My photo
Welcome to my art blog from Tasmania, Australia. I post a little on my various art projects while also working in plant genetics. For more, please try the links to my various art pages or email me at silvergumstudio@yahoo.com.au. Thank you for visiting!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Mystery of the Teapot

Pardon my long silence, folks - what with holidays, bushfires affecting friends, the tourist season at the gallery, and tens of kilos of fruit from the garden to pick and process, I haven't had any blogging time for over a month. With luck, things will be more relaxed from now on.  My best wishes to those affected by the bushfires, and Happy New Year to all.

These pictures are from a picturebook mentorship application that I submitted last week to the Australian Society of Authors, who support authors and illustrators at all stages of their careers.  One of their initiatives (supported by the Copyright Agency's Cultural Fund) is to offer new authors and illustrators individual guidance from experts in their intended fields for projects under development.  I submitted a dummy picturebook called 'The Mystery of the Teapot' - a story set on a tabletop, in which a rat, bird and bee speculate about a mysterious key hidden in a teapot.  Does it open the window to the moon, wind the golden clock at the end of the world, or just open the pantry?
A page from the picturebook dummy

I discovered that it is a tremendous amount of work to write a picturebook MS, create characters, design a dummy showing what happens on each page (sixteen spreads), and create a piece of finished artwork.  Initially I had four characters, one of which was a little fish that carried its bowl around with it (below).  Unfortunately, when I came to put the dummy together, I just couldn't fit the fish in.  I needed three animals of varying sizes, all of them highly mobile.  As everybody liked the fish best, I think I may have to write another book starring a fish!
Character sketches for 'The Mystery of the Teapot'
I'm hoping to win one of the mentorships but it's a long shot, as only about 10 are awarded per 500 applicants.  If I don't win, I'll still work on the book during 2013.  Putting together the dummy was an eye-opener - I think it took me a week to draw the first spread, a few days to draw the next, and one day to draw the final six spreads.  Of course, at that point I realised the MS was terrible and needed more work ... ah well.  Rome wasn't built in a day.


  1. Gay, the progress you have made during the time I have been following your blog is outstanding. Move over Mem Fox!

  2. Keeping my fingers crossed for you. Love what you have done. You'll get there, you've got talent.. :)

  3. Good luck Gay!! Love the colour in the top spread and you've created some fun characters.Thanks for stopping by blog....hope you wiiinnnnn!!!

  4. I love love what you have shown above and the idea! I will cross my fingers for you and hope you win!

  5. Gay! So glad to see you! Oh I love the first image. I think my favorite is the bird! But all so cute. And a great mystery to solve! And congratulations on getting that manuscript going. It's really a big part of the battle.

    I am sending loads of good luck wishes for the mentorship. You never know! Hooray for a new year and new projects. I am trying to figure out where to start with my own!

  6. Thanks everyone and Happy New Year. With support like this, I can't fail!

  7. Gay, this looks FABULOUS! Good Luck with the mentorship; and I can't wait to see the book published!

    1. That gives me hope! I'm coming by to visit your lovely site and see what you've been up to.

  8. Gay, my website is sorely in need of an update. I need to visit my webdesigner and take her up on the offer of teaching me how to update it myself. Congratulations on you IP Kids book!