7.7.06

Goodbye Pinwheel

And so another job rolls to a close. I've been flat out (as far as I ever am, anyway) finishing off the remaining artworks for 'Pinwheel Days'. In the end there were 49 of them, including the cover. They are quite pretty when all laid out together. It doesn't look like much, but what you don't see is the big wad of roughs, layouts, pre-sketches and failed paintings - not to mention early scribblings long since burned.

Every single one had to have an address label on the back, and its own protective piece of paper, as drummed into me at college, because you never know when something is going to get mislaid at the other end. And every chapter had a separate folder...and now all there is to do is wait for the final OK from the publishers; there is still a bit of doubt about one of the pictures, and I am keeping my fingers crossed I won't have to re-design it.

Now I am having some enforced relaxation - no major jobs on the horizon, (just another poster for 5-7 magazine) and waiting with anxiety for a few cheques owed me, before the wolf hurls himself against the door. It's a bit odd really, as since September I've had several jobs buzzing about my head - and now my mind feels blank, like a wrung out flannel. It was quite sad packing Pinwheel up. I've been working on him now for about 11 months and when I'd taken the artworks off my noticeboards, labelled it all up, cleared my tables and sorted through the huge pile of prep work, it felt like the last day of term. You know, when the walls are bare, and you all take games in and some lucky so-and-so has 'Spooky Castle' or 'Mouse Trap', when all you've got is your mum's box of Scrabble. Perhaps I'll take a game of solitaire in, and some lemonade.

RIP DYLAN the Lovely Rabbit from Higgledy Piggledy's blog. I'm sure I'm not the only one who will miss seeing his sweet ink splashed face munching on illicit plant cuttings.



12 comments:

tlc illustration said...

I am so sorry to hear about Dylan. (And poor Joanna...)

Congrats on your book. It's very fun to see all the pages laid out all together like that. I'm always amazed at how long it takes to package everything up once I think I'm 'done'. I'm not actually done for a number of labeling and tissue-papering hours after the last of the painting... More goes into this than anyone who doesn't do this kind of thing supposes....

Sue said...

I agree wholeheartedly with the comments above. All that packing up and protecting and labelling....it's one reason I'm glad of the computer to send files now. I used to find I always had huge educational books to pack and the last post time looming, it was always a real panic!

Poor Dylan, I hope he has his pick of the greens in the Heavebly Hutch!

muddy red shoes said...

Oh no, Dylans DEAD!!! Dr Who was sad, and you have got the end of tearm feeling. Ill make some biscuits to go with your lemonade and we could lie in long grass at the end of the playing field listening to sky larks, while the others play stupid mousetrap( it was never as good as it looked on the lid, but I did covert a set)

muddy red shoes said...

and well donr for finishing, what about those lino cuts you were planning, and Trinity??!!

muddy red shoes said...

oohh youve done some, Im off for a read....

Chris.P said...

Hi Gretel
Your illustrations look awesomely good. Congrats on getting them finished. I envy you your ritual of wrapping up your illo's and sending them out into the world for the first time. My work is just unceremoniously dispatched into cyberspace with barely a tear :¬(

Was 11 months deadline the publisher's or did you set it?

I see the publisher has already got a mock-up of a couple of pages. I often have to produce images for the publisher's catalogue even before the books illustration roughs are approved.

Now we're between jobs perhaps we could go busking. I don't really play an instrument as such, but I can make interesting noises with a blade of grass between my thumbs! ;¬)

Chris

Maggie said...

I guess that works out to nearly a week per artwork for 'Pinwheel Days'. I do a little art and even I would not guess that much time. They are beautiful!

Do any of your roughs from a project not get burned and inspire future works?

I am sorry about Dylan. I never knew or knew of him but I know what lovely pets rabbits can be.

Niel Bushnell said...

Lovely stuff - congratulations on getting it finished. Your site always calms me down, I don't know why!

Steph said...

Wow- a very nice collection of works there...standing back and looking at it all, are you amazed at what you have accomplished? I often am at the end- it's like you forget how much work there is until you see it all together like that. Anyway, very nice work! You have a lovely and distinct style (distinct is hard to do- everyone want to have a distinct style, but not too many people accomplish that).

PG said...

Thanks you everyone...my art directors are lovely, but I do value my friends comments even more. Slushy moment over.

Maggie, I keep quite a lot of decent roughs, but I have so much artwork now that I do get rid of the really ropey stuff. I keep lots of little doodles though, as you say, for future inspiration.

Niel, I'm heartily glad you find refuge here, it's that good old country air, you know, soothes the troubled spirit. :)

Chris, having read about your travails with your publisher, I'm counting my blessings! The deadline was on contract, but it did get a bit elastic in the end...can you also make a pipe out of a dandelion stalk?

Hi Steph - thank you! :) I am absolutley staggered at what I have accomplised, not the least of it being that I have finished it...I never used to be very good at that...

Long grass and skylarks sounds a lot more tempting than Mousetrap, you're right Sarah. I think we need Jammy Dodgers too.

Kristin said...

I always feel such a sense of relief and accomplishment when I pack it all up and get it to the Fedex guy, don't you? Then there is the pins and needles of whether the package gets there okay and if they will like it all. Congrats on a beautiful job - I love to see how others work and the pic of all the illustrations together is totally impressive. I so enjoy your blog.

Job well done from across the pond,
Kristin

CAS said...

I've put in a note to Joanna, but I'm really glad that you put a picture of Dylan on here. He really was a smashing rabbit - so much character!