August so far has been a fairly relentless day-in-day-out grind of work. I’d like to say that being a writer is an exciting round of drinks parties and hanging out in coffee shops. Alas, the last few weeks are the reality – getting up at 6.00am, working all day, then stopping at about 6pm often without leaving the house, BECAUSE THERE’s SOOOOOO MUCH TO DOOOOOOOO (and nobody else it going to DOOOOO IT!) The British summer has been particularly rubbish this year, so not leaving the house has had some advantages – like not being rained on.
Most of the time I have been illustrating ahead of the the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. There is to be a ‘blad’ for Space Race. This is a printed promotional 16-page facsimile produced by my pubishers to demonstrate what the final book will look like. This is to help sell it to foreign publishers. I think it’ll probably have a couple of chapters in it, as well as quite a bit of finished artwork. It is the second half of the last sentence which has been the focus of the last few weeks. Artwork. Utterly enjoyable but utterly time consuming. Days of scribbling go by… and then more days… and then more… These are not blog-worthy days, to my mind, hence recent radio silence.
I have to admit it is a long time since I picked up paper, pencil and pen and just drew. Art school seems a long way off (20 years off, in fact!) and I have a strong my memory of a tutor telling me she didn’t really think illustration was for me. Mind you, a friend of mine was told by another member of the teaching staff that graphic design probably wasn’t for him either, with the soul destroying line: ‘Do you think you are on the right course, Richie?’ Luckily he took absolutely no notice, and went on to win several international prizes for his fabulous packaging work and is now a wild success in America.
Once the blad is complete, I hope to scan it in and post it here so you can see what the heck I’ve been doing for the last few weeks. I’ve included a tiny piece here, just to give you a taste. It’s a Land Rover with eight high-powered water cannon welded to it.