This year has been a busy year for me with the release of three new books. Covid held up a lot of things in the publishing industry and some books and contracts even got cancelled because of it. Thankfully none of mine did, it simply caused delays. With each book I create I try to make it better than the last. I look for new challenges (heaven knows why!) but I like to be able to explore techniques to improve my drawing skills and artwork. I'm really proud of this recent collaboration with Susie Betts, thanks to Raising Literacy Australia and Little Book Press, for Warna Manda Baby Earth Walk. In the beginning I was simply meant to mentor Susie on the process of creating a picture book but she made it very clear, very early on that she wanted me equally involved in the creation of the artwork. What an amazing opportunity to learn from such a talented artist! The challenge with this book was that Susie's style was set. So I had to create artwork that was going to work with whatever she came up with. Watercolour was not on the cards for Susie, it was always going to be acrylic. This meant digging out the paints I hadn't used in years and reversing the brain - painting light on top of dark; watercolour layering is the other way round. I let Susie choose the colours in which she wanted to work and this determined the feel for the whole book and the course of which my artwork needed to follow. When I saw the result of all the beautiful jades and turquoises, I thought this truly is going to be something special.
You're probably wondering why I haven't done much promotion for this book yet?
To be honest, I've been itching to but there is something in the pipeline for it's official release so I'm not able to yet, but I will be sure to shout that from the rooftops as soon as I know (honestly, that's all I know at this stage).
With next year's Book Week theme recently announced, Dreaming With Eyes Open, I can't wait to share this in schools next year. It's a perfect fit! If you are a teacher or librarian reading this and you would like me to visit your school, simply get in touch with Becky Lucas, my Booking Agent to secure a date. My Book Week dates book up very fast. Something extra special - Susie has entrusted me with all her original artwork she created for this book so I'll be bringing these to schools with me to share with students :)