This week’s Life Book lesson was taken by Violette Clark. Her earlier lesson had been about creating a whimsical, dream cottage which led me to create a fun collage of a magical, quirky house. The thrust of the lesson was to work in a cartooning style and storyboard happy childhood memories.
My childhood was not always easy and I experienced challenges and obstacles to be overcome but nevertheless I could generate a very long list of happy childhood memories. The trick for me was to whittle down my options. I started by getting rid of anything that was going to be too difficult to depict in a simple drawing but then I decided to focus on memories of things I did more than once, the happy things that were routine for me. The idea was to use ink and watercolour but my schedule has been mashed this week so I ended up adding the colour while watching a movie with the Pictlings. Consequently, instead of watercolour I used coloured pencils. I am not adept at all at using coloured pencils (it’s on my list of skills I need to improve) but it seemed quite apt to do some simple colouring in given I was illustrating my childhood.
I drew my little vignettes around a central cartoon version of wee me. The title banner beneath looks brown in the photo but it is actually gold. The fun times with my Grandad might need some explanation: there’s eating ice cream, representing all the sweet treats he used to give us, collecting eggs from a farm, and stomping fruit for my Grandad to turn into wine. Then there are depictions of me reading and drawing, both activities that I did voraciously and still love. I loved to climb trees but am also afraid of heights so I had some favourite trees that had great trunks and branches for climbing and scaling along without being too far off the ground. Another outdoor activity I loved was hunting for insects, bugs and beasties, lifting up rocks, turning over slabs, peeking under pieces of wood, on an insect safari. Finally there is a drawing to illustrate me playing detective, solving crimes committed by and against my cuddly toys. I was an early reader of Miss Marple and Sherlock Holmes stories so I liked to set up little mysteries with clues to be solved. I didn’t actually use any sharp knives – that was just for the drawing – but what I actually used were corn cob skewers as perfect wee weapons.
So those are a few of my happy childhood memories. Maybe you could have a think about what memories you would choose.
I think there is a book in you.
I have a friend who keeps bugging me to write an illustrated children’s book. I think I would want a more interesting subject than my own life though.
Well, I think it sounds pretty interesting to me.
So cute! Love it.
I love your illustrations. I can see a lot of stories your little girl can come up with or be in it.
Love this post, Laura. When childhood is not so easy, it’s lovely to remember the moments of joy. ☺
Thank you, Van. That was definitely my takeaway from this lesson.