Art & editing: three points

I mentioned the “rule of three” in my post about keeping editing checklists (aka lessons repeatedly instilled in me by Angela Slatter).

It’s a principle I work with when cutting out silhouettes. Paper is fragile, particularly when cut this fine, and although it’s light, it still has enough weight to tear itself.

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There are variations and opinions on the the idea of the “rule of three”. But tradition and culture and habit aside, it’s in the editing checklist less for its fairy-tale echoes and more for its properties as a physical structural corrective to floppy story elements.

One of the few practical constructions skills I remember from helping (helping?) my dad around the property (apart from the fact a Cobb & Co hitch is often one of the strongest elements of a building), is the importance of a brace — the beam or pole or cross-limb that creates a rigid triangle and stops objects leaning slowly sideways. Think of the planks that make the diagonals of the “Z” on the stereotypical barn door.

That inherent structural stability of triangles is the reason that finally made the idea of three references or repetitions of a clue, background element, etc, make sense to me.

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One reference (or hint, or point of contact) can be fine, if the material is sturdy enough — which paper isn’t. Lots of references can be stylistically fun, if not unwieldy — in a silhouette, they can create confusion, until you only have a field of light and shadow with no sense to it.

But in case of doubt, three little anchor points can be enough to create a stable field within the story, and enough of those form a spiderweb that can hold together quite a fragile lace.

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Four linked covers for Corella Press

 

Corella — two interviews

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As part of the blog tour for Corella Press‘s launch of their first two publications, I (as illustrator) was interviewed by two lovely review blogs:

The Book Muse (blog; twitter) — Corella Press Blog Tour: Interview with Kathleen Jennings

Genie In A Book (blog; twitter) — A glimpse into the life of an illustrator – Interview with Kathleen Jennings

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Corella giveaway

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Corella Press, a teaching press at UQ, is holding a Rafflecopter giveaway to celebrate the launch of their first two books (for which I did the covers).

1st Prize – A 3D-printed silhouette pendant (cord not included)
2nd Prize – Bridget’s Locket and Other Mysteries eBook
3rd Prize – The Millwood Mystery eBook

(Note: Corella is holding the giveaway, I control nothing)

Physical books will be available for purchase from 30th August, on the Corella Press website:  https://www.austlit.edu.au/corellapress

The launch will take place at Avid Reader in Brisbane on 30 August. 

Corella Press Mysteries

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I’m very excited to reveal these two covers from Corella Press for their first two editions of 19th century Australian crime and mystery.

The original designs (covers and logo) were, of course, cut-paper silhouettes, and very fiddly and gratifying they were!

These two will be launched at Avid Reader in Brisbane on 30 August 2019. The launch is free, and if you’d like to come, you can register here: https://avidreader.com.au/events/corella-press-historical-australian-crime-and-mystery

Corella Press

Do you like crime? mystery? forgotten books of the 19th century?

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I’m very delighted to be involved with the cover designs for the first books of this new teaching press at UQ: Corella Press.

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Corella Press is a not-for-profit small press committed to making beautiful, collectable editions of recovered Australian nineteenth-century crime and mystery stories.

Corella Press launches with Bridget’s Locket and Other Mysteries by ‘Waif Wander’ (Mary Helena Fortune). This triptych of works by a premier Australian crime writer of the nineteenth century includes Dora Carleton: A Tale of Australia, a novella published for the first time since 1866.

I will reveal more as I can. In the meantime, here is a teaser:

Corella Teaser