Archive for the 'Me' Category
Tags: Canada, Cuba, Maple syrup, Montreal, Moraine Lake Lodge, Moving overseas, Ottawa, Picture books, Squish Rabbit, Writing picture books
Tags: children's books, Europe, Picture books
It is a well known fact that I have a bit of thing for rabbits. What is lesser known is that I actually love animals of all kinds. All picture books I write feature animals, usually as the main characters. In fact, recently I have begun working on my first picture book featuring kids, but even then they are all dressed as animals.
A few posts back I did a photo diary about all the rabbits I encountered during a recent trip across Europe. As rabbits feature a lot on this blog, I thought I owed it to all the other animals to give them a bit of blog time. So here are some of the non-rabbits that crossed my path in Europe:
These suspicious geese on a Scottish loch:
This dog (dug) at an Edinburgh pub:
This grumpy bird (eyeing all the Geordies in Newcastle):
This graffiti pig in Venice:
This bizarre bronze zoo in the misty hills of Eze (France):
This snarly lion:
This Scottish house for elephants:
This most enchanting stray dog on the drive from Barcelona:
These fish in a Berlin blizzard:
This delightful stray cat in Niguelas, Spain:
These noble once-dogs at Edinburgh Castle:
These hungry goats and sheeps in a Spanish village:
These wild-eyed things:
You can be sure there will be picture books to come inspired by these animals. They were all quite unique characters in their own ways.
Especially the cranky bird. He had spunk.
Tags: Bologna Children's Book Fair, Europe, Home, Overseas, Seven Stories, Squish Rabbit, Travel
Yes, indeedy I am. I arrived home a few weeks ago and after a short detour (hopping off to Alice Springs for their writers festival) I have caught up on sleep, unpacked and am back into the swing of things. After two months away, ‘back into the swing of things’ really means that I have had to remember what it is to be a responsible adult, pay bills and relearn how to operate my vacuum cleaner.
I had such an amazing time overseas and I have a million things to blog about (Bologna! Seven Stories! European rabbits! New projects!) all of which I will do soon.
Oh, and I may have had a change of hair colour…
Someone pointed out that it’s kind of carrot coloured. I think Squish would be proud.
Tags: Brave Squish Rabbit, Giraffe beanie, Inside an illustrator's mind, Picture books, Squish Rabbit, What an idea looks like
So I’ve been working on a new picture book. And for the first time in a while, this one is not about a little rabbit named Squish. The other day my mum asked me what Squish thought about being ejected from my mind for another character. I think he’s coping, but he’s definitely curious about ‘the new guy’ and is reserving judgement.
This is a bit what it all looks like…
It’s a strange thing to have a little blue pig romping around your mind. A strange and wonderful thing. I’m not sure where he will take me just yet, but I’m certainly enjoying getting to know him.
I also thought I’d better put up another photo, in response to this one from my last post:
There’s been a bit of contention as to what’s real. I labelled it as Squish Rabbit reading his own book while wearing a giraffe beanie. After all, it was a cold weekend in Brisbane. Some questioned whether I was being ridiculous (and to be honest, this does happen sometimes) and felt that this was actually just a giraffe toy pretending to be Squish. But here is photo evidence that the giraffe beanie does indeed exist:
I wore it at the Ekka yesterday. In public. And took a photo. I suppose this also serves as evidence that I am sometimes ridiculous.
Tags: About the Weather, Adelaide, Adelaide Fringe, Garden of Unearthly Delights, Gelnelg, Ghostboy, Ghostboy with Golden Virtues, Haigh's Chocolate, Mercy, Michael Workman, Sam Simmons, Soap - the show, Spiegeltent, The Little Big Book Club, The Table
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…
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…
- 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)
- 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…
Tags: Bunnies, Chinese New Year, graffiti art, Rabbits, Street art, Winnie the Pooh, Year of the Dragon, year of the rabbit
Last week heralded in the Chinese New Year and with it came the end of a year I’d come to think of as my own: the Year of the Rabbit.
All good things must come to an end.
But let’s not be sad. The rabbits will live on in my mind, as well as between the covers of one small squishy book off hopping about the place. And what better way to mark the passing of such a special year than with a celebration of all things rabbit? Here’s a photo diary of all the wee bunnies I spied in the many places I travelled to over one very busy year…
Demon bunny! An amazing street art installation on the streets of New York:
A literary bunny very close to my heart. I adored Winnie the Pooh growing up, with the stern fatherly rabbit. This is a display of the original toys owned by A.A.Milne’s son, held in the New York Public Library:
New York pub bunny (not for the kiddies):
An awesome graffiti mural in San Fran:
I LOVE carousels. Don’t they make you feel ever young? This beachside San Fran one was clearly made for me:
Let’s play spot the bunny (in the sugar made wonderland at Brisbane’s MoMA):
Totoro! Ok, so technically he’s a Japanese forrest spirit, but he certainly looks rabbit-like. I found him in a funky bookstore in DUMBO, New York:
A whole ocean of bunnies. A gorgeous print I discovered in a Sydney shop front by Kozyndan:
Walking Hollywood Boulevard with the stars:
A bunny with a bright idea (in Melbourne):
A rabbit-like stone amongst the Living Desert Sculptures. Take a look at the fashion statement on the rabbit in front (it was cold up there and a passing poet gave me his coat):
A Broken Hill bunny?
Finally, the rarest of them all … bunny-caninus, so fast and dastardly I hardly caught him on film:
I hope you all have a luck-filled and prosperous Year of the Dragon.