Thursday 30 October 2014

Back on the blog!

Does anyone other than a fellow illustrator, have any idea how long it can take to be 'fresh and spontaneous' on paper?
Just SOME of the Tiz & Ott trial covers above my desk - obsessive moi? 
I did so many versions of the cover for my next book, TIZ AND OTT'S BIG DRAW  and there was always some (admittedly often tiny) thing that was just not quite right - a bit stiff, not fresh enough. Early this morning, in desperation, I totally redrew and re-painted the front cover, for the umpteenth time.  And this time it worked! The cover took less than an hour to finish. That said, days of struggle lay behind that short burst. By noon I was showing it to my lovely editor at the Tate and it worked for her too - oof!
Tate Publishing is right next door to Tate Britain so I popped in afterwards for another burst of the great Late Turnershow, Painting Set Free.  Talk about fresh!  Vortexes of light radiating out from storms and skies...

So here I am, back on the blog, to share some good news and some work done this year.
I was so surprised and honoured to find that this picture from TIZ AND OTT'S BIG DRAW
Tiz and Ott brushed and doodled (...) scrawled and splattered.....and together they made their own way....
TIZ AND OTT's BIG DRAW ©Bridget Marzo
was selected for the prestigious Association of Illustrators 2014 Shortlist in the children's book category.  Great company - including favourites like Katherina Manolessou, Nadia Shireen and my fellow SCBWI member Julia Woolf.
Chris Haughton was the category winner and deservedly so. By chance I had written about him not long before for Varoom - focusing on one of my favourite illustration topics, empathy.
This rainbow picture above has also been selected to tour with the juried Illustrator Showcase which opens at the SCBWI British Isles Conference in Winchester this Saturday November 1st.
A few prints will be on sale there for the charity War Child. It will then tour next summer to Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children's Books in Newcastle.

The rainbow follows the storm which Tiz and Ott whip up as they fight over their crayon and brush and get carried away.  When I painted this picture months back, I hadn't looked at a Turner storm since I was a teenager.  But something must have sunk in - not that I am comparing myself to the master I should add!
Tiz and Ott are carried away.  TIZ AND OTT's BIG DRAW ©Bridget Marzo

Oh and Bridget's Book of English is out with Bayard Jeunesse France.  This Saturday I'll be showing it at the SCBWI Mass Book Launch party.  It's a book of 200 first English words following a furry family through the day with 30 lift-the flaps - AND on the back there is a QR code link on line to me pronouncing every single word - I kind of sing a couple of songs too.  I'll create a proper web site page for it as soon as I have a moment and before I sign it at the French Children's Bookfair in Montreuil, Paris on Saturday November 29, 2014 and do a workshop for the Anglofun schools in Paris the following day.

In September I was asked to blog on the Words and Pictures  about working for children's magazines, just as I was finishing  illustrations to  a picture book length story in record time for Belles Histoires, the French children's magazine published by Bayard.
Here's what my studio wall looked like in July...
Roughs for Belles Histoires story 'Princesse Alice perd son dent' -  ink, brush and wash scanned in with texts 
There are lots of cats in the story - that was the easy part - but I've never been asked to illustrate a spoilt princess  - a new challenge, let alone an indulgent king talking to a mouse - all in costume.

Last news but not least is I have broken my own record doing more creative workshops than ever before with children this year in schools, libraries in and out of the UK - and I love it workshopping.  But more about all that later!
My books ready for signing at the British Book in Paris - Bridget's Book of English and a reprint of Petites Mains Dessinent just out with a new blue cover

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