And the book is finished, well, until I get given amendments if a publisher becomes interested…
My friend has been in touch to tell me he has a meeting with a charity for Children with disabilities based in Angel, London. I am going to do some research for similar charities in Wales. I’ve also attended entrepreneurship workshops through the University, last night being about access to funding and there seems to be more of a chance of receiving funding in Wales, this might be worth thinking about when trying to get the book published. My friend has plans for more follow up books too for us to work on tackling other aspects discrimination and acceptance.
I think I have been a bit unrealistic with the targets I have allowed to be set. I am becoming frustrated when an image doesn’t work first time or if I feel I have taken too long on something. I might have to bump my deadline up by a few days as I also have a deadline for my dissertation introduction and chapter plans. Overall, I am happy with how the book is looking, I just would of liked to of experimented with some of the images a little more.
I also feel that I need some professional practice advice, how long is a realistic deadline on a children’s book brief, how to draw up a contract, how budgets are split between the author, illustrator and publisher, etc. I feel like I am going in to this a bit too naive.
I have a couple more spreads to finish but then I really need to focus on the books cover and bookends. I’m worrying about the title and font.
On an exciting note; I have been given a voluntary place at the House of Illustration once a week at least! So I will be involved in the other side of illustration, invigorating exhibitions, helping with events, organising fairs. Very exciting times!
So I went back to the drawing board. Well, more like back to Waterstones where I sat on the floor in the kids section and looked at some books and noted down why I thought they worked, about compositions, colour, negative space and got back to storyboarding my book properly with this in mind. If I am including a lot of texture, I needed to balance that with space.
I feel more content with the images now. I am still a little concerned with the type and trying to find a font that compliments the images. I have met with the author and he is happy with the feel of the book and wants me to send over what I have done to the publishers and see if they are interested.
On Sunday 7th October I visited The Brewery Theatre in Bristol to see the play Souvenirs. It is by a London based group called Write To Life who formed together to use writing as a form of recovery working with the Freedom From Torture charity group. They each tell their story of how they ended up here in the UK. I say ended up here in the UK as it was not their intention to come, it was to seek refuge. The play started with an old Senegalese man playing his Kora. It was beautiful, the music and how he completely connected with the instrument. He had everyones complete attention. He received an ongoing applause which made him emotional. That was the hint of how high the emotions were in the room.
I feel a bit uncomfortable addressing Souvenirs as a play, but that is how it is described. And although it is written and staged, it is 5 people’s life stories. Humour is added tactfully, and the horror is laid out in such a way that the group are not asking for your sympathy by giving you every detail, but they are just telling it like it is.
It’s ongoing. These people’s stories are not over. They speak of their application process and how their adjustments were made and the culture shock on arriving. Also how they look for their children every day on the bus.
I wish everyone got the chance to listen. I think people can be pretty naive (putting this a nice way…) in thinking people come to the UK seeking asylum on a hope and a whim. Wanting a better life as in regards to money. I think these people would give anything to just live in peace with their families. Everyone has a right to happiness.
I spoke to a couple of people afterwards from the Freedom From Torture group and gave my contact details offering to help with illustrations as they sell collections of poems written by the group. I hope I could offer something.
I met with Ashley and told her my concerns about my dissertation proposal. It was originally to be questioning whether it is easier to offend people using collage and investigating controversy within collage. I was looking at the artists Hannah Hoch, Joe Orton and Ceal Warnants. It was to be the 10,000 word option. I felt even when writing up the proposal that this could be too messy, too many artists, too broad. I also think I need to write about and investigate something that will help me find my visual language.
Ashley sat with me and I talked about Hannah Hoch and how I am drawn to her work, she threw questions at me which prompted answers which were then reiterated and formed into ideas and avenues for investigation and we agreed to take the 6000 word and a final piece of work option. I mentioned how her work is timeless even though it was produced using photomontage which belongs to a certain time. I need to unravel what makes her timeless, her subjects, her compositions, he selected use of materials and colours, her issues with society?
I’m feeling a lot more focused now and enthusiastic to research. I need to have my introduction and the most I can possibly get done on chapter planning/writing and visual examples for the end of October.