Wednesday, May 13, 2009

After the cover

After all the fuss and bother with the cover things have now gone quiet again. The cover arrived and has been accepted (so far, but still feel quite nervous as the other two were accepted too and later rejected). I have been paid, I think, and have moved on to other work so now wait to see how the type is designed, both throughout the book and on the cover.
After a few days of recovery, during which I hung an exhibition while I should have been resting and did some owl paintings that I have waited a year to do, went for a walk with Joanna Lumley and the cats and painted in the refectory, all of which when I should have been resting, it is now time to move on to the next book, The Ice Bear, with Frances Lincoln.
I have to go to Hay Festival where I am doing a session with children and a masterclass, both of which are sold out ( but will be at Bath Festival in Sept and also Cheltenham in October).
Two roughs have been submitted to the MBF for their Christmas card and I nervously wait for their response.

Meanwhile, today I had a chance encounter with a woman that cheered my soul. She and her husband called from the Refectory because they wanted to buy a print. I invited them up to the house, only then realizing the filth and chaos the house was in! They came and saw my prints and the studio. ( I seldom invite people in as my work place is also my home and the kids home and we like to be private.)
She told me a story about The Barefoot Book of Classic Poems. A story that made me cry but also gladdened my heart.
She had worked in a place for very difficult and troubled children in London. Among the children she knew was a five year old who had been so badly abused and traumatized by his mother that he barely spoke, couldn't read or write and was so difficult. ( People can be cruel but God alone knows what his mother went through also). He would take the Barefoot Book of Classic Poems and sit and look and look and look at the paintings and then he would tell the people caring for him all about the stories behind the pictures.
Who wouldn't cry to hear such a story.
There are many times that I have felt like giving up illustrating and just painting. Stories like this keep me tangled up tight with books.


Joanna Dover said...

Heartwarming story - I am in the process of adopting from Foster care, and it's so nice to hear about the incredible healing power of art. There are too many terrible stories to hear, especially about these children, so it's lovely to hear a nice one - especially if it is your art that had the power to connect with this child!

Anonymous said...

You know what Jackie - there is something special about a book. Nothing can change that fact. A book has a power and a magic that cannot be explained. All this talk about e-books and the demise of "The Book" never mentions the children's book world. How could an infant get the same experience with a i-book? It wouldn't work... (they'd probably break it).

I think this is a wonderful story you've posted and shows why we keep going. Deep down inside we know that it is a real privilage to be able to enter a child's life and be part of their world, part of their nurturing experiences, and even part of their healing.

Well done of the new cover by-the-way. It's gorgeous.

James x

Jackie Morris said...

Thanks James
She told me another story too about kids in the Gaza strip.
Harsh world we live in.
And thanks for all the support and help and encouragement, oh, yes, and for the wonderful words too. Lets hope this one inspires.

Marianne said...

well it inspires us and it inspires the children. if it doesn't inspire the publisher's minions they are in the wrong job and it's time to change publisher. for the sake of the children, who all deserve your pictures.

Doda said...

Wow, what a beautiful story.

I have 4 of your books that I read to my little girl, and sometimes I just stare and stare at the beautiful images with her.

It is a gift from God to be able to produce such beautiful paintings, and you are able to share that beauty with so many others and so bless others with your gift. What a great position to be in. Of course it is well worth being an illustrator.

Mary said...

Thank you for sharing that story. Your work is so beautiful, I'm glad you're not giving up on illustrating, you're an inspiration. Never give up, I'd be lost with out your beautiful work to turn to when I'm feeling rubbish. Huge, big thank you for letting us share the wonders of your imagination x