black and white sketches for the artwork and two sample spreads for another publishing meeting in France, early in March, and later a trip to Bologna Book Fair.I won't be going to France, but I will be going to Bologna.