Last weekend was the Warrnambool Books Children’s Book Festival in celebration of the bookshop’s 30th anniversary. I was a guest illustrator on Friday and did a school visit at St Joseph’s Primary School before a book signing at the family owned bookshop.
While I was there, I decided to mix up two ideas from other clever illustrators. I have seen Jude Rossell giving out bookmarks with small illustrations on them at illustrator events. And Alexis Deacon has described his fun practice of painting or drawing blobs and then turning them into something here and here and most awesomely here.
I was just after something simple and quick to do in between signing books, so mine were pretty basic but the kids loved them. Here are some of the bookmarks I did the next day at home, simply because they were so much fun. In fact it was rather hard to stop!
They take about one minute each.
• First paint a pale grey-brown blob with some interesting projections and bumps.
• Then paint a few more while the first one dries.
• Go back to the dry blob and add a few lines with a felt tip pen to turn it into whatever springs to mind.
• Finally, add a touch of colour if you want to. (I didn’t do this to many of them in the bookshop. They were very simple.)
My two boys joined in with great enthusiasm and did some fabulous ones. It is a good activity to do with kids, and taps into their wonderful imaginations. In the case of my two boys, it was fun to see how they formed an alliance whereby Arthur would paint the blobs, and then after they dried, would ask Hugo what the blob should be. Hugo, with barely a split second’s hesitation would say: ‘That’s a pig blowing a trumpet. That’s a fish with legs. That’s a cow shouting.’ And so on. Arthur happily drew them after that.
Like me, they found it hard to stop once started :-)