It all begins at the beginning, right? My next adventure will focus on Marina the Mermaid. While her story is already written, right now it would appeal only to adults. They’ll love the message of the story but I can see young kids just not getting into the groove of it yet. So that’s my challenge as I rewrite, tweak, reinvent and transform her story. Even though adults are the ones who purchase my books and ultimately are my real customers, my true goal is to have a child enjoy the book, spark that imagination, foster a love of books and of reading. I very specifically and deliberately create books that appeal directly to young children. Possibly why the books take me so long to complete is that I am incredibly specific on the format and design of my books. The illustrations are deliberately colorful, simple, engaging and attractive to young children. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve grabbed the most gorgeous children’s book only to have my young children immediately dismiss it. Children aren’t drawn to majestic art, they’re drawn to relatable art. This is something I have to constantly keep in mind because no matter how much I want to add a little flair here, or ethereal blending there, I have to pull myself back because it’s not me I’m trying to please. It’s young children.
It feels good to get things going again. I was lucky enough to spend a good chunk of the summer in Ireland, the home of The Magic Forest. Not only does The Magic Forest live in Ireland, it actually lives in a very specific place in Ireland – Cork. I was incredibly fortunate to live there for the summer, in the home of the person (my amazing Aunt) who entirely inspired this series of books. It was such an inspiration and joy to be in that special house that even has the forest in its own back garden.
So I’m off to disappear into Marina’s world. The story needs to be finalized before I can begin drawing but I’m hoping that’ll be real soon!
Love & Peace.