Writing a picture book is not easy. There are loads of rules you need to follow and I’m ignoring some of them at my own peril. But I’m writing for fun. I’m writing because I love it, I have a passion for telling stories and most importantly of all; I write because I have to! I need to be creative, I need to create and if I, for whatever reason, had to stop writing today, I would channel my creativity through a different artistic medium. Whether you’re any good at it, is really not that important. What’s important is that you love what you do. And I love illustrating as much as I love writing my stories and that’s the only reason why I do it.
Now going back to those rules, I believe all rules on writing can be, and do get, broken. I’m doing it all the time. As long as I know that I’m actually breaking a rule, and as long as I think that going against the advice, is actually benefiting my story, then I don’t see the harm in it.
My first picture book, “Agosto, a frightened little Acorn” is breaking an important rule, a rule that should not be broken should one want to be picked up by an agent / editor. They, apparently, hate inanimate objects that come to life. But where would my story be without its dancing spoons, grumpy knives and Inga the reading lamp? Not where I would want it to be, so hence why I decided to write about inanimate objects that come to life.
My second picture book “My Monster” also goes against some of these rules. When writing a story, it’s important that the story has a conflict that needs to be resolved. My picture book is about a five year old girl, Alberta, and it’s her story, telling us about her best friend, who happens to be a monster, and what they get up to at night. It doesn’t really have a conflict but I’m hoping that her story is appealing enough to keep the reader interested throughout the story. Oh and if you haven’t worked it out already, the pic on top of this post is Alberta and her monster friend; Albert.
My New Year’s Resolution for 2013 was to learn Blender. You know what they say; better late than never! My book on 3D modelling and animation arrived in the post today. I’m very excited and can’t wait to start using this amazing programme.
If you’re familiar with 3D software you might have heard of blender before. It’s an open source software, so totally free (although donations are encouraged). More info here: http://www.blender.org/
When writing music I do it under the name of Blue Grape. “Love song for a Vampire” is a musical composition that I wrote a few years ago. Today I’ve decided to release it from the constraints of my computer hard drive (where it’s been gathering digital dust for far too long) and make the web its new permanent home by making a video for it and releasing it on YouTube. What could be more fitting to a song called “Love song for a Vampire” than the footage from the horror classic from 1922 Nosferatu? Hope you like my tune (and my poorly edited video).
About the video footage: The film, shot in 1921 and released in 1922, was an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with names and other details changed because the studio could not obtain the rights to the novel (for instance, “vampire” became “Nosferatu” and “Count Dracula” became “Count Orlok”).
The film is in the public domain and you can watch it in full here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcyzubFvBsA
The above pictures are taken from my picture book “Agosto, a frightened little acorn”.
“Agosto, a frightened little acorn” was my first attempt at writing and illustrating a picture book. I will post the full story with all the accompanying pictures on this blog shortly.
And then Lucy’s breathing became stertorous again, and all at once it ceased. “It’s all over,” said Van Helsing. “She is dead!”
The following illustrations were inspired by H.G. Well’s novel “The War of the Worlds”;
“I still remember that vigil very distinctly: the black and silent observatory, the shadowed lantern throwing a feeble glow upon the floor in the corner, the steady ticking of the clockwork of the telescope, the slit in the roof–an oblong profundity with the stardust streaked across it”