Ideas… they can come from almost anywhere, but they’re shy creatures and rarely pop up when you’re looking for one. Keeping a notepad with you at all times is great advice. I guess these days that might well be a notes app on your phone or similar – still good. When that idea pops up and flings itself at you, you’ll likely be reaching for the bread in the supermarket or boarding the number 11 bus. By the time you’ve reached the checkout or found your Oyster card, the idea has dashed off into the ether.
My ideas tend to come from visual prompts and often start with a single word or image. I might purposely seek out a word to start my chain of thoughts, or I might see a word or a picture on a sign or a poster that sends my mind off in strange directions.
‘Alfie and the Sock Goblin’, for example… ‘goblins’… maybe they like to gobble food… maybe they are greedy creatures… maybe they would steal… socks! So that’s where the lost ones go! And my dragon books started with a sign for ‘Dragonfly Builders’, which I misread as ‘Dragonflu’ and immediately thought how much worse that would be than swine flu or bird flu… especially if it spread to humans.
This photo of my super surfing dog, Alfie, was the inspiration behind Zach and Gnarly: Super Surfers – one of my illustrated short stories. Click HERE to download the free PDF!