Friday, January 9, 2015

What on earth is that?

What on earth is that is the title of a book for kids written by Sarah Savory I am illustrating. I just finished the last page yesterday, and here is a sneak preview of one of them. 

The story is about a pangolin (these weird creatures eating ants, full of scales and walking on their hind legs), one of the most endangered species IN THE WORLD. 
The book should come out this year, but the process started mid 2014. My wife then bumped into Sarah, at the market, buying tomatoes, bread and most probably Winkey's honey, I don't remember exactly but it does not matter at all either. In the conversation Sarah told her she wrote a book for children and is looking for someone to illustrate it, Lou told her that I was an illustrator and the one she needed. 
Small lie, big trust and best intentions. I had to say Yebo! I send her some sketches of an animal I had no idea what it looked like (thanks google), pimping it to look handsome. I knew that she was passionate about it. It was a bit like having to draw a portrait of someone else's love, only relying on google pictures. It is extremely difficult with google to be sure if the pangolins are actually male or female, central african, southern african or asian. Then again, Love is blind and Sarah is not fussy about their looks, gender or specie. Lucky me.
She liked it. And she trusted me too.

Next step for me was to meet one of these weird creature, and I met Marimba, in the Wildlife sanctuary. 
The blind date was set. Although we were a bit awkwards at first, we played the game, walked in the bush together, got personnal: I loved her scales in the sun, she played hide and seek in the tall grass with me, we shared ants and at the end she even showed her belly button as I was lying beside her. Now that is intimacy!
Looking at a pangolin belly should be on any sensible person's bucket list by the way.
I was amazing to follow the pangolin for a couple of hours, they are so bizarre. 
From there, I  actually had to do something I accepted doing but never really did before. It was quite exciting, really, to see the book come alive, discuss with sarah about colours, characters, etc. 
Really, really cool. 
All that to say that I am happy and thankfull for the trust and really want to see the book printed.
I'll look for new opportunities like that one! yey!

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