Welcome to my new blog; where you'll be able to follow my journey being part of The Lightbox Gallery's, new children's book retrospective, Escape To Wonderland. 7 Aug-2 Jan '11. Please feel free to leave comments and ask questions. Prints of my work will be made available. And you can also book me for workshops and talks.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Private View

It's 5.33 in the morning. And no, I have not 'just got in!' I'm a very good girl and was back at a decent hour, but I just can't sleep. I find there's quite a lot of adrenaline involved in book events, strange as it may seem. I was so wired last night even an hour spent watching the hugely scintillating Mr Katie Price on telly (not quite sure what had done to inflict that awfulness upon myself) could see me through a good night's sleep.

The evening started off early and yet slightly awry. I had done that marvellous thing where you realise there's a possibility that despite all your careful planning you're actually going to be late... so you panic and run in circles, Benny Hill stylee... which in turn ENSURES you're late. I located my keys, found my boots, forgot I'd found my keys and spent a pleasant 15 mins hunting for any sign of them in the laundry basket. I hope the acrid whiff of socks did not cling to all my conversations all night. I shall never know for sure.

Whilst in the murky depths of the basket, I frantically picked past the mahussive spider that's taken up residence in there. I am slightly unclear as to why my boyfriend and I go through this merry dance each time we do the washing. We both know the spider's in there, and yet neither of us can quite see fit to give him his marching orders. He's getting so huge I sort of feel I could send him out to get a job soon. Perhaps we'll keep him until his first paycheck comes in.

Anyway, I eventually I made it out the door to meet my little miracle-worker; Hachette's, Emma Swabey. Weirdly, Emma and I were sporting matching cricks in our necks. Conversation was conducted at strange angles all evening, heads-cocked like Jurassic Park raptors. I'm sure it made for an odd photo to say the least. We staggered to the nearest pub for a quick drink before the event.... for medicinal purposes only, mind.

It was lovely to catch up and hear a little of what's been going on at Hodder HQ of late. We planned the bookshop we've decided to start up. Our business plan so far consists of a Fisher Price cash register and getting a shop cat and dog to man the store on weekends. I'm thinking our idea might be just slightly on the fictional side... and I don't mean book-wise.

Finally we headed over to The Lightbox (late for that as well, having gotten gassing and lost track of time- idiots that we are). It was great to be back there but poor Emma had spent a few hours the previous day there too so I think she was a little weary.

We introduced ourselves to Alexis Deacon, author/illustrator of Beegu amongst other books, and that was exciting enough to perk both of us up. He seems very much like his work; quiet, witty, and strong-minded. And we also chatted to the marvellous John Huddy, of The Illustration Cupboard; responsible for providing much of the artwork on display. I'm full of respect for what they both do for the industry. Both darned fine chaps too, to be sure. Alexis got a little silly with some of the book props (well you would, wouldn't you?), so John and I read him a bedtime story to calm him down. (pics to follow!) It was, by this time, getting on.

We didn't have much chance to catch up with The Lightbox folk as time seemed to shrink away but it was good to see them all the same. Apparently the exhibition's been doing really well and attracting lots of visitors. Hooray!

In November the exhibition will be getting a festive face-lift too for Christmas. Special Yuletide illustrations will be added into the mix and there'll be a feast of events to match- keep an eye on the website, as some of the newly arranged events won't be in the programme. And in December they'll be running a Heath Robinson exhibition alongside it too. Even more reason for you to to visit and even re-visit, Boys and Girls.

And guess what? There were so many people about that I STILL haven't seen the whole show!!!

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