In my job I do a lot of different things. I have lots of hats and I seem to be wearing them all in equal measure. And sometimes all at once.
People should wear more hats.
This year so far, in addition to the drawing (more book covers, colouring books, activity books and even a wee picture book coming soon...) I have also been working with students of all ages helping them with their own illustration projects. And witnessing their extraordinary talent. Taking a time out from my studio and from the art college last month I hit the road with the wonder that is author Vivian French. We visited schools and libraries across Aberdeenshire in an epic 5-day stint of bookmaking and storytelling as part of Portsoy Book Festival.
Our trip was inspiring, hilarious, and though-provoking. I came away feeling lucky to have met so many talented and enthusiastic young people and also full of ideas and inspiration as a result of seeing their artwork and hearing their stories. But these events also reminded me that when we are young we have a fearlessness in our approach to telling stories and making marks on paper that seems to diminish as we get older.
Next stop for me (after some much needed studio time) is more schools visits as part of Boswell Book Festival next month. I hope I can keep wearing all my hats, including the one that signifies we still have enough funding to ensure that creative activities are available to all children and in all schools.