Discovering Art

Recently I was interviewed over on Word Mothers and I let slip that I was 46 when I discovered that I wanted to write for children.

This little snippet of age-based information was very popular on Twitter, retweeted a number of times. I doubt that anyone was particularly interested in my age. I’m guessing it struck a chord – we’re never to old to find a new love. I was lucky because I also conveniently discovered my new love loved me back – I could write well enough to be published.


Now eight years later (do the Math if you will, I would!), I have discovered something else. Art. Unfortunately this time I don’t have any talent and the love is a little one-sided but I don’t think that’s going to matter.

I’ve never been an art person.  Before I started writing (and collected a few illustrator works), I owned one framed print. I forget what it’s called.

It’s by Tavlos and it’s one of the Koshari coyote series but I can’t find it on the internet to give it a name.

If anyone knows, I’d love to hear. Maybe I’ll ask on Twitter tomorrow. The answers to all life’s questions can be found there. I bought it as a memory of my holiday in Taos, unaware it was sign of things to come.

Little by little, courtesy of hanging around with children’s literature people, the art seeped in. For some time I’ve been reading Tania McCartney’s blog, sharing her journey towards a life-long dream to illustrate her own picture book. I love her illustration style and I’m so wishful. I wish I could chase the same dream – but I know I haven’t got the talent for that.

sad under window_sm

Sad the Dog artwork by Tull Suwannakit

I also lurk in a park near Baxter Street, Jen Storer’s blog. It’s a wonderfully creative place and Jen is in the middle of a year long on-line course, Year of the Spark, sharing her experiences along the way. That too requires more talent than what I’ve got. But it’s still inspiring stuff for me.

I wrote a picture book and met Tull Suwannakit who not only brought Sad the Dog to life but let me peek inside his creative processes and shared his art.  Have a look at this video.

I purchased some water colour pencils – but nothing happened. They’re still sitting unused on my desk. I thought it’d be great to do classes with Tull, but he’s in Melbourne so that didn’t happen either. I went to a friend’s exhibition and stood beside her art teacher waiting for a gap in the conversation to ask about lessons. It never came.

Two nights ago, I was reorganising my Pinterest boards in alphabetical order (yes, I know, very sad) and a phrase popped into my head. Naive art. What’s that, I wondered and clicked off to look. I don’t know where the words came from. I don’t know any art words. Perhaps I got them off Tania or Jen.

I loved what I found. I filled up an entire Pinterest Board with ideas. I love the colours. I love the lack of proportions. I love the folk feel. I even think I can do this with my small smidgen of artistic ability – at least well enough to be happy with my efforts. I can’t wait to start. As soon as I finish my current manuscript…

naive art pinterest

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