While tidying up my desk, I noticed how well these collage images from two quite separate projects looked when sitting next to each other. I straightened them up, took a couple of snapshots and began pondering on the matter of the illustrated book of fairy tales that’s been in the back of mind. Just playing around here really, moving on a little from the Hansel and Gretel work of the enamelware service and my Alphabet Soup submissions.
I have no commission for such a book, and no text. I don’t know whether I’m in the world of a child’s book or toying with the idea of one better suited to adults, though I don’t really like to make those distinctions. While it might be a ‘livre d’artiste’, I don’t want to go down the route of self-publishing. You’ll have gathered by now that I have no idea where the hell I’m headed with this, but my brain is buzzing with ideas. I tell you what though, if a publisher of any variety comes-a-calling at the Artlog, I’ll be ready for a chat. And if anyone else has ideas, please feel free to suggest them.
Once there was a sad witch, who had a tale to tell……….
(Love as ever from an anxious friend hoping the yellow brick road wont catapult the youngsters into the laps of their audience!!)
Don’t be anxious little friend. All that richness of experience will see you right. Promise!
Called you this afternoon but the the answer-machine picked up.
I open up these posts on my phone at school and think hmm yes when I get home i’ll say this and that, and then when i open up the chat Phil has invariably said just what I’d thought of, so if I sometimes don’t comment or just say yes I agree with Phil its cos he got in first. I do hope someone in the publishing world stops by here though because they will certainly find a wealth of inspiration for the future of childrens books. With your history in dance Clive have you ever illustrated Coppelia? It’s one of my favourite balllets with fond memories from childhood and of taking the children. It gave me my lifelong love of theatre and now that Lucy has decided to do media technology and photograpy I am hopeful that this will creep back into her thoughts too. Ballet stories would be wonderful in your style to introduce those stories to children too.
I’ve greatly admired the recent Hansel and Gretel and enamelware work you’ve been posting Clive.
I was in Foyles bookshop on the Charring Cross Road at the weekend and there happened to be an exhibition in their gallery celebrating the Brothers Grimm bicentenary. Seven illustrators were exhibiting work inspired by the fairy tales, billed as the illustration world’s ‘brightest young stars’. They were all vey accomplished, I liked Lesley Barnes’ work in particular but all the artists were clearly gifted. However, not one of the images, in my humble opinion, got close to the power and energy of your recent work Clive; you’ve created the finest fairy tale illustrations currently being produced, they are grittier, darker, funnier and more expressive than anything else I’ve seen. So, it would be great to see these exhibited or published, they are so, so good!
The recent ‘fairy tale’ work has been a bit of a distraction to keep me from worrying about my inability to get back to easel work. I feel that I’m floundering about in the dark, and it’s probably not insignificant that I’ve returned to the world of Grimm that was such a wonder and a comfort when I was a child. The stories are a primer in strategies for the-world of fears-to-be-faced-down, and here I am, a child no longer, re-discovering and re-working them into images quarried from the imagination they once helped form.
I’m rather stunned by what you wrote above, because while most visitors here will have seen the fairy tale images as being an interesting little byway playfully explored, for me what’s been unfolding feels pretty seismic and unnerving. I really haven’t a clue where I’m heading (do we ever when we’re lost in the woods?) but I’m taking the advice I invariably offer others, which is to recognise the importance of play, and to allow the time and space for it.
Thank you, Phil, for your words of encouragement. They meant rather more to me than you may have realised.
They really do work well together. I haven’t had the chance to read the previous post, but the direction you are going in is right up my alley. The puppet witch is particularly wonderful.
Ha ha! Happy to be up your alley, Leonard.