May 25th, 2010

tall story trailer!

Look, my fab writer friend Candy Gourlay just came out with a trailer video for her soon-to-be-launched book, Tall Story!

YouTube Link

Candy said it was made by her little brother in the Philippines and the rather posh voiceover at the end is her next-door neighbour, a barrister named Andrew. Read more about the makings of the video here. Candy's great at pulling in the whole neighbourhood to make videos, I've loved watching other ones she's made and edited herself. Go, Candy!
(Here's my earlier Tall Story fan art.)

niffenegger, ware & clowes

Last night I met up with Viviane Schwarz and Alexis Deacon to go see a panel discussion organised by Paul Gravett and chaired by Audrey Niffenegger of Chris Ware and Daniel Clowes.

Of the three of them, I'm actually the biggest fan of Niffenegger's novels, I really loved The Time Traveller's Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry. I love getting into her world, she creates such fascinating characters with such strange, twisted personal issues they have to deal with, all within a setting that's laced heavily with her appreciation of arts and crafts. I like her graphic novels, but I prefer her text novels, where she really digs in and revels in pitting her characters against each other. Here's some fan art I started early this morning; I hope I get time to take it beyond a rough sketch. I lent someone the book (and I've forgotten who) so I couldn't check up on a few things. If I'd had even more time, I would have liked to have researched the furniture and made it a bit more William Morris or Robin & Lucienne Day or something. (Agh, so many things I want to do!)

This is the scene in Her Fearful Symmetry where the ghost Elspeth realises she has some effect over electrical appliances, and accidentally kills the twins' television.

I made some very rough sketches at the talk, but it was quite dark and I couldn't really see my paper. I was interested that none of them keep sketchbooks, just make notes, although they recommended that people just starting out, or younger people, keep sketchbooks. Clowes said that if he put his efforts into his sketchbook, then it felt like anticlimax when he went to do his actual work, and he needed to save himself up for that, so the work was his main outlet of creativity. Ware said he'd got to the stage where he could just draw and be happy with it, he didn't need to practice. It reminded me of a talk I heard by Dave McKean, where he'd launched some published sketchbooks of cities, and he said that they were the first time he really felt confident in his drawing, that he could just draw.

I think I still have a very long way to go before I get to that stage. I like my drawings, but I always feel they could be better, and I love trying out different techniques. I don't keep organised, beautiful sketchbooks (unlike Dave Shelton). I'm always picking up one, using a few pages, then going back to another book with some empty pages, and then doing other sketches on random bits of paper. But I do try to keep them all, it's interesting to go back and look at what things got me going at different stages. I suppose this LiveJournal is sort of my sketchbook, if I didn't keep track of things here, I might forget them entirely. When a rumour went around that the blog was being deleted (totally untrue), I must confess to panicking a bit. Losing this blog would have felt like getting a partial lobotomy.
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