This is a great new picture book by one of my friend Tom Percival.
It is about a boy who has a magic shadow.
They are the best of friends until his shadow start to get carried away and gets Jack into trouble.
After a big falling out Jack realises he wants his friend back and they make it up.
I am a person obsessed by the pursuit of my next good idea be it big or small. To me the key to originality and good ideas lies in the understanding that absolute originality is an illusion. What we create always partially reflects our experiences and environment whether it is obvious to us or not.
Idea theft is a big concern when you are a creative but can make you an island if you let it. I have met a lot of really good creative people who worry about this to such a degree that their work does not evolve in the way it should. It is true there are 'Sharks' out there ready to prey on inexperienced creatives new ideas but I say the only way to truly protect your self from this is to keep coming up with new ideas.
All the time you spend protecting your one good idea could be spent coming up with 3 more even better ones.
The internet has effectively made us all creative 'watch dogs' and there is less place to hide for those 'Sharks' to hide when they try and take a bite out of someone else's idea.
Through history all the best ideas and concepts have come through cross pollination. Don't make yourself an island. Find some fellow creatives you can work with and who knows where your ideas may take you!
This image started as a sketch. The idea of the illustration was an excited boy looking out the window and slowly falling to sleep. What is he looking for, may be an Alien?
He starts in an upright position eager to see what might come out of the sky, then he gets bored, and finally we see him asleep.
The two previous stages were going to be progressively fainter. You can see three faint rising moons in the sky to accompany the stages of the boy which was to depict the passage of time. Unfortunately the whole concept didn't quite translate in the final painting but this is where it started.
When working with human characters like this I like to use warm brown line work on the face and body. I feel the character is then given a softer and more sensitive feel.
I painted the base of the boys hair using traditional water colours. I like to add extra textual element to an image where every it lends it self.
The finished painting was looking confused with all the overlapping boy stages and moon in the sky so I needed to compromise.
This is what I ended up with.
This is stage one. I work straight from the Wacom tablet onto the computer to quickly capture the idea spending as little time on finishing as possible, just to make sure the picture works as a whole.
By stage two I have worked out in my head the gaps and details I need to fill and with pencil and paper, draw all the elements I want in the image.
Then in stage four I scan each element into the computer and separate them so I can move the around like 'fuzzy felts' until the composition is right.
Then I paint the image in the computer and there you have it. These images take between 3-5 days to complete.
I start by sketching all the elements of the illustration I think I might need. As you can see I didn't use all the ideas, but I like to start with all the options.
I don't see this as a waste of time as I know I may use the elements in another illustration.
This was the original painting, however when I revisited the image I felt it was too cluttered and the composition not as pleasing as the others.
So I decided to simplify it.
Here you can see I gave this version more sky to allow breathing room. I also dropped the view point to accentuate the overall silhouette of the illustration for maximum impact.
Charlie Brooker takes a short look back at Oliver Postgates genius. Another one of my all time favourite creators and in my mind the true king of children's TV.
Writing and Illustration to me has been my number one passion ever since I can remember. I feel very fortunate that I get to do it every day.