Drawing out Drawing In

Last night I went to hear one of my favourite illustrators, Shaun Tan, speak at Melbourne's State Library new Wheeler Centre. I always pick up some tasty tip or get inspired by a piece of his work I haven't seen before.

He was speaking as part of Drawing Out, Drawing In : Spotlight on Graphic Novels. I must admit I haven't been in to graphic novels much but the talk was eye-opening for me in many ways. I picked up Persepolis which I am eager to read (and see the movie/animation, once I have read it)

Shaun Tan talked a lot of the themes he enjoys exploring in his work: Language or lack thereof, miscommunication, displacement, and giving a voice to the voiceless (like his dogs in Tales from Outer Suburbia)

It made me think a lot about what themes there might be in my work, what I would like to explore in my painting on a deeper level, beyond technique and improving skill. One theme I see in my work is exploring the notion of 'home'. Tree imagery appears a lot in my work and I think of them as a home to many things, and I think of grounding, roots and family trees... there are many metaphors. Anyway that's something I'd like to delve deeper into in the coming weeks and months as I develop my folio for the LA conference....