Finally finishing up my other book work, namely Michael Wagner's 'The Undys - One Wacky Week'. There are a lot of illustrations in Michael's books. He likes to keep me busy! I think there was around 140 - 150 in the latest. Luckily they are all in black and white pen otherwise I'd still be going.

I have now started on the finals of my picture book. This little spot illo is a rough from the book where Wendy spends some time in hospital. I like this illo of Wendy. It sort of sums up her whole personality. I need to get everything to Penguin by the end of January which sounds like a long way away but is not when you factor in the xmas period and because I'm doing a mixed media thing I'm sending all my illos down to the printers in Melbourne to be scanned then get them back again to work on the computer so it's all a bit of a drawn out process. Just knocked back a bunch of School Magazine work too so I now have a free run ahead which is highly unusual.

Will keep you posted...


Jan Svankmajer

Came across this brilliant bit of stop animation recently. Jan Svankmajer has a fantastic imagination. It's a little creepy in some ways but the overall idea is inspirational. He has this ability to engage the viewer in such a way that you almost end up watching out of the corner of your eye not really knowing whether you want to watch the whole thing. Talk about a good story arc.



This is a cover I illustrated for School Magazine recently. It was for a story on static electricity. That is all.


Summer in Spring

Boy, it's hot today - 36 degrees Celsius! It's supposed to be Spring here! My pens are being all weird and fuzzy. Same as my head...


Book festivals, School Magazine and other things...

Gee, it's been awhile. Somehow, somewhere, there has been a major stuff up. The organisers have accidently compressed the last 6 months into a standard week - you heard it here first. It explains everything right? That's my excuse anyway. That, and something to do with being incredibly busy and incredibly lazy at the same time.

Just back from the Sunshine Coast (which was anything but - the word 'monsoon' springs to mind) where I was speaking, along with many other authors and illustrators, at the Voices on the Coast youth literature festival. I had a fantastic time. These kind of festivals are so valuable in terms of getting kids interested in books and for those who already are and want to learn more about writing, illustrating and the industry. There were about 25 speakers (Wendy Orr, James Roy, Craig Smith, Roland Harvey, Michael Wagner, Jeni Mawter and Suzanne Gervay to name a few) from all over Australia and apparently about 10,000 kids attending all the various talks and events. 10 friggin' thousand!! I can't tell you how impressed I was with how well it was organised - amazing. Military style precision all round. Kelly Dunham did an unbelievable job and somehow always had a big smile on her face even when the rain was coming in sideways and fire alarms were going off! Apart from speaking and holding workshops I had the honour of launching James Roy's latest book 'Queasy Rider'. Slightly nerve racking I must say after Simon Higgins' Japanese sword routine! The whole festival was thoroughly enjoyable. Half the fun was just hanging out with industry folk and talking shop over pizza and a few beers. It can be a lonely occupation sometimes so it's always good to get together and compare notes, bitch and moan etc.

In not so recent news, I have started contributing illustrations to The School Magazine, a literary magazine for students that is distributed around the country to a significant number of schools. It has been around for nearly 100 years (seriously!) and employs a pretty decent bunch of authors and illustrators. So far I've done 3 jobs for them, illustrating humorous poems mostly, but yesterday I was asked to illustrate a cover which is very cool. Above are some of the illos that I have done for them. I'm having some fun with a black pencil - great for loosening up your linework. The top illustrations were done for a poem called 'The Bully'. You can guess the outcome of the story. The pig illo was for a poem called 'Animal Dreams'. Both were very funny. I like funny.

Soon to start work on Wendy. Yay!

See you in a week or two....depending on what the organisers are planning.