Demons – and *fiendishly* awkward submission procedures

(Slightly lascivious-looking) birthday demon. Unusually, watercolour pencil used here (principally for speed), resulting in unfortunate, perceptibly amateurish finish to the colour work in places

Not traditional fare for this blog – in fact, something of a complete departure from all previous work – but as this represents the only material that I have to show for myself this last (foreshortened) week, I’m afraid it’ll just have to do. (In an effort to quiet my detractors, I might add – albeit in a somewhat querulous tone – that I have been engaged on other projects this week but, as paid work for publication [woop!], I’m not at liberty to divulge even concept sketches thereto.)

The above illustration was designed as a birthday card to accompany a veritable cornucopia of demon-centric gifts for a friend’s birthday – in answer to the zombie-themed bonanza of presents Dave (my Mr) had received from him on his own birthday – and required a little more than the customary casting about the (inevitably mouse-inhabited) recesses of my mind: I find Google Images to be a particularly forthcoming resource for all flavours of random subject matter, and it transpires that demons are no exception (incidentally, does tapping ‘demon’ into the search field in such instances qualify as demon-hunting and am I, ergo, a demon-hunter…? My choice of pyjamas & dressing gown over inappropriately-revealing leather-bodiced oufit and associated weaponry probably precludes me from such a title, I suppose…). I did rather enjoy coaxing my pencil into slightly more menacing configurations, although I am a little concerned that the resultant demon looks rather too exuberantly lascivious than might be considered acceptable for a birthday occasion. He is, however, bearing cake, which I feel goes a long way towards redressing the balance in favour of appropriateness and topicality…

In other news, my doomed sandcastle illustration wasn’t one of the twenty selected for display at the SCBWI illustrators’ print exhibition during the Winchester Writer’s Conference, but the the successful entries are now available to view at  http://www.wix.com/scbwibi/winchester (click on the icon to view the gallery of images).

I have also now submitted my entry for the Bologna Illustrators Exhibition 2011, after some really first-grade faffing and procrastination *takes a modest bow*, although it was not – in the end – comprised of the assortment of British-seaside-disappointments I had embarked on several (…) weeks ago: as predicted, the final image for the sequence was allowed to fester in its initial, sketchy state for weeks while I dithered on other, largely inconsequential enterprises – the exception being last week’s impromptu cartooning diversion (which was, at least, destined for a specific purpose and neatly encapsulated within the bounds of competition [and postal] deadlines) – thus allowing the inevitable little cell of doubt I’d been harbouring re. the calibre of my submission to hypertrophy into a great behemoth of inadequacy and trepidation. And, to compound the cloying shame elicited by enquiries as to progress, I had neglected to factor in the requirement that entries be ‘prepared’ (an innocuous-sounding exercise which actually incorporated, inter alia, infuriatingly protracted form-filling, scanning, mug-shot provision and attempts to decipher some [ultimately unfathomable] Royal Mail delivery criteria/restrictions re. ‘signed for’ airmail) before being posted to Italy to arrive by 26 November. A quite unnecessarily tortuous series of administrative activities that swallowed my entire Friday morning whole (and belched me out at its conclusion, bemused but thankfully not a-drip with metaphorical digestive secretions…). Somehow, I had permitted myself to believe that a deadline of 26 November meant I could casually be adding the final brush strokes to my masterpiece after first enjoying a leisurely breakfast and perhaps an invigorating morning stroll… Imbecile. However, whether negotiating this obstacle course of a submissions process results in selection for the illustrators’ exhibition or not, merely by virtue of submitting an entry – and printing out all the Fair-insignia-stamped labels and postal slips required to affix to the components thereof – I am entitled to free entry to the Fair proper. A happy ending, then, and one that should really invalidate all my whining…

Well, the week ahead promises to be a rather varied one, including: the furthering and possible completion of a paying commission; the conjuring of a technologically enhanced elephant character from a couple of proffered manuscripts; a visit to the Society of Authors – ‘Poetry, Picture Books and Performance’, with speakers Valerie Bloom, Tony Mitton and Brian Moses (I am able to infiltrate this hallowed circle only courtesy of a member’s thoughtful invitation); a mooch around the 15th Annual Winter Exhibition at the Illustration Cupboard (nr Green Park)  http://www.illustrationcupboard.com/default_flash.aspx; and some serious dedication to this year’s Christmas card endeavours. Depending what success the above activities meet with, I may very well assault the blogosphere with another posting later in the week – if only by way of a potted review of the SoA event and/or illustration exhibition.

Meanwhile, I hope you all have a dashedly marvellous week, and that the surprise sunshine we awoke to here in Middlesex makes an appearance (however fleetingly) where you are!

A x.

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About illustratedbyamanda

Illustrator and time-fritterer extraordinaire
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