Creature Court covers

Tansy Rayner Roberts’s Creature Court covers have been revealed!

These city silhouettes were so much fun (and detail), and the silhouette of Aufleur, for Book 1, is at the World Fantasy art show in Baltimore right now.

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If you’re at World Fantasy, the art show this year is FABULOUS. And I’ve brought a lot of original art including this one.

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November Calendar: Twilight Cats

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The cats of November!

Greetings from sunny California, with a background soundtrack of trains, coyotes, and The Fictator typing in the next room.

These cats were so much fun to draw — especially the brown and white one. I’ve always hesitated a bit over cats, but this time it seemed to come together: the reference, the practice, and memories of cats I’ve known, the way they move and look suspiciously around and the peculiar arrangements of their muscles.

Printable versions are available below – pre-coloured, or to colour yourself.

This month’s calendar is, as usual, brought to you thanks to the support of people through Patreon (there will be some new sneak-peeks and glimpses of work in progress going up there soon, if you’ve been considering joining — and two years’ worth of printable December stationery at the $3+ level, if you’re so inclined).

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The Lumberjack’s Dove – enamel pin

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GennaRose Nethercott – The Lumberjack’s Dove

I have just had the opportunity to design a second enamel pin, this time for GennaRose Nethercott’s beautiful poem The Lumberjack’s Dove, just out from HarperCollins. My copy just arrived in the post this week, together with a beautiful poem by GennaRose just for me (and, separately, Tom Hiron’s Falconer’s Joy – another poem of a very different modern mythology).

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I really enjoyed designing this pin. It was a completely different proposition from the Creature Court enamel pins, in both style of book and of art. The approach, however, was similar: to create an image that would undeniably connect to and represent the book but also function as a beautifully (if mysteriously) iconic design in its own right. Something people might want to wear or admire even if they hadn’t read the poem (or novel), but with a connection it would be difficult to forget.

Below are some of the process sketches (supporters on Patreon got to see this one in more detail as it developed).

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And here is the final pin. I have not yet worked out how to photograph gold properly, but it so very shiny!

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For information about opportunities to get a pin, follow GennaRose. The National Poetry Series Competition winning poem is now available from HarperCollins: The Lumberjack’s Dove. And for more behind-the-scenes art than I can share entirely publicly, check out my Patreon page.

Oh, and I design pins now.

October Calendar: Girls Running From Houses

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The October calendar, fleeing to you across the moor, is brought to you (as usual) by my very generous supporters on Patreon, who also get it early (and stationery, and sneak-peeks…).

It is also brought to you by: lurid Gothic novel covers art, Nancy Drew endpapers, and Sarah Rees Brennan’s classic “Jane Eyre, or: The Bride of Edward ‘Crazypants’ Rochester“, which is delightful to read in parts at social gatherings.

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You can print it pre-coloured or to colour yourself at home. As always, if you’re willing to share your versions, I’d love to see them.

And if you’d like to support the calendar and related projects, Patreon offers support levels from $1 a month, or there’s a PayPal tip jar here: PayPal.me/tanaudel.

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Bambi in the Jungle

Michael Mackenzie of ABC Radio National interviewed Kim Wilkins, Namila Benson and me about the curse of distraction. It was live (argh) but the edited podcast is now up online. The federal government leadership spill happened halfway through and I had a deer-in-the-headlights moment, but those have now been removed so you can pretend this all takes place in a calm and stable environment.

Are distractions stifling our creativity?

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lifematters/how-distracted-are-we/10113730

Cabaret of Monsters

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So, a little while ago I mentioned Tansy Rayner Roberts’s Kickstarter campaign to reprint the Creature Court trilogy. It was successful, and she has launched her new novella in that world: Cabaret of Monsters. This was another fun image to play with: Flappers! Wolves! Stars!

The cover design and typography is by Cathy Larsen.

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Rats!

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The pins have also been produced, and look very shiny online.

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I’ll show mine off as soon as Australia Post delivers the goods but in the meantime, here is Tansy’s photo:

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The Patreon

Now that I’m back catching up post-jet-lag, it occurs to me I haven’t really updated you with what’s going on over on Patreon, besides the calendars! If you don’t know about Patreon, it’s a site where you can patronise artists from as little as $1/month, contributing to various projects. My primary activity there is creating the fairytale calendar, but in addition to that there are other things going on at every level of patronage:

There are sneak-peeks of secret projects and work in progress:

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There is stationery based on the calendar:

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There are tiny stories and snippets of tales:

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And occasional original sketches travelling off to folks:

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And then there are there are other oddities, updates and even occasional discounts, such as a discount code I’m just about to put up from Literary Book Gifts, a shop selling… gifts for lovers of books! Totes and tshirts etc. I haven’t got my hands on any yet, but if you like (for example) Peter Pan or Beowulf, you can check them out here: Literary Book Gifts.

I actually like that Beowulf design, which reminds me to tell you that, unrelated to Patreon but very much related to books, Maria Dahvana Headley is in Australia on book tour with The Mere Wife! Her last date is here in Brisbane at Avid Reader on 29 August.

But back to Patreon! I really value the support and freedom all my current patrons have given me to just make things and send them back out into the world. If you enjoy the calendar or would like to help ease some of the rockier passages of the freelance lifestyle, if you like looking over artists’ shoulders or being involved in making pictures happen, or want suggestions for presents for the artists in your life, I would of course welcome the support!

But it isn’t just me: I really recommend checking out Patreon and seeing which artists, folklorists, writers, musicians, inventors, etc are on there, doing things that particularly excite you. I love the community of creative folks, and patrons — no matter which creatives they support, and no matter whether it is with money or food or spatial reasoning or cups of tea in a crises — are and always have been such a vibrant part of that.