There is a special moment in every project that I love. There is this moment where the idea is filled with infinite possibilities. In that moment an idea transports you into a world where the story comes alive. I get whisked away from the world around me and I am left to imagine all the possible things this idea can become. Some become books, some toys, some art, but they all share that magical moment.
Flying Machines! That was the idea that started “Zephyr Takes Flight”. I started to draw flying machines. I was like a kid in a candy store. The possibilities were endless. The different machines, the fantastical, absurd contraptions that men would make out of wood, metal and canvas. Where would I fly to? Who invented these winged creations that were appearing on my page. With a few lines I could add a propeller. A few more dashes of ink and a wing would appear. Hot air balloons, winged carriages and propelled velocipedes began to appear on the pages of my sketchbook. The story evolved to be about the granddaughter of an inventor, who finds one of his flying machines and flies away on an adventure. All the days I dreamed of flying as a kid I could show in little Zephyr’s face. The times I dreamed of escaping to a far off place, little Zephyr could do these things all in the pages of this book.
Two small square pieces of wood sat on my desk. Scrap wood really. Left over from another project but somehow both the same size. These two little pieces of wood were filled with such potential. They could become ANYTHING! Tweedledee and Tweedledum, twin mice, Jack and Jill, all were possible. Then it hit me: Hansel and Gretel. One class’s favorite story was Hansel and Gretel. I would carve the two figures and use them to act out the tale. These figures went on to be my Storyboxes filled with other figures and props. I am transported to that world every time I tell a story. Transported to a world were anything is possible; just like that moment in every idea.
Our guest blogger today is Steve Light. Steve is a storyteller as well as an author and illustrator of books such as Trucks Go, The Christmas Giant, and Zephyr Takes Flight. Check out his website at http://www.stevelightart.com/.
If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.