An awesome sneak peek at some of Emma’s work before her interactive event with Kelly Gerrard tomorrow (Wednesday 6 June, 10:30am) Come and learn how to draw your very own comic strip!
Our merry band of young writers, The Scribblers, posed some particularly brilliant questions to some of the artists appearing at Hay this year. Over the next few weeks we’ll be bringing you their answers. Today we’re really excited to be able to speak to French illustrator MARJOLAINE LERAY.
Describe your latest book in 5 words // Décrivez votre dernier livre dans cinq mots
Le loup ne mange pas // The wolf doesn’t eat
If you had to pick one of your characters to spend the day with, which one would you choose? // Si vous pouviez passer une journée avec un de vos personnages, lequel serait-il?
Le loup : pour trouver 1000 façons de le faire tourner en bourrique // The wolf: to find 1000 ways to drive him up the wall
Which writer, dead or alive, you would like to collaborate with? // Avec quel écrivain, mort ou vivant, aimeriez-vous collaborer?
Vladimir Maïakovski. Il a une écriture qui me donne envie de faire des collages, des agencements, des dessins pas finis // Vladimir Maïakovski. He has a writing style, which makes me feel like making collages, layouts, drawings not completed.
What’s the best thing about illustrating? // Qu’est-ce que vous aimez dessiner le plus?
J’aime dessiner les monstres. Les trucs poilus qui font peur. Des choses pas trop lisses et qui bougent tellement que je peux faire des traits mal rangés. // I love drawing monsters. Hairy things that frighten. Things not too smooth and that move so much that I can draw their traits with undefined borders.
Je ne me sens pas vraiment très expérimentée pour donner des conseils de vieille routarde de l’illustration // I really don’t feel myself too experienced to give suggestion like an old guide of the illustration.
Peut-être le fait que lorsque je dessine pour un livre je suis impressionnée. Mais lorsque je commence à juste m’amuser, sans penser à un ‘public’, alors, à ce moment là, ça commence à être un peu plus intéressant. // Maybe the fact that if I draw for a book I’m impressed. But if I start to have fun myself, without thinking of an ‘audience’, then, right at that moment, it starts being a bit more interesting.
Catch Marjolaine at the festival on Monday 4 June, 4pm.
Our merry band of young writers, The Scribblers, posed some particularly brilliant questions to some of the artists appearing at Hay this year. Over the next few weeks we’ll be bringing you their answers. A big ‘Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of pop’ to JONNY DUDDLE.
Describe your latest book in 5 words.
If you had to pick one of your characters to spend the day with, which one would you choose?
I think I’d spend the day with the pirate Dad. He likes fixing ships, and I like fixing old cars (especially old cars which are half made of wood). And I once lived on a ship for a year. When I finished college and couldn’t earn enough money illustrating, I ran away to sea. It was a big square-rigged ship, and we sailed it around the UK, dressed up in costume and showed schools and the general public what it was like to live on an old ship. I really enjoyed doing the maintenance work, painting, polishing, fixing sails, learning knots and climbing up and down the rigging. The pirate Dad spends most of his time doing fixing the ship in The Pirates Next Door, so I think I’d like to give him a hand. Some might say that he’s not dissimilar to me, and the the rest of the Jolley-Rogers bear uncanny resemblances to other members of my family. I’m not sure what they mean, but that’s what I heard….
Which writer, dead or alive, you would like to collaborate with?
I’ve been reading all of Roald Dahl’s books with my daughter at bedtime. We’ve nearly run out of books to read, so it would be great to illustrate a new, undiscovered Roald Dahl book. His stories are so inventive and each one is very different. The two big problems are that Roald Dahl is unfortunately no longer with us, and Quentin Blake did such a brilliant job of illustrating his books already. I’m sure if Roald Dahl was still alive, he’d be sticking with Quentin Blake.
There are other classic books I loved as a child that I wish I could’ve illustrated, such as The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (which has lovely illustrations by E.H.Shepard), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (which was originally illustrated by John Tenniel in the 1860’s, but then Arthur Rackham did the most amazing illustrations for the same story forty years later) and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein.
As an illustrator, I’ve worked with quite a few authors on book covers and interior illustrations for chapter books, and I’ve designed characters for games and films in great big teams, but I Iike developing picture books all by myself. I haven’t illustrated a picture book for anyone else yet, because it’s my opportunity to write. It’s my opportunity to get my own stories published. I’ll collaborate with somebody one day on a picture book, but I’ve still got lots of my own stories and each book takes ages, because I keep making the illustrations so big and complicated. I think because I aspired to write and illustrate my own books, most of my favourite authors, also illustrate their own books, so it’s difficult to think of someone I’d want to collaborate with, more than I would want to do a book all by myself. But I’m sure I could be tempted. My daughter’s favourite author, Julia Donaldson, perhaps…..
What’s the best thing about writing?
I’ve been writing stories since I was tiny, and most children I know do the same. Writing is all about having ideas and scribbling them down. It’s about making notes, re-writing those notes, re-writing them again, and sometimes again, and (in my case) doodling alongside those notes, until they become a story.
The best thing about writing, is that I can make ‘something’ of all the ideas and stories that fill my sketchbooks, and lie about my studio on scraps of paper. Most of my stories start out as drawings. ‘The Pirates Next Door’ was inspired by the name of my Art Director at Templar, Mike Jolley. On the train back from a visit to their office, I did a very scribbly drawing in my sketchbook of a pirate ship parked on the drive of a normal looking house, with a rowing boat and a treasure chest on the lawn, and a flag sticking out of the roof tiles. I thought if a ‘Jolley’ and a ‘Rogers’ got married, they could double-barrel their name into the Jolley-Rogers, which would be the perfect name for a pirate family. So from some scribbles in a sketchbook and a name, I showed my ideas to Templar. They liked it, and a year or so later, after lots of writing, phone conversations, a couple of meetings, a bunch of drawings and lots of colouring-in, we had a finished book. It’s so exciting to get a package in the post and pick up your own book for the first time. If I had never showed my ideas to anyone, they’d still be on scraps of paper dotted about my studio. But instead there’s a real book, with my story and illustrations and, rather bizarrely, there are people who read my stories to their children at bedtime.
Like my two year old daughter says: “Daddy’s job is colouring-in and writing stories.” To be able to make a living from scribbling and doodling is the best thing ever.
What’s your top tip for budding young writers?
Keep a notebook. If you like drawing too, you could call it a sketchbook, but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is writing down your ideas when you have them. Five minutes later you might have forgotten them. I have my best ideas when I have space to think. Sometimes it’s when I’m sat in the garden listening to the birds, or when I’m lying in bed when I’ve just woken up, or I’m about to fall asleep. I probably have my best ideas when I’m walking. I like going for walks, especially if I’m having a difficult day with some writing, or an illustration. I don’t always have my sketchbook in my hand, so I’ve started recording ideas onto my phone too.
And show your ideas and stories to other people. They might say something that can make your story better. They might say they don’t like it, but that’s OK too. Ask them why they don’t like it, and if they have a point, maybe you could change it. But if one person doesn’t like it, it doesn’t mean nobody will, you might have just asked the wrong person. Some people don’t like my books, but lots of other people do.
Catch Jonny at the festival on Wednesday 6 June, 4pm.
Our merry band of young writers, The Scribblers, posed some particularly brilliant questions to some of the artists appearing at Hay this year. Over the next few weeks we’ll be bringing you their answers. A royal fan fare for PHILIP REEVE.
1. Describe your latest book in 5 words.
Goblins! Magic! Adventures! Mysteries! Cheese!
2. If you had to pick one of your characters to spend the day with, which one would you choose?
Probably some of the characters from Goblins – Henwyn, Skarper, or Princess Ned.
3. Which writer, dead or alive, you would like to collaborate with?
There are lots of authors I admire, but I wouldn’t particularly want to collaborate with them. I like to collaborate with friends, like the illustrator Sarah McIntyre – we’re working on some stories together at the moment.
4. What’s the best thing about writing?
Getting to make things up – people, places, adventures. It’s like playing all day, only you get paid for it!
5. What’s your top tip for budding young writers?
Read all the books you can get your hands on, and write something every day.
Catch Philip at the festival on Saturday 9 June, 1pm
I’m rubbish at telling lies. Oh, I can make stuff up no problem. You know, like outrageous, astonishing stuff that could never be true – I’m a writer of fiction, after all. But when it comes to credible delivery I just freeze. I can’t get an untruth past my lips without sweating and stuttering and chewing my hair.
I learnt this lesson while still fairly young, but not quite young enough. I cringe when I remember the whoppers I tried to get past my mum and my teachers – excuses for essays not written or forgotten PE kit, croaky assertions that I was ‘far too sick to go to this week’s piano lesson’, followed by a feeble cough. I was so unconvincing I’m surprised they didn’t collapse laughing.
Teenager Verity Fibbs doesn’t have that problem. She’s an expert. She can lie with such confidence that she’ll convince you red is green, cows fly and she’s a world authority on cheese-making. So I guess it’s a good thing I’m chaperoning her at the Hay Festival this year. Yes, her mum IS the famous fashion designer, Saffron Fibbs, but Verity is NOT allowed to do whatever she likes while her mum is in New York. She DOES look exactly like her mum, but it is NOT totally fine for Verity to pretend to be her at a celebrity nightspot to impress a boy.
Don’t believe anything she says.
You have been warned.
Cathy Brett, May 2012
Catch Cathy at the festival on Friday 8 June, 3:50pm
We Are Words + Pictures promote the work of comic artists and writers in Britain at fairs, festivals, club nights and workshops, alongside our quarterly Paper Science anthology. We think words and pictures are a pretty special combination and we love sharing our enthusiasm for comics with new people.
Our Drop In + Draw events are the perfect chance for you to get involved; informal workshops where you get the chance to produce your own work.
We’ve held them all over the country with adults and children of all ages offering you the chance to first create your own comic book character, before putting them into a story that you visualise. And this year we’ll be at Hay Fever. With artists and writers on hand to offer tips and ask questions to prompt you, we encourage everyone to dream up alternative realities, super heroes and epic quests. And if magical realms aren’t for you, do not fear – we’re just as fond of tales of the everyday.
Our gallery of work from previous events is bursting with talent. We’ll be in the Hay Fever Courtyard, right opposite the Giant Wallbook during the first weekend of the festival, the 28th and 29th May.
And here’s the official blurb:
Create your own comic book character
Make stories with words + pictures
What would a character that you made up from scratch look like? Would they have a beard or tentacles or tiny pointed feet? Would they be tall or chubby or have piercing blue eyes? Well, the We Are Words + Pictures team are here to help you decide and put your ideas into practice. With established comic artists and illustrators on hand we’ll get you designing your very own comic book character and developing a story for them to feature in.
This past week all kinds of madness has been taking place in the office, as the programme opened to Friends. We’re thrilled to finally get the Hay Fever programme out there and hear what you all think. So, we thought we’d celebrate (seriously, any excuse) with a little adventure around a few of the blogs from artists appearing this year.
If you know of anymore point us in the right direction…
The Etherington Brothers (pictured here) – boy, oh boy do these lads have some energy?! But what would you expect from a team who have created comic material for Transformers, Star Wars, Wallace and Gromit, Terminator Salvation, Dreamworks’ Monsters Vs Aliens, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar? Btw, the list goes on.
Meg Rosoff – a window into Meg’s world. A real treat to see not only what she’s working on currently, but also to sample snatches of cover artwork and extracts. She’s on the Carnegie shortlist this year, so definitely check out the snippet of There Is No Dog posted. She’ll be chatting to The Telegraph’s Gaby Wood about it come May.
Candy Gourlay – one of Hay Fever’s fresh new voices for 2011. We can’t wait to see her pics from Hay when she visits on Monday 30 May.
Geraldine McCaughrean – such a wealth of knowledge about children’s books and a shared joy from random finds on eBay. She’ll be chatting with Candy and Sarah McIntyre on Monday 30 May.
Patrick Ness – wonderfully he updates regularly with news. We seriously don’t know how we would survive without knowing what was coming next, and we’re so not alone! He’ll be sitting down with David Almond on Saturday 28 May.
Hannah Shaw – Weasels Measles! We love this blog for it’s name alone (though her awesome preview sketches help too!) Plus we might be a little bias with Hannah being our oh-so-cool illustrator this year an’ all. Hannah will be with us across the first weekend, so make sure you say hello.
Caroline Lawrence – a brand new blog for her brand new Western Mysteries series. There’s no tumbleweed here! Polish your spurs for Wednesday 1 June.
Lauren St. John – a wonderful sneak peek behind the scenes of Blue Peter in her last post, as she joined Barney and Andy to celebrate winning BP’s 2011 Book of the Year Award. We’ll be hearing all about Laura Marlin on Wednesday 1 June.
Sarah McIntyre – one of the most prolific bloggers we know. Stop by and see all her adventures. Our fave atm are the sketches of the awesome project (Monsterville) she’s working on for the Discover Centre. She’s in Hay on Tuesday 31 May, peeps, get it in the diary.