Watch with glittering eyes...
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” - Roald Dahl.
This is one of my all-time favourite quotes, which isn't surprising because it's from one of my all-time favourite authors. Believing in magic sounds like something reserved for children, but when you find adults with twinkly eyes, that is totally magical.
I would describe myself as a children's author and illustrator, for that's the easiest label to use. However, I often wonder if it might be a little misleading when so much of my business goes to adults. My illustrations and stories have connected me to so many wonderful people, and really the thing they have in common is not an age bracket for a picture book, but their magical sense of wonder. It's hard to pinpoint whether that is passion that lights someone up, or endless curiosity with the world around them or something else. But it's infectious and I feel so lucky that capturing this is such a huge part of my job.
I can't explain how heartwarming it is for me to read a message from a stranger who has just stumbled upon my illustrations and takes the time to tell me that they have been catapulted into a world of childish happiness. It is so lovely to be surrounded by people who might have aged but who never grew up.
"This is just beautiful and very much how I see the world too"
"Do you think you're too old for me to get you one?" ... "Never too old"
(I was SO pleased that this person replied with "never too old"!)
This illustration above was a 60th birthday commission for a lady who is so unbelievably young at heart. Her beloved bears get up to mischief while she's not looking (I have seen photo evidence of their adventures) and her world is just as fun today as I imagine it was when she was small. These bears, are hugely fond of Jelly Babies which you can see on the cake and beside the tree. They also love a game of hop scotch, and regularly stay up late with the mice. What a joy to illustrate this for her!
Back in March, just before lockdown, kicked in, I ran my first 'Little Stories' event. I had a small group of kids aged 8-10 and they each made up a story with a little guidance from me. It was so fun to hear where their imagination took them, and in no time they were scribbling away their ideas. But-hand-on-heart these stories were so similar to the briefs I get from so many adults where they tell me of their wonderful dreams and adventures and ask me to help them put it onto paper.
I'm going to leave you with a perfect example of the most sparkly eyes, take a peek at this video below. This commission was signed off in June and was finally handed over in person for this man's birthday last week. It's not often I get to see these reactions, so I was so, so happy that it was captured on camera. I had watched videos of him next to his vintage Riley while I was researching the illustration and what stood out was how much his face was lit up with joy. I couldn't wait to create this illustration for him and his family. It is such a treat to see him open it.
I hope the world stays full of ageless sparkly people like this. ❤️
I would love to know what makes you light up like a kid, what magic you still see in the world or things you still love today as much as you did when you were small? Let me know in the comments if you have a moment. Thanks for reading, have a magical day! With my best wishes, lorna x