Friday, November 17, 2006


This week I visited a school in Birmingham, doing a pop-up workshop with some Year 8 students. I was telling them how it's OK to get things wrong. Most of the time - maybe nine times out of ten - I get things wrong. I try and write something and it's wrong, try and draw something and it's wrong, try and figure out some idea for a pop-up book and it's wrong.

Not only am I used to being wrong most of the time, I accept that it's an inescapable part of the process of finding what's right. Very often I can see it for myself. An idea will come up and I'll soon realise that it's no good. Other times I need an editor to tell me why it's no good - or at least why it's no good for them.

Same with getting things 'right'. Sometimes I have an instinct that I might be onto something, and sometimes I really can't tell. This little comic strip thing is a case in point. I enjoyed drawing it, but I can't see it the way somebody else would.

The above is an extract from what was submitted as a one-page strip. Twelve frames. It looks simple, but I spent a lot of development time in filtering it down to that simplicity. Easy's never as easy as it looks. (And clever's never as clever as you think it is.)

But this turned out to be that elusive one-in-ten.The publishers really like it, and so it looks like it's a goer. I'm delighted, and can now begin to get excited about how I might develop the idea. Yet if those same publishers had said, 'Steve, this is no good,' then I'd have let the whole thing go and forgotten about it within a week.


BlueDog said...

it is hip to be triangle

Steve Augarde said...

Yes. Hip to the jive, baby, and very fab and gear.