Where ideas come from...

One of the questions illustrators often get asked is, "How do you come up with your ideas?"

Well I thought I'd take you through how an image came to be, though I must say this is not my normal process!

So I had a seed of an idea rattling around in my head for quite some time - a 'Neverending Story' type image of a girl flying somewhere on a bird, but I couldn't figure out where she was headed. A castle? A shipwreck? A mountain? It wasn't until I went to Varuna that I discovered what her goal was to be. 2 things helped me figure it out...

1. long walks in the Blue Mountains where I saw stunning tree-filled views like this:

If you look closely you will see little trails winding around below, or viewing platforms below or above.

2. A fellow Varunian took me to an exhibition in Katoomba of Terry Denton's illustrations from his Treehouse series. How amazing that this was on when I was there - one of those chance timings that ends up profoundly affecting you!

So with all this swirling around in my mind, I sat back down at my desk at Varuna, sketched the girl on the bird and then it hit me like a ton of bricks.... of course! She's flying to a secret treehouse! I definitely wanted to play with perspective on this one, and to give it a real sense of adventure.

So here is the sketch I did, with homage to Mr. Denton.

And here's the final illustration!