Me & Shaun Tan

Well I don't think I can put me in the category with Shaun Tan except to say that we both had book launches in the past week. I have to say Shaun's was a bit more exciting!

The book launch of mine was for Short which I posted about here, published by Black Dog Books. I had one little illo in it, but it was cool to go along and meet the editor, and Mary Ann (the co-owner) again. I had showed her my folio ages ago, and she encouraged me to keep submitting samples as it really is a 'timing thing' - so that was good. Lili Wilkinson was the editor and she made a very humorous speech where everything was 'short' - "I hope you don't feel short changed, that Short stays on your short list", etc. I signed quite a few books and almost felt famous!

At the Short launch I ran into a good friend of mine who is involved with a certain book publisher who publishes a certain Shaun Tan and she told me about the book launch on Friday. Lucky or I would have missed it!

Shaun's new book is Tales from Outer Suburbia, a set of 15 stories (you can see a sneak peak here) If you don't know Shaun Tan's work you MUST check him out. He is totally out of this world, literally. He is an Aussie illustrator, and wins awards for almost every book he does - it's pretty obvious why, because not only are his ideas so original and often very heartwarming, but his execution of painting/drawing/collaging is simply first rate! There is so much detail and texture in his work, that's what I love the most besides the fact that it's technically amazing, you could just stare at one illustration forever looking at all the little details.

I also bought his previous book The Arrival which I had been drooling over for quite a while but hadn't made the "investment" yet. I thought it about time when I could get it signed! It is a wordless book about immigration and again, indescribably amazing. He said it took him 3-4 years to finish. good work takes time, obviously.

The night was a mini who's who of Australian illustration. The book was officially launched by Ron Brooks, and I also saw Lorette Broekstra (who I took a children's book illustration class from a few years ago) and met Craig Smith. Yikes! The heavyweights! (what was I doing there?)

So I think tonight I will settle into bed early and get stuck into some amazing picture books...