No Fear of Flying – Collaboration Piece


No Fear of Flying Dragonfly Water colour and ink

No Fear of Flying Dragonfly Water colour and ink

I am currently involved in two different collaborations, which can get confusing for all of us.  This post is about the first,  is using lovely little A5 booklets that Anna Warren found.  There are three of us involved Anna Warren, Kylie Fogarty and myself.  I have already worked in one book with a seaside theme (see here) and this is my second which has the theme ‘No fear of flying’.  Anna’s post on her drawings in this book are here.

Anna's double page spread

Anna’s double page spread

I loved the theme, but was really stumped with what to do with it.  I went through all the thoughts about flying and then I thought who are the best flyers in the natural world.  (Not being much of a people drawer I usually go to the natural world for my artistic inspiration).  For me, dragonflies are the best flyers, having the two sets of wings that can move independently they can hover, twist and do the most amazing aerial feats.  They certainly have no fear of flying and I reckon the look in their eyes shows little fear of anything.

No fear of Flying Front Page

For the front and back covers I choose images of unconventional flying.  The front cover is of a ladybird hitching a ride on some dandelion fluff and I just loved this little image, it has a real sense of adventure to it.

No fear of Flying Last Page

Flying frogs. Water colour and ink

On the last page I drew a flying frog, it is a representative for all those creatures who really have no business in flying (not having wings as such), but have managed to do it anyway.  These flying frogs are the weirdest in that strange and intrepid group.

These collaborations are really a great deal of fun and tremendously rewarding, but oh my are they intimidating. All of us have experience at doing art and at being artist, but having to draw in someone else’s book brings all my early fears back again.  What if I do this wrong, is my work good enough, their work is so much better than mine and what the hell am I going to draw!  But again the rewards of doing these collaborations and the joy of watching the amazing work the others do and to see how they respond to our themes outweighs the trepidation of setting pen to the their books.  Also the response from our readers has been fabulous and everyone is so supportive and interested in what we are doing.

I hope I have done this little book justice and have not sent the theme in a wrong direction.




13 responses to “No Fear of Flying – Collaboration Piece

  1. Oh Karen I LOVE what you have done! This was the quirkiest theme of the three small books we are working on, and you have gone way above and beyond! I cannot imagine anything I would have liked better – your drawings respond so well to the theme, adding humour and your characteristic strong graphic quality. You have made my day!

  2. Love this, Karen! What a challenge, but you have done well!

  3. Love it! Neat idea 🙂

  4. You handled this collaboration with integrity and fun!! I love it!! Anything you put that much love and thought into is never going to go wrong! It is just wonderful!!

  5. Hi Karen, I love these books, this collaboration. I can understand why you might find the process intimidating but your work and the way the art works with the others is lovely. Nancy

    • Nancy, I am glad that you feel my drawings worked with Anna’s, it was a worry I had. I felt it was important to share the fact that I felt doing the books was scary as I know others think that only they would find it intimidating, while in fact we all feel the same and it is a good thing. It makes us care and try to do our best work. Karen

  6. How fun, and I love your perspective! Beautiful drawings, but especially love the dragonfly. Such a neat challenge! -bb

  7. You are brave indeed to put pen to paper in someone else’s book, it would certainly terrify me! But you have done a humorous and artistic job and I am sure the co-collaborators will be delighted and amused. Great fun. Sue

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