New For July, 2013

Activities & Play, african, character, design, illustration, Ken Wilson-Max, kids, London, publishing

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Two new Lenny Books; Lenny Goes to School & Where’s Lenny? Available in the UK from July…

These two tittles took a little time but came together very well. It’s still thrilling to see your own work in print!

K

Summer Events

african, baby, Events, idea, illustration, Ken Wilson-Max, kids, London, North London, pre school books, Profile, publishing

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I have two important events this summer. One is Pop Up 2013 and the other, running parallel to the announcing of the Carnegie Greenaway 2013  Medal Winner, is happening tomorrow, June 19 at Platform on Hornsey Road in North london. Schools have had the chance to look over the shortlist and will be making their own choices for the winners. They will announce them at  the same time as the formal announcements are made.

Preparations for both events are underway and they are connected. I have always done events as part of my ‘job’- I’ve treated them like an add-on and not paid too much attention to their importance. Last year at the Pop up Festival, I did a short (20 minute) event for young children which ended up with me becoming one of this year’s festival creators/curators. I have finally realised how good my events can be, without blowing my trumpet too loudly. How many times to we creators miss out on self publicity because we’re just not thinking of the potential business? I will be writing a post about the business of creating very soon. Anyway, these two events mark a change in attitude for me since I realised that events are a big part of what I do as a creator.

I am working with a drama professional, Sylvia Cohen  and we have devised a workshop (hopefully the first of many) on finding ideas that will excite, educate and entertain. The brainstorming and teamwork is energising. So, I guess the third event of the summer is the one where we get to plan and launch this refreshed approach.

Would anyone like to know how to present better? Or to run a workshop? Keep watching the Illustrationist.

 

K

ps. Here’s a sample of the workshop content. We’re making an e-book which should be ready in the next two weeks. We’re also printing a One Page Book for kinds to take a way.

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African Mythological Creatures- Ninki Nanka: The Dragon

african, design, idea, illustration, Ken Wilson-Max, kids, publishing

creatures-ninkinamka

According to traditions, the Ninki Nanka lives in the swamps of West Africa. It is said to be extremely large and dangerous. It is said that when children get too confident and feel they can disobey their parents and go into the swamp they will be taken by the Ninki Nanka. The story of Ninki Nanka has spread from tribe to tribe across Africa. There is a song called “Ninki Nanka” on the album Casamance au clair de lune (1984) by the Senegalese music group Touré Kunda. A group of “dragon hunters” from the Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) went to Gambia in the summer of 2006 to investigate the Ninki Nanka and take testimony from those who have claimed to have seen the mythical creature. One interviewee who claimed to have had an encounter with a Ninki Nanka said it looked similar to an image of a Chinese dragon. The expedition was known as the “J. T. Downes Memorial Gambia Expedition 2006”

Pop Up Festival of Stories

Activities & Play, idea, illustration, kids, London, North London

The festival should be a lot of fun. If you’re in London with a spare few hours, come along and join in!

 

We like cowboys- sketches

children's books, design, From the sketchbooks, illustration, Ken Wilson-Max, kids, publishing

I worked up some sketches and colour test pictures and am quite happy with the results. I normally do things in waves  (if I have the time), preferring to let things sit for a few days before deciding if they work or not. Here are the two main characters from the story. It was a surprise that the text came together so quickly and so well.

A note about colour tests. While I paint with acrylics, my graphic design background  means that Photoshop skills are included.  The software is used to work out colours before painting. It would be interesting to do a book this way; painted line and digital colour- and that might happen one day. Enjoy!