On Saturday, I took myself off to Manchester for the day, to meet up with some other illustrator friends and attend a lecture by children's book illustrator John Lawrence, part of the Manchester Literary Festival.
Many people may recognise John's illustrations from the spin-offs to Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. To my shame, I didn't previously know his beautiful work. It was Cassia Thomas who suggested the outing, as John was one of her tutors on her Masters course.
The space was a proper, banked lecture theatre, but Saturday was roaringly hot, and there was no air-con, so we got dreadfully stuffy up at the top. Fortunately, I had brought a fan with me and wafted myself throughout, like something from The Importance of Being Earnest!
The poor man was obviously very, very nervous, but it was a joy to be led on a journey through his wood and vinyl-cut illustrations. I had no idea that a modest, A4 size woodblock could cost £500! I think I'd find that stultifying, as I'd be terrified of making mistakes.
I'm annoyed with myself that I didn't get his white robes in and the rosary hanging from his belt!