Wednesday, August 26, 2015

This is why I became an illustrator

 Finalising the endpaper for our book

Revisiting favourite children's books - this is one of Ilon Wikland's illustrations for Astrid Lindgren

Staying at my mom's is always a journey back to my childhood. Yesterday I revisited some of my favourite children's books, and I am sure that the wonderful world of children's literature I had access to when I was a child is part of the reason I became an artist and illustrator.

I cannot imagine a childhood without Astrid Lindgren's books, and yet in Ireland many people have never heard of her or only know Pippi Longstocking. All the editions of English translations I have seen have different illustrations, but for me Lindgren's work is inextricably linked with Ilon Wikland's pictures. It was one of those magical collaborations.

While I am here I am also finalising the layout (including the endpaper!) for the book I have been working on with writer Amie Ní Nuallaín. I know I said I'd post more varied content here again (and more frequently, too), and I will, but illustration is what I have been absorbed in lately.

In other news, though also illustration-related to some extent, I have finally joined Instagram; you can find me here. My username might still change. It took my sister and me a ridiculous amount of time to settle on a name for our Etsy shop (and now it is taking us forever to launch it, though it has been active for almost a year), and I have decided to be more spontaneous and get started with things and then worry about the details.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Whirlwind week


 Bed set up in the middle of the sitting room, where we will live while doing up the house

Last week was a week of excitement and high emotions and big changes, and on a practical level of learning to "get my stuff done", to not dither, to make decisions quickly, to not question myself at every step. I moved out of the chalet (saying goodbye after almost seven years of living there on my own) and into our new house, all within two days and several car loads. We assembled our bed at midnight while drinking champagne, after I hadn't eaten all day (so maybe I didn't learn that much), and spent our first night in our new home, where I slept like a baby.

Meanwhile I was preparing for our exhibition opening, which was on Friday, and then I caught a plane to Germany at 7am the following morning. Somewhere in between we had house-related meetings (with no chairs to sit on) and had the phone line connected. We were catsitting and living between three houses for a few days, and staying with Branwell was a godsend amid the chaos of moving.

I borrowed a good camera and waited for the right natural light to take photos of the illustrations I finished recently, and Dagmar and I got news that our proposal for an exhibition in a festival in September had been accepted. I didn't have a second to pause and take it all in. We were overwhelmed by how many people turned up for our opening and supported us. And in my head I still live in the chalet; it hasn't sunk in that we have our own house.

Now there are more big changes happening, with a new addition to the family coming soon (my second nephew), and my heart is full.