a busy bee month or three

Thursday, 4 May 2017


Well, hello, sailor! That's not snow in the above image, but nevertheless, winter has certainly arrived in Canberra. It's been the oddest start to the season. Usually, ANZAC Day heralds its arrival, on the button, with temps literally plummeting that very night. This year was close--about two days late--but the odd thing is that most of our deciduous trees were still in full leaf. And many of them still are.

Oddest of odds. But, you know, thank goodness there's no global warming or anything like that. Eye roll.

While the weather has been chilling out, I've been head-down, proverbial-up. I don't know about you, but for me, work comes in waves. Sometimes tidal waves, and I'm riding the crest of one right now. I'm okay--really (she says, running screaming for the hills). But seriously, I couldn't be happier. I'm doing what I love, but as seasons slip out of whack and time appears to be quite literally speeding up, I'll admit to begging for more hours in the day.

So, what's been happening? Well, I'm now in full flight with a book for the National Library of Australia (above image is a sneak peek). It's a collaboration with the incredible Jackie French (life thrill!) and is 160-odd pages long, so there's a lot of work involved, and I'm loving exploring digital illustration at even greater levels. I'm also monoprinting a storm on the kitchen table, for colours and textures, and gosh, it's fun. It's like an adult kinder painting session. The results just seem to 'work', you know? Divine skies of inky black and ochre landscapes appear in such beautiful ways when you don't think about it too much.


I've also been squirreling away on my very first children's wall map! This one is for Hardie Grant Travel and it's been an absolute dream to work on. A Tassie peek, above.

You know those things you've always been obsessed with? For me, it's maps, calendars, ABC books, just to name a few. So creating my own map--wow--such a joy. As ever, I'm reminded of how little I know about our country and I thought I knew a lot, after writing several Aus books and seeing so much of it when I was gadding about the place as a flight attendant back in the day. But yet again, I've learned more than a few something wonderfuls. Such a rewarding experience.

This project is due out in time for Christmas, so probably by early December.

May is KidLitVic month! The conference is 20 May at the State Library of Victoria, and I'm heading down a day early to catch up with my industry soul sisters. I'll be popping in for a quack with Jen Storer and will be chillaxing and talking shop with Nicky Johnston and Dee White and other friends, not to mention the oh... 972 people I'll be catching up with and/or meeting for the first time!

I'm also excited to be catching up with some gorgeous publishers, which is always a glorious thing. It's going to be a mind-popping weekend and I'm already hyperventilating.

At KidLitVic, I'll be showing my first EVER portfolio (to delegates and publishers). Not very stressful. Jess Racklyeft and I have been swapping folio peeks for advice and insights, to make them the very best they can possibly be. Here is a peek at my 'cover page'.

And on that note, I seem to have 'lost' the folio I bought last year. Most would think it's difficult to lose an A3 size folio, but it's not anywhere sizable enough to host it. I really must stop putting things in safe places. Truly.


I've already had my postcards printed (below, front and back) and now, of course, I already want to update them! Seems authors and illustrators are peas in a pod. Always, always editing.



What else?

I'll be having my very first greeting cards published soon--for Nuovo group. I never dreamed that would happen! And I'll be working on some more these coming months.

My daughter is about to do the car thing. You know. Own. Drive. That's totally sidled up on me.

I want to go to Europe. But that's not going to happen anytime soon. Melbourne on the 19th is a nice runner-up.

When I get back, I shall be head-down again, keeping snug, fighting butt spread and illustrating my heart out. I also hope to rework some junior fiction these coming months, so if you happen across any spare hours, could you please pop them in the post to my PO Box? You'll find the address under 'say hello'.

I hope you're keeping snug and are head-down doing what you love.

x x x

PS: found the folio (sheepish grin)

2 comments:

Sandy Fussell said...

Every Saturday I read your blog while I'm ironing (iPad propped up on my music stand). It always inspires me and reminds me excuses are just no more than excuses. Love hearing your adventures.

Tania McCartney said...

Darling Sandy, it is you who are an inspiration. Can't wait to catch up with you sometime. Much love, Txxx

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