Sunday, 21 December 2014

Some Thoughts About Sharing

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I've been thinking a lot about sharing. Not just the boasting FB status update variety, nor those ubiquitous AfterEight Challenge Instagram pics. And I'm not talking about Chrissy prezzies either. That's not sharing, it's shopping. No, what I'm banging on about is something more emo, more philosophical and a bit... well, cheesy.

Last week I was in Oxford for a lunch meeting with some publishers about the collaborative project I'm doing with Jo Cotterill, called ELECTRIGIRL (see previous post). As Jo and I said goodbye to our OUP team, the two of us walked away down the street arm-in-arm, beaming from ear to ear. It was a 'that was great' tingle moment, a stomach flipper. We almost skipped (but we are middle-aged and erm, sensible, so didn't!)  I'll be honest and say I've not walked arm-in-arm with anyone (except perhaps my nieces or my Mum after her hip op!) for absolutely years. Not since I was a teenager. And that's how it felt, like I was a teenager, sharing a triumph with my Bestie. It was the perfect end to the perfect day, a gesture that summed up exactly what was happening to our insides.

We were sharing something that nobody else could understand. With that gesture we were acknowledging all the ups (inspiration and hilarity) and all the downs (re-writes, rejections, tantrums and tears) of a project we had shared for almost 2 years. We, and only we, knew how hard it had been to finally get to that meeting on that day on that street, so we expressed all of it in that shared gesture.

You see, I told you it would be cheesy!

So why have I been thinking about sharing and why am I posting it today?

Well, I'm an atheist (or an agnostic) and I've long believed we atheists/agnostics should shift our mid-winter festivities to coincide with the Solstice, which is today. And, as I'm broke this year (2014 will be an Austerity Christmas for the majority of us, I think) I'm looking for ways to enjoy the festive season without spending money I don't have. So, I'll be doing it by sharing. I'll spend time with friends (in the same room or online). I'll share memories and triumphs and news (trying not to boast). I'll share by listening and commiserating and empathising, because I've been there and I know how much it hurts. Oh, and I'll share some of the cakes and biscuits I've made.

Here is my first share...

MERRY WINTER SOLSTICE EVERYONE!
Love and hugs
from Cathy
xxxxx

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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Sparky New Project


Yesterday I travelled up to Oxford to meet up with the team who are shaping my new collaborative project, ELECTRIGIRL. Jo Cotterill was there, of course. She's the writing genius who came up with the original idea and has written all the text (many times over!) You could say I'm a sort of illustrator Robin to her writer Batman. Or something like that. Anyway. I digress.
got to meet our OUP team for the first time including our editor, Kathy, and art editor, Holly. I was particularly eager to show them all my artwork ideas so I spread them out across the meeting room table. In fact, there was so much of it (Jo and I have been working on this for over a year) that it covered the table almost entirely! That meeting room instantly resembled my chaotic studio.
The plan was to discuss all the illustrations I'll be doing for a couple of hours and then pop out for lunch but we got so involved and kept adding more pages so, four and a half hours later we were finishing the last page over pudding in the restaurant!!