I recently discovered that La Compagnie El Triciclo, based in Montpelier, have created a theatre production based on Peut-on mettre un loup dans un carton? (the French edition of The Girl with the Parrot on her Head, published by Albin Michel). Juliette Mouchonnat directs and acts in the show, which features tabletop puppets, shadow puppets, pop-ups and original music. I think it looks magic. I especially love the wolves at the end of this trailer:
It’s incredible to see someone else take my story and make something new from it, and something so creative and exciting. I don’t know if everyone who makes books sometimes imagines them being transformed into films, plays or tv but I do: strangely, I always thought that in my wildest dreams puppet theatre would be the best medium for The Girl with the Parrot on her Head.
I only wish I could go and see it! Or that it could come here… If you happen to be near Montpelier, there should be more performances from April 2018.
Many thanks to Cie. El Triciclo for permission to repost their pictures and trailer. Peut-on mettre un loup dans un carton? is available from Albin Michel.
Yesterday I put up an exhibition at Pickled Pepper, Crouch End’s specialist children’s bookshop. I framed eleven of the screenprints I made for my first picturebook, The Girl with the Parrot on her Head, and they’ll stay on display all summer, until August 31st. It’s great to have a chance to show the artwork, especially in Pickled Pepper’s lovely event space.
The first week of the exhibition coincides with the Crouch End Festival (5th-14th June) so there are lots of other things to see and do if you visit then, including a Girl with the Parrot on her Headreading and craft workshop on Saturday 13th June.
The pictures are hand-made screenprints, and prints from the same editions (so almost the same as the framed/published prints) will be for sale. If you’d like to read more about the illustrations, I wrote a guest blog for Walker about making the book.
An update: now there’s a Girl with the Parrot on her Head window too!
Last year my friends at Velopresso asked me to draw them a horde of cycling animals, people and beasties-in-general to decorate one of their beautiful pedal-powered coffee trikes. Trike 001 was recently launched during Bespoked in Bristol, where Velopresso also won the Constructors’ Challenge prize – HURROO!
I haven’t seen it with my own eyes YET but I love the photos (more on Velopresso’s facebook page). The designer did a brilliant job arranging the crowd.
Bicycles are quite hard things to draw – not so bad as horses maybe (so many knees! On backwards!), but getting all the legs on the pedals? When the legs may be very short and belonging to pigs or sheep? Ach! I was afraid Velopresso, who clearly have an exemplary understanding of bicycle construction, would want drawings in better working order than I’d be able to muster – but luckily they were very supportive of skrunkiness and wrongness. I don’t know that my bike-drawing skills are much improved, but my repertoire of cyclists has certainly grown. Bring on the unicycling horse.
I must have drawn over 100 beasties or groups as I submitted about 70; I keep losing count, but I think there are 31 drawings on the final trike. Here are a few constituent beasts:
If you’d like to meet a Velopresso in real life it’s probably best to follow them on Twitter or Facebook.
Mark Carline took lots of other brilliant photos too. This one’s mine and not so good but I did particularly like the robot-rabbit den:
I also did a reading and talked about how I came to make picturebooks:
And there were two more workshops in which we made animals to go on our heads. The animals were AMAZING. Here’s The Boy with the Jaguar on his Head and The Girls with the Tasmanian Devil and the Pink-faced Polar Bear on their Heads:
On my final day at the festival Kate Pankhurst and I made two completely new books in a picturebook jam. One of them started like this (me then Kate):
As resident Illustrator I also got to loiter around drawing all the other goings on – from an amazing range of author events to giant chess and never-ending free crafts. Some of my festival drawings are on the WayWord site but here’s the queue for Shlomo, followed by Alex Wiltshire talking about minecraft:
I felt very lucky to be there and very well looked-after – Chester Performs put on a grand show (and are incredibly good at collecting cardboard).
Eeshk, because I finished a book, I now have to make a new one – this is like actual work with my brain, or should be. It is quite scary to be back in the early development stages again, after over a year, although (with a lot of help from most excellent people at Walker) it is just beginning to feel like it might possibly be possible in the end.