Last August I was contacted to do a set of books to help people learn to speak Cornish. This time last year I had begun working on them, they were finished in April this year, and yesterday I finally got my set of books through.
I drew the characters, and the other illustrator, Brian Hoskin, drew the backgrounds and coloured everything. Some of my ideas and sketches for the project are blogged here.
I am pretty chuffed with these. It's one of those rare instances where you get the finished product through all those months later and you're not completely embarrassed by it. I love how they come in a little box, and there's an interactive CD, too, but I haven't tried it out yet. The website for the books is pretty awesome, too.
It was a pretty interesting project to work on. Not only because I was working in a small team with another illustrator colouring my work and that was all new and exciting, but because I had my "breakthrough" while doing it - rediscovering my on-going love of the dip-pen. Not that it wasn't incredibly difficult at times. I nearly resigned twice, but I'm glad I stuck with it. It taught me that I can use sketchbooks and I can work out ideas over pages and pages without the "Oh-my-God-I-have-to-have-a-proper-finished-idea-NOW!" feeling. The way I draw things now - like birds for example - is totally influenced by how I worked here. But it's turned out really well. There are plans for another set, but it all depends on budgets and costings and all that other complicated stuff.
I have to say, the thing I remember most about the end of the project, when the deadline was drawing closer and closer and things were really moving, was the dread that Amy Winehouse would do something stupid and our Goraswonnek ("Celebrity") would have to be completely redone!
The best thing of all about this project is that it gave me the money and the freedom to move into my own place, and I love it just for that.