Thursday, 21 May 2015

Tiz and Ott are out there at last - for real!

Been a bit busy with various things, not least a deadline for four little books!
I'm drawing my way out of the scribble, like in this early sketch for Tiz  & Ott's Big Draw.
Anyone who draws or writes may recognize the problem of getting carried away and ending up in a hole - which in Ott's case is incapacitating!

first colour 'rough' for Tiz's ladder  - which ended up  a lot higher!

Over two years ago that I did this sketch which ended up like this in the book...

page from Tiz and Ott's Big Draw © Bridget Marzo, Tate UK

It is on the top page of a vertical pull-out page.  I feel very lucky that  the Tate were ready to invest in that added 'gatefold' (as publishers call it) to take children up with  Tiz, up and up of the hole...
Spread and gatefold page from Tiz & Ott's Big Draw © Bridget Marzo Tate UK

so high that Tiz has to figure out how to get down, oh dear!
Like the boy who cried 'Wolf'', I feel like I've gone on a bit too much about Tiz and Ott already.  But now it is out there - for real - it takes time to publish a book.

American friends who've seen Tiz and Ott ask if I knew the US classic Harold and the Purple Crayon which was first published in the 1950s. I  I discovered it as an adult and recommend that wonderful book to anyone who has watched a line they have drawn turn into a kind of journey.
As I child I only knew  the Ant & Bee  books  which have recently been reprinted.  I have always loved stories with two characters responding to the world in different ways.  I think that's why Tiz and Ott  started out in these little mini books,  a bunch of short rhyming stories I am still writing more of, which are yet to be published.

When I started thinking about Tiz and Ott, I didn't know of any contemporary stories about ANY characters that draw or paint their way into another world. Doodle books, yes -  I illustrated two big doodle books myself. But though in my case, each page had its own story for kids to doodle into it wasn't like creating fully fledged picture book story with its own arc.
Now there is a spate of wonderful picture books about characters that create in different ways from books like Andrew Drew and Drew to the Days the Crayons Quit.  Spirit of the times!

Anyway Tiz and Ott's Big Draw is now out with Tate publishing in UK bookshops and museum shops.  And it will land on US bookshelves thanks to distribution by Abrams in November 2015.

SO - if by happy chance you are in London on June 4 please join me to raise a glass to cheer Tiz and Ott off into to the world at my launch at Tales on Moon Lane.   You will find the details (plus!) in this drawn-to-music one minute video.  Big thanks to Ella Finch for this video and her perfect timing of my scribbles to music!