Posts Tagged 'Ghostboy'

Adelaide Fringe Festival

It’s so easy to get caught up in the time warp of writing and drawing. To spend too long in my own mind with only my ideas for company. Yet I find in order to fuel my ideas I need to keep my creative well full, by getting out of my head and seeing what the creative world is up to – reading, watching, listening … and attending the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

At least, that was my latest creative adventure. I was lured there by my poetically mischievous partner, with promises of music and plays and cabaret and street art, not to mention great food and wine. I was also an Adelaidian for a short while myself, so it was a thrill to return to a city I know quite well – but this time as a tourist.

In the months earlier I put on my designer cap to help create some posters and postcards for David’s performances. Then of course we had to set out and do some poster spotting when we arrived…

Postcards for the band shows at the Spiegeltent (credit: Justin Leegwater's moth illustration and Matt Leasegang's photography)

'Ghostboy with Golden Virtues' posters around the Fringe

Postcards for David's solo show with Richard, at La Boheme (think velvet, cocktails and cheeky bar staff)

Posters spotted 'Live' in North Adelaide

It was an amazing but ridiculously busy week, and my only regret is that amongst my own work and all the fringe happenings I didn’t get to catch up with some of my favorite Adelaide writers. Next time I will have to make it a more social trip. One of the benefits of having an artist’s pass was that I could get into all the shows for free, so I saw a LOT of art while there…

Fringe Highlights:

  • Michael Workman’s one man play Mercy - The tale of a Cuban man set adrift on the high seas with nothing but a pile of cabbages. A funny, moving and at times achingly beautiful love story, full of heart. Great writing too. While watching it, my chest swelled with all the things I want to make as an artist
  • Sam Simmons’ About the Weather - Another one man play, but this time full of Sam’s mad quirk and sideways meanderings. Loved it
  • The Table – Four polish man transform what appears to be an everyday wooden dining table into an incredibly diverse instrument. Their music moves from amazing soundscapes and playful percussion to hard electro-rock. Completely unexpected (I literally had no idea what I was walking into!)
  • Soap – Acrobatics, opera, comedy and modern dance all happening in bath tubs. This was a lot of fun (warning: if you must sit in the front, wear a raincoat)
  • Drinking cider and dancing with the band at the artist’s Fringe Club (and getting home after 5am…)
  • Delicious pizza at a stall in the Garden of Unearthly Delights (best we’ve had since New York)

Other Highlights:

  • Our only day off spent catching the tram out to Glenelg where we flicked through records, drank milkshakes and danced on the beach
  • Visiting my old favourite eateries to find nothing had changed – still awesome food, great atmosphere and delightful staff
  • Walking into the city through the parks and along the river
  • Visiting the lovely people at The Little Big Book Club (more on this later…)

What I could have done without:

  • Late nights and early starts (this wee rabbit is not as spritely as she once was)
  • A prank gone wrong that had David and I believing we had been violently broken into (Richard, I’m looking at you)
  • Cold nights. VERY cold nights. Adelaide weather, you had prepared me for summer heat!
  • Returning home to the worst flu I’ve had in forever

All up though it was an amazing trip. And not only is my creative well full, but my belly is also full of South Australian delights. It seems I have both some writing and exercise ahead of me…

Hopped into Haigh's for some choc-pepermint frogs but bagged myself a bilby instead

Voices on the Coast (Part 1)

Ah the serenity. Sun. Surf. Sand. Seagulls. Palms. Sound luxurious? It was.

What it doesn’t sound like is the venue for a children’s literature festival, but then again – this isn’t just any festival. Voices on the Coast is the award winning super festival held annually on the sunshine coast, which has been providing a gamut of literary talks and workshops for school aged kids since 1996. This year I was lucky enough to be a speaker at the festival, and was incredibly spoilt on 3 accounts: I got to…

  1. spend time with inspiring kids and teens
  2. hang out with a bunch of other author / illustrators
  3. take some much needed time out scudding along the beach

L to R: Michael Bauer, David 'Ghostboy' Stavanger, Kate Forsyth and me

David and I headed for the coast last Sunday afternoon, and were joined at the festival by other creatives Michael BauerTristan BancksDeb AbelaPascalle BurtonKate ForsythSerena Geddes and Oliver Phommavanh (just to name a few). We were put right next door to the party room (Michael – I’m looking your way) where the first night’s festivities were held – a dinner and general get together for all the festival presenters to meet and greet (and drink … sensibly of course).

L to R: John Flanagan, Lili Wilkinson, Serena Geddes, Kelly Dunham (festival organiser), me and Rebecca Belfield Kennedy

The next two days were chock full of workshops, whiteboards, pens, pencils and school uniforms. The first day was for secondary students (where myself and a few other picture book writers were stolen away to a local junior school for some talks) and the second day was for primary students. Other authors were also involved in late night panels, adult writer workshops and a further day of touring around libraries across the hinterlands. Unfortunately I was only just recovering from a cold as I set out for the festival, so by the last 10 minutes of my final workshop I had absolutely no voice left (I believe I was emitting a hight pitched tone heard only by local dogs). The kids were very kind and quiet for me, and as an illustrator I could luckily rely on drawing rather than talking.

On the final afternoon David and I headed to the beach for some super juices to try to recoup

After it was all over we had one day before we had to return to Brisbane, so checked out some local markets (and spent some of our hard earned dollars – I might just be wearing a new dress below).

Eumundi markets: Me arguing with a sign over some name calling ... he started it

Next post I’ll break down the workshops I ran at the festival, including some funny Squishy pictures the kids and I drew and wacky monsters we created…

Visual Diary #6

The best thing about making the visual diary while I was travelling the US was that it re-kickstarted my daily doodling habit. It reminded me how much I enjoy drawing just for fun, rather than only when I have a project to do or a book to finish. So I’ve made sure to keep the ritual going now that I’m back. I’ve started a new part of the diary, where I’ve continued to collect images about life, people and silliness. Below are the first few drawings…

My diary mascot asserting himself:

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Doodling wigs for David after a gig one night:

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After seeing a soldier in the Queen Street Mall handing out red balloons:

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Inspired by the strange road signs along the highways of Broken Hill:


About this Blog…

A blog of ramblings about the world of writing and illustrating for children, by an author / illustrator who might just have a thing for rabbits.

Katherine's picture books, 'Squish Rabbit' and 'Brave Squish Rabbit', are out with Viking (Penguin, US) and UQP (Australia). Please e-mail if you would like her to blog about something in particular.

All text & images  Katherine Battersby

Released Sept 2012:

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