Starting to properly make the book

Now that the Kickstarter is over and we’ve sat down for a couple of weeks, it’s struck us that we have to actually make a book. Not maybe making a book that might be published – we have to make it, get it printed, and post it out to all our backers.

So we’ve got started, and here’s where we’re up to. Catherine has more of the work to do at the moment as she makes the props – so it’s up to me to do these updates (and take photographs of her when she’s not looking).

Today we sketched out almost two thirds of the pages for the book. It was not at all clear to us when we began this just how much of the form of the illustrations would be decided in the actual making (in the same way that we did not know that the illustrations would be made from puppets and materials until we made the Kickstarter video). And where we thought we were simply illustrating a story, we’ve found an idea for a picture changes the story, which alters the story on another page, which provides an idea for another picture. So it’s a constant back and forth between the two.

For me the pleasure of doing this is all bound up in the making-it-up-as-you-go-along. I’m a big fan of US artist Austin Kleon (www.austinkleon.com) and his similar ideas of it being about the process, not the end result (see his blog thinkprocessnotproduct.com). (Although of course we will also be making a lovely end result for you all…)

We’ve also cleared a big space on the wall to pin up all the pages so we can add to them all the time:

And last week we bought Mr C his very own suitcase for storing all his props – an old 1960s German case found in a charity shop, still with its luggage label attached. When the book is out we want to take this around schools with Mr C, to perhaps run workshops to encourage children to make their own books in a similar way, photographing their own toys and stories…

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