As the nights draw in, the socks come out and well, summer's pretty much over. September shows up with all its hectic-ness. Aside from getting the bus the wrong way on my first day to college, I have had a fair share of other things to take care of: getting the right ratio of desktop/working space on my desk, running away from the spiders that seem to love being in here but anywhere else and trying to shift my old desk. <--Sneaky, right?Now click it, go on!
I went out sketching with Urban Sketchers Manchester 2 weeks ago but only managed to do one sketch and the afternoon felt so swift that I decided I'd rather not bore anyone's glass eye with the nitty gritty details. Next time I go out, a new post will come up. Of course, the sketch is up on my facebook page if you want to check it out, right here.
As said before, with work and studying dancing on a knife edge at the minute, trying to gain equilibrium is like having a pack of Ritter Sport in the cupboard whilst being on a diet. Yeah. To nip the faffing in the bud, I thought I'd post about a nice project I had the chance to work on last November. I know, it seems like a long time ago and a bit late to write about, but the project involved co-illustrating a book published by the History Press in June this year, Lancashire Folk Tales by Jennie Bailey and David England. Technically, the book has only been out for few months and during this time I lent the book for a bit, had it sitting around waiting to be devoured and so, the time just never came of course until now. I have finally conquered the procrastibeast and read it on a couple of us and train journeys to and from work.
Apart from writing - the authors will approve - there is little as fascinating as drawing pictures for a book. Looking back at this job, I had 12 stories to dig my pens into. I had about 2 weeks to wrap it up. With work and having to do laundry and water the plants...my life is so complicated! It genuinely was about going with the flow and 'attacking' the task based on the exerpts I was provided with. I think everybody in book illustration will agree that an illustrator's initial response tends to haunt the mind for the longest time and it tends to be the most truthful pang - that was the instinct dropping in the stomach. That first image that pops into your mind perhaps should be given more attention than the ultimate over-engineered pictures you replace the initial one with, thinking the first one 'just isn't right'. I am glad, therefore that I had little time and didn't ask too many questions or fretted too much. Obviously, not every books speaks to me in the same way and it takes a good story to invoke a good visual. I'm not too sure if I did it justice in the end but I had a great time.
Lancashire Folk Tales by Jannie Bailey and David England is available from the History Press here.
Front cover design: © Katherine Soutar.
The book is essentially a collection of tales and legends stemming from the North West of England...
...did you know that Lancashire comes from the words 'lanc' - a Celtic term for a spear and 'lot', meaning 'people of the land? Did you know that if the Liver birds flew off the Liver Building, that would be the end of Liverpool? There is a mysterious hole in the wall of the castle in Clitheroe and Rochdale's people were once protected by a ghostly bunny.
Here are a few illustrations I did, picked at random...
For anybody who fancies some goose bumps and would like to be fascinated by these folk tales, I wholeheartedly recommend this read, you will love it. Illustrating some of these stories was definitely a great gig.
© Jennie Bailey & David England 2014