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Personalising your story by J.R.Poulter
Are you seeking an additional paying outlet for you work?
A personalized version might be the answer!
Various companies take the illustrated text for children’ stories and modify them to create a ‘personalised’ version. The company will do the personalizing for you but, in my case, I chose to submit my own ‘personalised’ version’. Some of my ‘personalised’ books are coming out with Frecklebox, who have also published personalised versions of books by friends.
Having a ‘personalized’ edition does not prevent you from still seeking out publication of your original text. Contracts are non-exclusive.
If you are publishing with a small company, they might be interested in adding the option of a personalized version of your story for sale digitally.
How do you do it?
“The little boy clapped his hands gleefully! The thing in the grass glittered up at him in rainbow colours. He tried to grab it! “Oh!” he exclaimed, the beautiful thing had moved, just out of reach…” [JRP]
Becomes: “Edward clapped his hands gleefully! The thing in the grass glittered up at him in rainbow colours. He tried to grab it! “Oh!” Edward exclaimed, the beautiful thing had moved, just out of reach…” [JRP]
For rhyming stories, a refrain can be added in to provide the ‘personalised’ element. An example from an upcoming ‘personalised’ version “Ten Little Heroes”, a picture book with a counting element, illustrated by UK illustrator/animator, Alex Slack:
FOUR Little Heroes flying to the moon,
One said, “I’m Space-man!
See you SOOOooon! ”
Oops a doops, a whoopsie there!
Mike to the rescue! Mike is here!
Once you have the hang of the text conversion process, you might choose to offer personalized versions of your digital books [e.g. on the App Store, Utales.com, Kindle, Nook, Adobe Digital editions, etc], or self-published children’s books from your own website/store.
The wonderful people of Nami Island Concours have created another outstanding opportunity for illustrators all over the world! The dream of these folk, who are so passionately devoted to children’s literature, is to turn Nami Island into a library! 🙂 Angela Kim is the Assistant Manager and the person to contact if you wish to know more – her contact details are on the website.
These are the links – Nami Island Concours, Guidelines and information
Books are created from the imagination and inspiration of authors and the insightful vision of illustrators. They are then crafted. The authorial crafting may be right brain with a touch of editing or slow and laborious left brain plotting. For an illustrator, it may be inspiration flowing like rivers from brush or stylus or it may be storybook or dummy creation then rethinks, scrap some ideas, adapt others. Eventually, a book emerges that is then ‘ready for submission’. These days, that may mean adding animation and audio to make the book a digital production for app developers like Utales or Flying Books, or for YA, formatting it for Kindle or Nook e-publishers. It may mean self publishing on Createspace or Lightningsource, Smashwords or Lulu. Or it will mean the long road via submission to traditional publishers.
If the latter is chosen, the publisher will often require more editing, changes and perhaps more changes. My own book, started under contract to one publisher, was already well underway with the inimitable Sarah Davis as illustrator. We were having a ball creating our book. Then our publisher was taken over and the new publisher wanted to institute changes. At first, the major change – ‘get rid of the dead bird’ – seemed straight forward. Then we realised the book needed the bird but, to keep it, we had to make some big adjustments. An injured bird can’t just disappear in a children’s book, it has to get better and be released, which, in our picture book, meant its story had to be woven into the fabric of the main story seamlessly. No problem, a few days and Sarah and I had nailed it! As book creators, you have to be flexible and, especially if going the traditional publisher route, you can’t be too precious about your creation.
SO! This exhibition is about the journey numbers of wonderful children’s and YA books took from creation to bookshelf! Each book has a different creation story to reveal – something the public doesn’t see, it’s behind the scenes. Now the reader can take a peek backstage, behind the scenes to how it all came together!
THE SET UP
Setting up was not straight forward. The spaces has to be utilised to best advantage and the items displayed needed to be seen from as many angles as possible given I had a two shelf rectangular glass case. I didn’t end up using everything I brought with me. It would have been too cluttered. Last minute inclusion, bulldog clips, proved life-savers! They held the photographic prints in place.
I had never ‘hung’ a painting before at an exhibition and that proved ‘interesting. Sarah Davis sent up her wonderful original painting via kindly courier, Peter Taylor, but it was unframed. I had no time to find a frame. Fortunately, I had one around the house that was a good match colour-wise though not quite the perfect size.
Given my exhibit was about my close collaboration with Sarah, the items displayed needed to reflect the two minds working together to make a new creative whole – our book! Sources of inspiration, stages in text change, changes in images, cover and trivia relating to the characters, objects and places in the book, all combined to make a successful ( I hope you agree) exhibit!
The Exhibition, Journey of a Book, has a wide range of book journeys exhibited, from YA novel, like David McRobbie’s, to real life adventure by Prue Mason, picture books like those by Kathrine Battersby and chapter books like the one by Angela Sunde, to non fiction works on calligraphy as an illustrative art form by Peter Taylor.
1. CHILDREN’S ANTHOLOGY – Collaboration opportunity for writers and illustrators
An opportunity for children’s writers and illustrators to collaborate in an anthology of humorous stories has been created by bloggist Lyn Midnight [Violeta Nedkova]
2. POETRY ANTHOLOGY, Illustrated
Poets Corner is calling for submissions from poets and interest from artists for an anthology of illustrated verse to be called “Musings; A Mosaic”.
===CALL FOR SUBMISSION===
from poets around the world !
“Poets Corner” is coming up with an anthology of English original poems complemented with illustrative sketches, real soon.
Title of the Book:
Musings : A Mosaic
About the Book:
Out of the entire submission best 45-50 poem will be selected and each one of them will be illustrated with a sketch by an artist .
Submission Date :
April-13-2012 – April-20-2012
Send to :
firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject of the mail should be MUSINGS-YOUR NAME, Poems should be in the body of email as no attachment will be entertained)
Editor (Poetry) :
Editor (Art) :
Please send ONE poem, of not more than 25 lines, and a brief note on the theme of the poem for the benefit of the artist. Please note that submission does not guarantee publication as the best 45-50 will be selected.
The Addictive Wackiness of Mattias Adolfsson – Sweden’s leading innovator in the illustrative arts
Jennifer: I hesitate to ask, your right brain is so hyperactively active who knows what it will let loose, but from where does all this creativity come! Inherited, evolved or from somewhere, dare I ask where, else?
Mattias: Evolved perhaps, but It might have been inherited from my father. My Father was a very funny man, he never got to get an education but I think he had great potential as a Illustrator as well. He came from poor conditions though and had to leave school early.
Jennifer: As a kid, did you get the bedtime story treatment? What were you favourite stories? What were the illustrations/illustrators you remember most vividly?
Mattias: I really can’t remember getting the bedtime story treatment, but my mother started sticking books in my hands at an early stage (she continued until late in my teens suggesting books, she still does it). I’m rather Euroscentric in my upbringing, my favourite Illustrators as a child where: Oscar Andersson, Tove Janson , Kjell Aukrust , and with Richard Scarry as an exception to the rule.As for stories, I early got hooked on European (gallic) comics, Tintin and Asterix, I used to read them and still do.
Jennifer’s Comment: I think readers will agree there are some curious elements of these influences seeping through.
[Mad’s master of detailed mayhem can’t help himself, even his website in seminal form features, Groo, an example of his madcap characterisations.]
All three artists have an anarchic humour both lauding and subverting utopian ideals and just about everything else in between, Herge, of course, being the subtle one of the three. Where do readers see Mattias flitting in and out of here?
Jennifer: You refer to your love of Mad Magazine’s Sergio Aragones what drives you to detail so transfixing, so almost maddeningly effusive? It is an art in itself to take in all of some of your creations at once! [Can we accuse you of having anything to do with behind the scenes of Where’s Wally?]!
I think the main influence in this is the books of Richard Scary, (where’s Wally is not something I have seen, but I’ve heard it mentioned often). Sometimes I get a craving for leaving the very detailed work as it is hard to take it in, it is lousy as traditional art.
[Note from Jennifer: No, Mattias please don’t. We LOVE the detail!]
The detail is mindblowing and maniacal and insidiously addictive. You could study it for hours and still pick out new facets.
Jennifer: I think I mentioned to you once how your incredible machines reminded me of the crazy inventions depicted by Heath Robinson last century. You feature many maniacal machines in your work, what is the fascination?
Mattias: I’m not sure, to be frank I’m not that into machines, sometimes I use the drawing as some kind of meditation, they start to live by themselves.
[Jennifer: The Machine has a life. Mattias’ machines have a humour and character like no other I have seen comparable.]
Jenny Wagner once said that no children’s book should have a mchine at its heart. In the case of Mattias’ robottic house machines, I would have to disagree. They verge into the realm of the Iron Man, I Robot and even Bicentennial Man. There is a drama and pathos about them that mitigates against the sometimes bleak black humour of civilisation gone in search of itself.
Jennifer: The architectural elements of your work have also been compared to Hayao Miyazaki. What inspires you particularly about brick, stone and wood construction? You tell how you started out to be an architect but diverged. How did that come about?
I love buildings and especially of the older kind. Though, when I started studying Architecture, I soon found out that I wasn’t too good designing modern houses. So now I can design what building I want, not having to think about the dwellers.
Jennifer: Your recent scholarship sojourn in Greece produced a wealth of work which we all saw evolve over the months on your blog site. Tell us about winning the scholarship and where you see the outworkings of that experience taking you?
Mattias: Well winning was not that hard, it goes to professional Swedish Illustrators ( and I guess not too many can leave home for one month). I’d love to do more traveling and drawing but, in order to do that, I’d have to finance it in some way, maybe via some magazine.
Jennifer’s note: Mattias sketched the most ordinary and extraordinary and made them all ‘art’. He interspersed his online blog diary with the mind expanding mischief his followers have come to love. These, not necessarily from that period, exemplify. [For more still, go to http://www.mattiasadolfsson.se/ http://mattiasa.blogspot.com/ ]
NEWS ALERT _ This last week Angel was announced the winner of an award for THE JUNGLE BOOK as the best illustrated book in Spain for 2010!
Interview with Spain’s leading illustrator, The Golden Age continues!
Jennifer: Fans of Dulac and Rackham do not despair, they have a worthy successor. The art of Angel Dominguez has already been compared to the master illustrators of the Golden Age of book illustration. He has the vibrant colour and pattern of Dulac and both the delicate and the quirkily grotesque approach to fantasy characterisation for which Rackham was famous. Angel, I believe you formally started your career in illustration in 1971? What influenced you to choose such a career? Are there other artists in your family background?
Angel: “Curiously and curiously” as Alice says… because my master is Arthur Rackham, but you´re right, I also love Edmund Dulac. Many people say I´m more like Dulac. In writing on the topic,“The Master illustrator of the Golden Age of book illustration”, you must write about Rackham and Dulac, both have the same quality and charm.
I had an uncle, who was a very good painter in oils. So if you ask about genetics, I think that maybe there is a link, but to be an artist it is really only necessary to love art and all that’s around us.
My strongest influence in choosing to illustrate children’s books was Arthur Rackham without a doubt. I remember, as a child, having a book in my hands with a little and awful reproduction of “The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party” from Alice in Wonderland. It was so bad, I was even unable to read the signature of the artist…but, in that moment, I knew I wanted to do that wonderful kind of art. I fell in love with that imaginative place too, the Mad Hatter and the other characters, with that cottage and background… I felt a lot of sensations, good inner reactions to that technique of painting. I WANTED to do the same! And further, visiting London, I saw a lot of books by that artist… and now I have nearly all his books on my shelves. I did Alice´s Adventures in Wonderland with Artisan of New York and I was the happiest man on Earth. I did The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party with special affection, and the original was sold quickly. People even asked me to paint other ‘originals’ of that same scene.
Jennifer: Who were the artists, you feel, had the most influence on your style as a young illustrator and why?
Angel: If we talk about fantasy (also I´m wildlife artist) my strongest influential artists were:
1st CAVE ART:
All the amazing paintings on the walls of the caves, from Altamira, the best, I think, to all others around the world, in the deserts of Africa, America…
I love each nationality of artists in the wild, for all of the continents, but specially the Australian Aborigines, they painted wonderful art on rocks and on bark… I was so inspired, I also did some paintings in this medium.
Alex Niño, Moebius, Bernie Wrightson, Sergio Toppi, Josep Mª Beá, Carlos Giménez… a lot of the world of comic.
4th BOOK S ILLUSTRATORS:
Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac, John Bauer, Beatrix Potter, Kay Nielsen… a lot too.
Speaking of ART… I must mention too Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele… and the masters of China and Japan, specially Hokusai, whose books on Manga were one of the most wonderful pieces of art that I ever saw.
Jennifer: What inspires you most in the creation of your art?
Angel: Animals and plants… Nature, Beauty and Love.
A beautiful lady, a nice orchid, a wonderful gorilla, an elephant… the amazing giraffe, that incredible animal which still is with us on this planet. The blue whale… the little mice, the birds… with colors and forms without end.
To save the wonderful creatures in this amazing world is in the forefront of my interest, so, painting them to show all their beauty and their interaction with their interesting human companions as they appear together in the wild, this is my goal. As Sir David Attenborough said, he likes to show nature’s wonders in order to preserve them; he never liked to do movies with “distressing messages to the innocent bystander who was at home sitting in their chair.” But it´s difficult, you cannot forget, for example, the bushmen of the Kalahari desert, who are disappearing so fast, already it is a challenge to find a family complete – and all due to the diamonds under their feet… and the powerful people don´t know that the true diamonds are these very same tribes folk?
The variation in art inspires me… I see a wonderful book on Celtic art and I WANT to do Celtic art… I see an interesting carved wood or stone… and I would like to do the same. In fact, I saw a picture by Arthur Rackham and that was the start in my career as illustrator, I wanted to do images like that.
Jennifer: Every body is different some can only paint when inspired, some have a daily routine. How do you approach your work?
Angel: Setting down to work is a daily ‘routine’, constantly having in mind the sketch book for each work in which roughs are done when I´m inspired, so, the results come together in the right way. Routine is a word that artists must categorise as ‘forbidden’. In fact, I hate schedules, or… I´m unable to use them, so, let me see… I think that I don´t use schedules nor “daily routine” per se! This, speaking of my work in the fantasy genre only, because I also work on wildlife art, which is the easiest for me, and in this case, routine isn’t a trouble to me. The truly ‘work’ of art is the fantasy world. The inevitable is to work hard.
Jennifer: Does your native region of Basque Country, its geography, history and legends play a part in who you are as an artist and has it influenced your style? I know you travel in Europe and the United Kingdom and Celtic influences are obvious in your love of delicate, interwoven patterns and symbols. How have they come to be part of what is your signature style?
Angel: As a Basque, I think that the woods of this country inspired me as much as the wild life of England near where Rackham lived at Arundel, inspired him; he loved trees, me too. The mountains and nature of Basque Country are a magnificent source of inspiration to me, and have been from my childhood. Also the Basque Myths are interesting to me, and our books are feature plenty of faery characters of all kinds, … perfect for my fantasy.
Of course, every time I do a trip, I take a lot of sketches and photographs, I want to carry with me every wonder that I find. I like the Pubs of London a lot, I have photographs of almost every one of them, and I wanted to do a book only on pubs… well, I did some pictures and two of them were printed in my book Diary of a Victorian Mouse. One of these Pubs, The Porcupine, did a set of postcards of my drawing in this book, and they were sold in that Pub. To drink a pint of good beer looking at these postcards was a nice moment.
Also, I knew in England the wonderful Celtic art in the Book of Kells and Lindisfarne Gospels, what a collection of striking calligraphy and patterns and borders… I love all of these wonderful books.
Jennifer: You have an obvious love for storytelling, your pictures talk to the viewer, do you deliberately put layers of story into your works or is this a right brain thing that happens as part of the creative process?
Angel: Both, I think. We the illustrators, well, the artists in general, we put in our creations our acquired culture throughout our lives, spontaneously, and those details which aren´t spontaneous, with hard work. So, the viewer can admire our culture and enjoy our hard work.
Jennifer: You have a very keen eye for detail, especially in your drawings of wildlife. But your animals are more than just good anatomical representations, they leap from the page! Do you carry a sketchbook with you, a camera or do you rely on memory or zoological sources?
Angel: Again, both, every tool helps me. My sketchbook, my camera, my memory… AND… my loved books, movies, stamps and cards. Memory is the less important. Having talked about memory’s role in our work with my artists friends, all agree in this, and more… I know a gag:
-“I heard that memory is the intelligence of fools”… said a man to a friend…
-“Yes, and so it is because I forget everything”.
Always I carry a little sketchbook with me, and when a good idea comes, I draw it… and after, I put it in larger sketchbooks, which often have better drawings than in the same published books!
Jennifer: Can you share with me and the readers some of your earliest experiences with art?
Angel: The very first, as a baby… was an “O” filled with a pencil… I needed to fill that blank room. Well, this book, of my father, is still with me, and I have no better drawings with me from my childhood, which was awful. Due to the work of my father, we were doing trips up and down to many places, and all my drawings from school and that which I did at home were lost… a pity… and they were a lot indeed. This happened to Hokusai too, but worse; all the first pictures, from a wonderful stage in his life, disappeared in a fire that burned his house… and, further, he never was able in to do them again, although he did try to recreate them.
Further, as a youngster, I did comics, and I won two first prizes, with my creation Fedra, a woman of the future as heroine… and I´m thinking of following up with further work on her some day, not too much later on. I have some good ideas for her, but in the form of a book not as a comic.
Jennifer: You have done some outstanding work illustrating new editions of such all time classics as “Alice in Wonderland” and “Wind in the Willows”. This must have presented some unique challenges.
How do you approach a project such as “Alice in Wonderland” which has already had many well know illustrators put their stamp on it?
Angel: Easy for me, I love Alice in Wonderland very much… I approached this story WITH EMOTION, which is THE GOAL OF ART, as another artist said, Goyo Dominguez –not a relative. I love this special world created by Carroll so much, that not only do I love the story but each of the characters, of course, the writer, the illustrated editions… England, in a word. I wanted to go to England to feel the origin of the book, the mood… to visit a lot of bookshops, to buy a lot of old books, not only of Alice, but of the Victorian times. Each part of my book is full of plenty of messages.
And, if you look closely at many Victorian times (Carroll’s time), The Great Exhibition was held in the Crystal Palace… The objects on display came from all parts of the world, including India and the countries with recent white settlements, such as Australia and New Zealand, that constituted the new empire.
So, I took advantage of this event which, at that time, had the effect of familiarizing English society with foreign wildlife, to paint the wonderful animals that you have there in Australia into the illustrations.
If you ask to me about the very first approach to this book I must say that I had two pencil drawings from many years ago… and my wife said me:
“Angel, you must finish that pair of drawings and send them to a publisher”. I did it… and the answer, from Artisan (WORKMAN, of New York):
-“Please do you be so kind to paint another six watercolors”… and I did it… and the contract arrived fast.
And about other ‘meaning’… I approached the story having in mind a lot of things, not only the many illustrators, and Disney´s wonderful characters, but thinking to do a VERY good work… and I think that I did it, because the edition of 25.000 items were sold.
Also I´m thinking of doing a book on this book… with a lot of interesting things from Carroll´s world, the jokes, characters and details that I included.
[Rabbit sends in a little Bill – Alice in Wonderland]
Some details are hidden… as my own wife said, I work a lot on each plate… so much of that spontaneously included ‘meaning’ is lost.
[There goes Bill – Alice and Wonderland]
Jennifer: What stories and books hold fondest and earliest memories for you? Do they play, do you think, a part in your choice of projects?
Angel: Of course, Alice is one of them. I read it many years ago, many times… and, as I think that half my soul is English, I understood it very well, and I enjoyed it… specially in thinking to illustrate it.
Other good books to me are:
THE SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett
THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS by Kenneth Grahame
PETER PAN by James Barrie
THE UGLY DUCK, the best tale I think.
CINDERELLA, another strong story.
UNDINE by Baron de la Motte-Fouqué, another of the greatest.
PINOCCHIO by C.Collodi.
GRIMM´S Fairy Tales
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN´S Fairy Tales
A lot of books and stories… difficult to remember all of them and not wanting to bore people. And of course these stories are part of my life and my love for my profession.
Jennifer: Where are you hoping to take your art to next? What projects are coming up?
Angel: As I learned from my English friends, it is often preferable not talk about them. This is done with a number of intentions… it prevents the risk of ideas being copied. To chose a book to do already is an idea, specially when a classic. And to the readers, if the project doesn’t go ahead, that is disappointing news… and if appears as a surprise, it´s good news, something interesting.
I can say that I´m currently working on The Jungle Book by Kipling. I must get that finished this very month. Also I´m proud to said that I´m working on books with friends from JacketFlap. I´ll find free time to paint good watercolors for good stories that suit my style a lot. I must say that, at JacketFlap, I have found very good friends, not only Tracy and Eric, but others as wonderful models for my pictures. Artists are always searching for good models, and here I found a lot, who were happy to let me draw them. I have a lot of friends as models, not only in Spain, but in the States and in England. It´s funny when I gift some book to them… some have been very touched. One lovely lady cried with joyous surprise when she saw herself portrayed in a color plate in a book on pirates.
Jennifer: Have you ever thought of designing film sets or dabbling in animation? Tim Burton has brought some darker legends to life in an animated film noire for older children. Have you ever thought of doing something like this?
Angel: By the way, there´re a possibility that I can work with Tim in the movie of Alice which he is working on right now!. I´ll keep you posted if this goes ahead.
I have some part of my brain that thinks along the same lines as Burton, but not specially in relation to the dark side of those stories, but the fantasy element. For example, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow also is one of my favourite books, also illustrated by Rackham. Not all are dark, if you see Corpse Bride, you’ll agree that it’s a tender love story. And the main character of The Nightmare Before Christmas is tender too, with the sad or smiling face, long legs, walking and dancing and singing all the time.
Yes, always I loved animated films, specially Disney´s, and movies are part of our lives. And it´s a matter of luck to find someone to work with. For example, also I have a friend who can introduce me to James Cameron´s movies, and the last movie, AVATAR was suitable for me to paint the creatures, but I arrived late to this project and the Blue Lady, the main character I think, is very different than the one I could create… mine would be without tail. I knew the thriller version of this movie due to my American friend, and I envy that wonderful life in other world. Si-Fi is one of my preferences in books and movies. I love the books by Ray Bradbury, I have all of them. And I think that Arthur C. Clarke is good indeed, but I prefer the poet Bradbury, I feel his world as if it were mine. I´m pretty sure that Bradbury is the best writer in the world. I would like to illustrate each of his books or to do all of them in movies.
When I was very young I liked animation a lot, to work in this world was a dream, but right now I like more doing good illustrations to books, or backgrounds and creating characters to the movies.
Jennifer: Lastly, Angel, is there a question you would like to answer, something I have not covered? Now is your chance to cover it!
Being a book illustrator, I have been fortunate to find a lot of wonderful friends and have had many unique life experiences. I have fans in England, USA and Australia right now… I traveled to many interesting places, but the most fascinating of them was Jordania, where I met Queen Rania and I collaborated on a book with her! Also I´m working in four projects with friends I have met through Jacketflap.
Also I want to express how grateful I am to the publishers of all the world, without them, we, the illustrators cannot apply our art:
-MICHAEL O´MARA BOOKS and VICTOR GOLLANCZ of London.
-ARTISAN of New York.
-JUVENTUD of Barcelona.
-IBAIZABAL AND ELKAR of Basque Country.
-SHOGAKUKAN of Japan.
Lastly, I wish PEACE in the world… all of us must take advantage of every opportunity to tell how important is to save the world from a sooner end. This interview is such an opportunity.
One of the wisest men in the world, Jose Luis Sampedro, a Spanish writer and a very old and peaceful man, said yesterday on TV in Spain that the end of the world is in the hands of the powerful people but crisis doesn’t damage them, so, they don´t want to look for a solution.
And I add from sayings by the native Americans, the Indians, one of their best sayings, “money can’t be eaten, and that when water is scarce and air becomes unbreathable, there will be no money to fix it.”
TWO EXHIBITIONS OF ORIGINALS by ANGEL DOMINGUEZ
Angel is holding two exhibitions in Britain. The link to the first is below.
At Salisbury Museum, you can see the exhibition of Angel’s originals of Alice in Wonderfland, together with his illustrations for Narnia and Tales by Hans Christian Andersen. The items are for sale.
Alice in Wonderland
T-Shirts featuring designs based on Angel’s paintings are now available [including of the white rabbit painting to right]. Price: 20 euros.
Quality: Fruit of the Loom, High quality.
The shirts can be purchased by contacting Angel or Carmen Dominguez:
A number of signed prints are also available for purchase. See below:
REFLECTION UPON THE SELF PORTRAIT OF MATTIAS ADOLFSSON, by J.R.Poulter
Nice shade of Blue!
Do you do other Hues too?
A puce or vermillion
Could look like a Million.
Heliotrope’s a nice shade
But a bit prone to fade….
Just tan is so boring,
Common White isn’t scoring
Can you really bare to be inked
And then there’s yellow
Well that ‘s a tad mellow…
At least on the fashion track.
I do think blue
Looks good on you!
Would you colour me too?
[This is brave stuff – he has also done a selfportrait as a merman, or is it being half eaten by a sharkodile? I might have to do a wacky wordage on that one too…]
[Illustration by Mattias Adolfsson]
The Queuing by J.R.Poulter
What shall we do?
Let’s form a queue!
You cannot form a queue right here
Because it’s not to anywhere!
What’s it matter what it’s for?
It’s better than standing round being bored!
Me to the front.
No that won’t do!
You behind me.
What, can’t you see?
Well goodness me gracious
You’re NOT efficacious!
NO need to swear,
The piggle will hear!
The piggle has peedled himself with fear….
Now, where’d they all go?
How should I know!?
No one’s queuing,
Just piggle on his own boohooing,
“I weedely wodely wunt be awone!” *
[*Loosely translated piggleese – “I really and truly am awf’lly alone and I don’t want to!”]
Mattias has an utterly wild and wonderous blog [http://mattiasa.blogspot.com/2008/07/stekare.html] on which this funny sketch features. It was too good to pass up – I HAD to write the story in the picture – sort of uncontainable verbalaging! The result was the humorous poem appendaged on to Mattias’ artwork [Yes, Mattias did have first peak – just in case it freaked him out of his creative space. ]
Oh, Come a Bummer Do! © J.R.Poulter
Sifting salted peanuts
In between their teeth,
It’s the ooby gooby men
Who’ve come to cause us grief!
Ickle them, tickle them,
Pickle and prickle them!
Bum tiddlee um tum, bum bum BOOOO!
Run, run quickly
The traffic jam’s ickly stickly!
The oobie goos spread it too thickly
And now we’re all slushing in ooh!
Bum tiddlee um tiddlee,
What are we to do?
Alas, the iggle piggle
Nottle wattling where he wiggled
Came a proper cropper,
Went a whopper head o’ topper
In the ooby gooby gooo.
Bum diddlee um, ummm, Oh BUM!
When he went bumpty, dumpty,
Piggle thumped um up complumply!
He squashed the ooby goobies,
Squished them into blobs of doobies…
Now we’re FREE OF OOBY GOOBIES!
Diddlee um, diddlee bum, BOO HOOO!
Another trawl through the marvelous mayhem on Blog Mattias [http://mattiasa.blogspot.com/2008/07/stekare.html] found this – “Doodles”– the Bum caught me eye – no, don’t even try and deny that you see it – then came the refrain “bum tiddlee um tum bum bum!” If you don’t do something about a niggly little nonsense like that it will drive you nuts – so I gave way and “Oh Come a Bummer Do!” is the result….
Dragon Party started in similar vein – I was on a bus and the phrase came to mind “drooling dragons dribble by”. I dare you to deny extended life to a phrase like that – it HAD to be poemated!
Words are something I play with – blend, bend, break and mend, shape, shift scape and grift into wild and wonderful patterns of saying! Words can make stories, dramas, poetry, songs, information and I work with all of these. I love showing others how to use and express themselves with words in hands on workshops.
I also illustrate the poems I write with line drawings and photography and I make jewellery. That’s me plus spouse, five kids, two cats, possums and geckos and water dragons….
I have just had my 9th book released, “Mending Lucille” with Hachette Livre, and it has had the most amazing reception! It sold out the first print run in the first week, got picked up by ASO (Australia’s biggest distributor) and within the first fortnight was a recommended book for counseling/biblio-therapy by the Australian Centre for Grief Education, Monash Medical Centre. The story in itself did not take long to write – under 15 minutes, although it was ‘cooking’ for many many years whilst I was growing up, listening and observing the devastating effects of childhood grief/loss played out in the lives of those around me. The story was important to me, so when it was accepted by Lothian (Hachette LIvre), I was keenly interested in who would illustrate my story. To be given the opportunity to find my own illustrator as a relatively unknown author was HUGE! I found Sarah on the internet – her style was perfect for the story. Sarah intuitivley saw all the layers and the result – stunning!
Sarah and I had the honour to be asked to present our story of creating “Mending Lucille” at the SCWIBI International Conference in Sydney, February, 2008. A huge deal for two relative ‘newbies’. The Conference was a BLAST! Met numbers of amazing folk and networked with amazing writers, illustrators as well as publishers from all over the globe. I highly recommend SCWBI membership to anyone!
This is an example of my illustrative work. I write poetry under my maiden name, J.R.McRae. The illustration of the tree came first, then the poem (“Fledglings”) and I added the screen of leaves to the right. I drew it with my mouse in Paint and imported the colours into the palette with the dropper tool.
The illustration can add a whole further dimension to the poem, but generally the poem and picture work hand in hand. I like the experimentation and the extension that working with line and color give to my writing.
I also make jewelry – beading and what I call RaptRocs – these are semi-precious rocks that have been tumbled to take off the roughest bits. I hold them in my hands and feel their texture, the fissures and shape, any faults – then I wrap them in silver to make pendants etc so that the best features of the rock are highlighted. Now they will say something about the wearer as well – one of them is now in Germany.