Author/illustrator Anthony Browne

Went to hear UK author/illustrator Anthony Browne speak yesterday. Always so inspiring to hear established illustrators speak. He talked a lot about his process and how ideas for books germinate in his mind and then change and morph as he gets them out. When doing a final illustration, he would have a rough sketch, with the characters properly sketched out to make sure he got them right, but everything else he leaves to develop as he is painting. Very courageous! I'm not sure if I would be comfortable doing that personally. Whenever I stray from my rough sketch while doing finals, it usually ends up in disaster. So always interesting to see how other people work.

I had asked him a question during the question time as to whether he uses reference when he draws, or if it is all from his head. The response was that he uses reference for the characters as he wants them to be very "real" but the rest of it all make-believe. It does have this very other-worldly feel to it.

He has a lot of hidden things in his work, and especially in the book I bought from him (and got signed) Into the Forest. It has amazing detail and a very interesting and masterful use of colour. When I got it signed he said to me "so.... are you a.... student?" "aspiring illustrator," I replied. "Yes, I thought so." he said. I wonder why he thought that? because of my question? (most of the questions were from kids and along the lines of "how do you paint your pictures?" and "how many of your books have monkeys in them?") Because of the way I was dressed? (I was wearing my polka dot coat and was dressed a bit 'funky' if I do say so myself) I don't know. But I liked it. :-)

Unfortunately after having waited in line for 20 minutes to get the book signed, I was running late to get back to work (i took a long unauthorised lunch break!) i was hoping to have time to sit with my friend Jo, but instead had to grab a sandwich on the run, and chat with her on the way to the train station. So I have just said goodbye to her, am crossing the road to Flinders St station, watching traffic, eating my sandwich, and digging in my purse for my train ticket all at the same time. And then... whoops! Who put that curb there?? BIG face plant right in the middle of the sidewalk. My sandwich goes flying, my knee skinned and pants ripped, my ego severely bruised. sigh.... and it was a good sandwich too!!