I was recently contacted by designer Steve Fenn at Design by St, about contributing an illustration for a charity project with the 26 writers' collective, in aid of The Story Museum. The Story Museum is a charity that works to enrich young lives through story and storytelling. It runs educational programmes in schools and communities, including some of the most disadvantaged. More on their site here:http://www.storymuseum.org.uk
The project is a book of 26 poems about children's literary characters with a different illustrator contributing an image for each poem and also focusing on a letter. I was given a poem based on the the thief with a heart of gold, Abel Magwitch from Dickens's Great Expectations. The letter is 'R'. The poet is Sophie Gordon and here is the stark and powerful poem she wrote;
Rough and ragged.
No hat. Just a tattered scrap, stained crimson.
No shoes. Muddied feet.
His jewellery is a heavy iron chain.
A wild animal. Caged.
But his eyes are the eyes of a man.
A man who is tired of running but will never stop.
A man who stares back – his gaze heavier than lead, stronger than any shackle.
I hope my contribution somewhat captures the spirit of the verse. I the 'R', into the form of Magwitch's body.
The book is printed in 4 colour by specialist litho printers PUSH on beautiful paper supplied by The Fenner paper company. It's on sale now and can be purchased through the '26' here http://www.26.org.uk/shop.asp#252 .
I'm very excited to have my work next to the likes of Rosie Scott, Brett Ryder and many other very talented illustrators. Hopefully it will help raise big funds for this worthy cause.