CHILDREN’S BOOKS BRONZE AWARD
2012 – IMAGES 36
East London based artist Adam Graff has been working as an illustrator for over 20 years. He is currently concentrating on authorial work exhibiting frequently both in solo shows and collaboratively as 1/7 of the Hero of Switzerland collective who have featured at Pick Me Up graphic art festival at Somerset House.
Adam also heads the level 5 Illustration pathway on the award winning, BA Graphic Design & Illustration course at the University of Hertfordshire.
“Toy Hospital is the point in my story And Here is the News… where Clown who has lost his smile and ends up in hospital to see if the doctors can help. The queen (who is actually drawn from a figurine of the Queen Mother) comes to visit the ward and everyone feels much better.”
“In this sometimes, solitary profession being acknowledged for your work in any way is always up-lifting. The added thrill of receiving my award at the glamorous awards night combined with the privilege of exhibiting at the prestigious Somerset House gave my practice and fragile self-confidence a much needed boost.”
BRIEF: As I wrote the book, the brief was simply to convey the idea and story in a creative and engaging way partly lead by my daughter’s make-believe games.
MATERIALS: I rekindled my love of traditional materials during my MA so for this project I used just about everything I had to hand in my studio.
RESEARCH: It was an on-going process, visually recording the toys that have become a major part of my immediate visual world. Oh yeah and watching some vintage John Craven's Newsround.
PROCESS: The book had been in production for many years so the process changed as I went along. There were periods of vigorous attention and then other periods of less structured drawing. Always using A3 soft backed sketchbooks then piecing the separate elements together using either scissors and glue or digitally.
RESISTANCES: I can be paralysed by procrastination fuelled by self doubt.
INSIGHT: “Long journey travel in small steps you must” (in a Yoda voice); and that making pictures can sometimes be troublesome.
DISTRACTIONS: Way too many. Life can be one big distraction – stuff coming at you from all directions – See to me! I need attention! Do this now; Your Urgent attention is required. It's like Asteroids (Atari).
NUMBERS: Hundreds. My working process is like a ridiculous audition – endless drawings of the same thing until the right one turns up. "Next"!
FINAL THOUGHTS: To redo the whole book – same concept and story with new pictures.