An amazing thing happened to me a few weeks ago.
I love illustration. I’m fascinated by the beauty and depth an artist can add to a story with what seems like a few deft touches of a pencil or a brush. It’s so skillful it seems like magic.
Here are some artists whose work I love so much, I’ve sought out original copies.
I follow quite a few illustrators on social media. There’s one in particular who’s live videos are mesmerising. He also illustrated one of my all time favourite books – Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. I had the good fortune to meet this man at the reception for the inauguration of the new children’s laureate, Cressida Cowell. I said hello and gushed about his work and he very kindly asked what I was doing. I told him I had a new book out.
“I’ve always wanted to illustrate a YA novel,” he said, “Get in touch.”
I sent him a copy of Beauty Sleep. Two days later, these extraordinary images began to pop up on Twitter:
I was speechless and then, he sent the illustrated copy back to me. To own such a beautiful thing – it’s a treasure I can’t quite believe I have. I have wrapped it up to keep it safe and every now and then, I take it out and marvel at his exquisite interpretation of my story.
I always thought words were enough. Now, I’m not so sure. I was surprised to learn that up to 1 in 50 people have Aphantasia – they are unable to visualise, those people really appreciate having images in books at whatever age. And I meet so many teenagers who love graphic novels – wouldn’t it be great to have more illustrated young adult novels What do you think? ( Click on the link below if you can’t see the poll.)
P. S. Comment below with your favourite illustrated books!