Be like little children

by Andrew De Gabriele on May 29, 2012

I’m a big fan of Zen Pencils, so imagine my joy this morning when I woke up to find Neil Gaiman’s “When things get tough, make good art” quote in awesome cartoon form.

My favourite frame from the cartoon has to be the one above, of a boy in hospital, thrilled to receive a gift of art supplies. Children have such an incredible ability to set their worries aside and enjoy the little things in life. They are able to fly away on the wings of their imagination. They know how to create without judging themselves too harshly. They don’t dwell on the past. They don’t worry about the future. They are masters of living life to the full in the Now.

Be like little children if you want to be happy, is the advice we get from mystics of very differing traditions, from the Buddha to Jesus. What words of wisdom! Children are the ones to whom the world truly belongs, and it is our job and our duty to teach them to treasure their precious outlook on life and carry it on into adulthood.


Let us conspire to make good art

by Andrew De Gabriele on May 25, 2012

Here I am, looking for a talented illustrator to be my partner in crime art. I know you’re out there. I’ve always known. Yet, after listening to Neil Gaiman’s now famous commencement address at the University of the Arts (do watch it below if you haven’t) and after reading some of the comments and reactions of people who have been utterly moved and inspired by what he said,  I am sure that you, fellow artist and future co-conspirator, are closer than ever. And, patiently, I wait for you.

I’m looking for someone who will fall in love with Don’t You Get into Trouble and timid, curious Gwen, a little girl who rises to the occasion when all hope seems lost. I’m looking for someone who believes that girls can be heroes too and who wants to become a part of this project and work with me to bring the story to life. I’m looking for another artist who shares my dream of crafting delightful stories that fill young children with love for reading and remind them that they can do great things when they conquer their fears.

I’m looking for an artist who knows that the times are changing, that amazing and hitherto unimaginable things are possible in web and self-publishing. I’m looking for someone who believes that people love to share worthwhile ideas and spread good art around. I’m looking for someone with the vision and the courage to take a bold step and use all the many ways we now have to make our stories and our art spread, and spread, and touch little hearts and minds around the globe.

The rules say:Don’t even think of looking for an illustrator for your book. Instead, send out query letters, wait for years, and if you’re extremely lucky (and good) you’ll one day get the chance to sign off your rights to your work and get paid a little something for the privilege. Then rinse and repeat.

I think that sucks. Maybe you think the same. Thankfully, there’s YouTube, and KickStarter, and iPads, and Kindles, and thousands of other ways to build an audience and make things happen.

Listen to Neil. Let him inspire you. Take 5 minutes to read the text of Don’t You Get into Trouble (1000 words). Find out if Gwen’s tale inspires you too.

And then, if you want to talk about the great possibilities that await, if you want to throw around some ideas about how we can succeed in this exciting landscape that is unfolding before our feet, if you want to talk about teaming up and conspiring to make good art, you know what to do. Just drop me a note! :)

(And if you know anyone you think might be interested, please share. Thank you.)


Thank you, dearest Elena

April 18, 2012

I’ve been pretty busy editing and rewriting bits of Gwen’s story lately, and trying to sort out all the little quirks or rhyme and rhythm that don’t quite fit in well. Horrid little imps those are! Anyway, the result is that my search for an illustrator has practically ground to a halt. In the meantime, [...]

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And So the Tale Begins…

March 1, 2012

Starting a blog is like getting the keys to a brand new house. It’s absolutely thrilling, but you still need to cleanup after the builders and put in a lot of work before the place can become a home and a pleasure to share with friends and guests. At least, this time there is no [...]

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