So, In my 'long and varied career' as a writer and illustrator, I have always had other interests bumping along in the back of the van, as it were. I suppose that, because I have never had what could be called a 'proper job', nothing that required travel to a place of work and a commitment to eight hours of labour of any kind, I don't compartmentalise my time. By which I mean that I don't feel I have to be doing any particular thing at a particular time of day. I am constrained by deadlines, but have free choice about when I do what in order to meet said deadlines.
I have lived long enough to realise that this is very unusual, and how lucky I am to be able to earn a living (of sorts) doing what I like and am good at. Basically I draw funny animals and get paid for it. . . Ridiculous. . .
|A Fat Cat - but you knew that.|
As what time I spend on what, is determined by me, I have been able to pursue other creative avenues in a fairly intensive way, deadlines permitting.
How about you? What interests do you have running parallel to your life a an author or illustrator?
I think creative people are inclined to use their creativity in all areas of life, after all it is a mindset rather than a 'hat' you put on from time to time. It would be interesting to know what strong interests other writers and illustrators have or have had in their lives alongside their writing and Illustrating careers, and how they feel it might feed back into their 'work'.
My list starts with music. I played bass in a band at art school, art school being one of the traditional places bands emerge from. We never got anywhere, but really wanted to for a while. From that I got interested in recording, and had a small studio in a house I lived in, with a couple of mates. I lost interest, as I hadn't got the level of commitment needed to spend long and antisocial hours in a darkened room with a rock band from Croydon (for instance). . .
|Status Shark, 5 string, passive electronics. Ho yes.|
I got interested in computer related music tech and electronic music. Sampling etc, but again, didn't pursue it to any tangible end. (story of my life. .)
That led to an interest in computer generated landscape software, fractal based forms and how to make 'realistic' textures and patterns using them.
|This kind of thing - computer generated landscape from a good few years ago now. . .|
I still mess with that stuff, but I now make abstract patterns and print the images onto ceramic tiles. Getting the patterns out onto real objects led me to polymer clay, which in turn led me to making beads and jewelry of a particular 'rustic' kind. I've started selling them online. . . (under another name so as to avoid confusion. .) I could never have predicted that one!
|'Rustic' Image Transfer beads, antiqued up to high heaven - fun to do|
I think it feeds back into what I do in that the same process of refining a rough idea into something finished goes on. (Well, obviously!) What I mean is that the process of structuring a good pop song, or bass line, or idea for a pendant etc is comparable to that of putting together good picture book. It's the same mindset at work, getting stuck in to the complex work that goes into producing something simple but solid in concept and execution.
Anyway, enough about me. What is and what has been your creative passion outside writing or illustrating, and has it been an inspiration or a distraction? (I think mine have been both at various times. . )