On a completely different matter, Hugo came home from work last night, asking for the baby photos. "The baby photos?" I asked, mystified. He meant Ellie's baby photos. That is, our first-born dog. Apparently someone at work wanted to see Ellie as a baby (actually, that should be puppy really shouldn't it?). So he took the album (yes, we have an album of puppy photos) in to work, and apparently they went down EXTREMELY well.
For loving dog owners, showing the photographs of your dog as a baby, ahem puppy, is a bit like proud parents displaying pictures of their children, there is only one response, and that is compliments. People who don't have pets, and some who do, often don't realise this, and just as with proud parents not receiving the suitable response to their adorable children's photos when they're showing them, folks who don't say nice things about precious pets are well................. a bit............. suspicious. I'm always very effusive about other peoples children (it's genuine), but I'm always slightly perturbed when people aren't effusive about my doggies. That's "batty over our dogs" owners for you. We never fully understand why our dogs aren't treated the same as humans.
I'd better stop before I get really carried away on the subject of my dogs, because today I meaning to show you the last book I illustrated. It was published in August of last year, but I never got round to showing it to you.
His life changes when a pair of knicker's from the farmer's washing line blows on to his head. (Just as an aside, and this isn't in the story, my life would change too if a pair of large spotty knickers landed on my head).
There is absolutely no stopping him.
All the animals are, quite simply, astonished.
But as is the way with life, and it's harsh reality, Pig's happiness couldn't last could it?
(It says in the story that Goat didn't know he was eating Pig's prized knickers, but I suspect he did really).
You can only imagine the consequences of this action...................
All the animals are distressed by Pig's cries of anguish, and run to his side. After some questioning, they realise what the distress is all about. Pig reveals that the knickers made him feel special, (one of the lads, tip-top and all that).
It's not what he's wearing, it's what is inside, him, his personality, not his looks and fashion sense.
Ah-ha! To a pig like Pig, this is very reassuring.
(Goat, as you can see, is feeling a bit guilty. In the final version of the book he has some notes, like he's whistling, coming out of his mouth).
This isn't quite the end of the story.
Despite all the advice from his friends to dwell on his internal qualities, rahter than his surface qualities, Pig decides not to let his loss of the knickers stop him, he's found something else, even better than the knickers, which will impress everyone even more.
(Just to warn the more sensitive amongst you, this last image of the book is aimed at producing great hilarity amongst children. And apparently it does cause a lot of laughter among children, not always among adults).
Pig has found the most amazing thing, to AMAZE all his friends with..................
And why have I titled this post "Boris Johnson"?
Well, when I was creating the character of Pig for this book, Boris Johnson, current Mayor of London, kept on creeping into my mind.
I'm not saying that Boris Johnson looks like a pig, not at all. Boris Johnson is one of our more eccentric public figures, and from what I've seen of him on the television, a real character. I'm very fond of the little I know of him, he's very entertaining, has a poetic flavour to his meandering deliveries to the press, and looks rather, shall we say................ extraordinary? When I was drawing Pig, I thought of him as Boris, not Pig.
Pig (or Boris), was an absolute joy to create. It's the first book I have done in which I could enjoy drawing a comic character. It was this book that made me want to do my very own characters, not directed by an author's words, and I'm sure it's this that led me to start doing my paper mache figures more seriously. When it comes to my paper mache figures I'm not constricted by someone else's words, my own imagination is the only thing constraining me, and that feels good!
Well, that's me done, have a good weekend. Cheerio! Love Vanessa xxx