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Last month I got to visit the original Alaskan artist cottage that inspired Grumpycorn! It's the studio of Seldovia-born artist and illustrator Valisa Higman (who is very much not grumpy but possibly part magical unicorn).



If you look at the dedication in Grumpycorn, you'll see Valisa's name:



Here's the cottage where Unicorn rows to work on writing the most Fabulous Story in the World.



Valisa does indeed row to work, and you can follow her coastal adventures and the wildlife she encounters on her Instagram account and the not very commonly used hashtag #IRowToWork.



And here's her studio, which is every bit as magical as Unicorn's!



I was in Seldovia for the Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival, and Valisa hosted a party on her beach. I drew a picture of some of the festival artists, brothers Thano & Demitri Sahnas and Suzanne Lansford, jamming underneath her pilings.








Now the whole point of Unicorn's writing cottage is that it's a dream working space.



But while Unicorn procrastinates and gets absolutely nothing accomplished, Valisa has managed to build a brilliant career here creating her artwork.



Oo, spot the Grumpycorn book! Valisa got the first copy.



I don't think Unicorn would be able to type on this very easy with his hooves. That said, I never really solve the mystery of how he holds his special fluffy writing pen, either.



Spot the wood stove and heated rocks:



Do check out Valisa's work, it's lovely. I hope some day she'll come out to visit my studio in London!



While you're here, let's just go up the steps by Valisa's studio. They lead to the home where she lived the first eight years of her life with her family, and where Andrew now lives and works.



Here's Andrew's house. He doesn't have running water but he does have wifi.



It was great to get a tour! This is such a wonderful Alaskan aesthetic, lots of carved wood and handmade fittings.


Andrew showed me and Stuart his new Loo with a View - picture windows, to be precise!



For my next blog post, I'll try to feature some of the artist from the Seldovia festival. But first I need to make a cup of my special moonberry tea...



Click here to see some of the artwork I made while I was in Seldovia. And find out about Grumpycorn and lots of free book-inspired activities on my website!

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jabberworks
Sarah McIntyre

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