Tuesday 12 October 2010

Funday Stickers from Moody Days

When Jamie Camplin managing Director of Thames and Hudson, publisher of Emma Calder's Moody Days Sticker Book first discussed the book with me. He tentatively enquired if I could add another section to the themes I had already planned, one just a tiny bit more up beat, a set of happy stickers and illustrations.

He was by no means forceful, it was just a suggestion. I liked the idea, it seemed a real challenge. I had already done the Bad Day Stickers, Stuck and Love and all were a reflection of difficult times. It seemed a good idea for the balance of the book to cover a more optimistic frame of mind.

 The Funday title was a photograph of art on a balloon by Oliver aged six

But Happy......? Actually, I ended up calling the section Funday, well that was hard for me to get my head around. Mainly because, my personal work exists partly to cheer myself up through the process of writing, drawing, exploring all the thoughts and feelings that make me and others I know feel bad. So the end result is often tinged with sadness.

Maybe it's just me, maybe I am a very negative person most of my childhood memories in particular reflect this. Just because unfortunate things have happened, it doesn't mean that everything need always be bad. That is the great thing about having the confidence in oneself as a creative being. Because in that world you can make anything happen.

So taking Jamie's suggestion on board I racked my brain for moments of happiness. All my happy memories of recent years have been with my own children and partner, ironically.

Luckily, for one of the illustrations for the book, I found the perfect collage already done, on a page in one of my current sketchbooks.

So for the accompanying writing I wrote down the true story that had inspired me to do the collage in the first place. For those of you who haven't seen the book here it is. 

The first lollies Oli ever had, he carried
around with him all day unopened. He'd never
had a lolly before, because his mum was very
strict, usually. But today she had relented,
when the shop keeper offered them, for free.

He held them tight all day, not once asking
if he could open them, his mum was surprised.

When his big sister came home from
school, he went and sat down next to her on
the sofa. He told her quietly that he had
something for her and he gave her one of the
lollies. She helped him unwrap his, before she
unwrapped hers and then they sucked them
silently and happily together.

 As silently as it was possible to suck a lolly.


Also included in this blog is the photo of Oliver trying to touch stickers that I had just stuck up in the street and holding the very same lollies mentioned in the text. 

Oliver Elephant and Castle 2004