There is nothing better for the creative soul than to receive food from those around you who are passionate, living the same dream and sharing their own insights and experiences.
The week began on a Friday. I made it into my studio with the house finally emptied of other residents and found myself absorbed in the task of illustrating for a new book (we hope to impress the publisher with the illustration to create a signed contract!). My alarm kept going off to remind me of the time in so I could attend a talk by Sydney author Chris Cheng on writing historical fiction. Alas, my brain became absorbed with whales and glue and I arrived in my artistic haze, fashionably late. It was a brilliant and inspiring talk. It made me feel normal (normal in the realm of writers that is) as Chris described his emotional relationship with the characters and places he writes about amongst many other tools and resources he uses to create his stories. A wonderful Spanish dinner followed at Toro's.
Saturday morning saw me braving an early start (my only day for a sleep in) and I headed into town for the CBCA Tasmania branch AGM. I sat firmly on my hands and thankfully walked away without a position but was very pleased to be there in recognition and support of the hard work the fabulous volunteers offer. It was a sad farewell to our well established and hard working leader, Patsy, and we saw the the new President of the Tasmanian Branch, Richard, take the reigns. I know all who know Patsy and her commitment to CBCA, her passion and hard work will join me in a big thank you. I'm very please to say she is still on the committee.
A rush down stairs to the children's library and we were all set for another Chris Cheng presentation. This time e-books, p-books and apps. A very enlightening overview of how they are created, why they are not a threat to traditional books and how they are an important part of literature in the current age. I've always quoted Stephen Fry (I wish I had thought of it): 'The elevator never put the stairs out of business ' and so Chris also stated that 'the TV never put the radio out of business.' I really enjoy the new age of picture books.
A quick lunch with the group that had formed around these events and then off to Fullers Book Store for the final event of the weekend, the SCBWI Tasmania/Victoria Branch Meeting. Hooray. I've finally joined and realise it is a wonderful thing to do. It was amazing how many illustrators came to listen to the wonderful speakers, including Claire Saxby. Corrine King/Fenton, Chris Cheng and our own Sally Odgers and Julie Hunt. More inspiration and encouragement. Wonderful to catch up with so many friends. We are not alone.....
My head is full of motivation and then to top it all off I attended an art workshop run by our local art supply store (& oldest book store in Australia) Birchall's. I was treated to an understanding of how paint is made and therefore how it works for the artist and all the new mediums and paints now available. Those dusty blank canvases might actually see some daylight, I'm revved up in all departments creatively.
So much in only four days. Enough time now to settle down and put that excited energy into action. Then it will be time to head of to my retreat in Sydney, Open Spaces where again I will be inspired, encouraged and will hopefully get to encourage and inspire back. Stay tuned, October is the month of creative motivation. I hope yours is as well,