I am working on a new set of little books that revolve around various themes. Almost all of them are set against a plain white background, with the characters occupying the bottom third of the page.
But there’s one book called ‘Hold On’ that I’m really enjoying developing. For narrative reasons, I’ve thrown the minimalist feel out of the window and I’ve got a large ocean kicking a small helpless character around. (You art lovers will probably notice I’ve taken a shine to Hokusai’s work here.) I wanted to give a sense of power to the ocean, so I’ve deliberately framed the image with the wave bulging up over the top, left and bottom side of the page. It’s rare that I draw something that detracts this much attention away from a character, and normally it takes me dozens of attempts and tweaks to get this kind of drawing spot on. However, on this occasion this image fell out of my head pretty much fully formed as I imagined it, and I found myself sitting in a cafe smiling at my sketchpad.
It was around this time a waitress turned up with a hot drink and, after staring at me for a second or two, gave me a very funny look. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that smiling at sketchpads isn’t normal.