The Burrow

During March this year I was invited to work and live out of a studio apartment in Norwood, South Australia for three weeks by the May Gibbs Children's Literature Trust (MGCLT). I had been awarded the Ian Wilson Memorial Fellowship (in fact I was the inaugural winner) for unpublished authors. So I packed up my things and got ready for an adventure.

Clothes for my Burrow adventure.

Clothes for my Burrow adventure.

The fellowship was created to help unpublished emerging children's and Young Adult (YA) authors and illustrators to have time to work on their current book project. There was also an element of networking and industry meetings. This meant that I spent two weeks solidly working on my book and then one week meeting with librarians, publishers, agents and book sellers to find out more about the industry that is Children's Literature. 

I had originally planned to finish part two of Oh Brother, which I assumed would be about the same length as part one (about 100 pages) during my time at the Fellowship, but I soon found out that this part had quite a few more extra stories and pages. I got 120 pages done while at the Burrow and still have about 20 more to go. Phew!

The essential art supplies for comic book making. 

The essential art supplies for comic book making. 

Even though I didn't achieve my goal of finishing part two (which I was pretty annoyed at myself about), I did get a big chunk of the book done. Hopefully I'll finish part two by the end of this week and then all I have to do is finish part three (and hope that it's no longer than 100 pages), find a publisher who's interested in it and do all that inking stuff. No worries, right?

While I was there I kept notes for myself to write up a little travel comic when I got back into my regular studio (with writing the book all day I ran out of drawing energy by the evening to make the travel journal happen while I was at the Burrow). But I did write up a mini travel comic for the MGCLT Fellowship visitors book. 

On top of getting a big chunk of work done on the book, I also finally got to make a big dent in my reading pile. These are all the books, comics, and zines I read while away from home for the three weeks. I'll talk more about some of my faves in a future post. 

Below is my leaf collection from my time at the Burrow. Each leaf represents a walk I made either around the neighbourhood or into town or to meet up for a coffee with someone. Some of the walks I took helped me to work my way through problems I encountered while working on the story.

Although there are quite a few panels that I drew in part two that I'm proud of (and quite a few I would rather not look at), this was probably my favourite panel that I drew during the Fellowship. I dig the expression on my Mum's face and we all know I love diagrams, cross sections and arrowed foot notes. 

And that pretty much sums up my Fellowship. I had a great time at the little studio apartment, getting up, making breakfast and then getting straight into book making. I think I lived on turmeric lattes and skateboard bread. The bad side-effect is that I do feel a little burnt out on the book at the mo (after working on nothing else for three weeks). I can't wait to have this section done so I can take a breath of air and maybe make short silly comics about nothing important. Or just illustrate some rad ladies. Or food. 

Catch you round!

Gxx