Today we had a change of location, and we visited the Lu Rees Archive at the University of Canberra. The Lu Rees Archives is home to a large growing collection of the original manuscripts, designs and artwork of childrens picture books. So as you can imagine this is a very useful resource to have here in Canberra, which Franki knows and uses very well, especially for this course.
When we got there, we met one of the Archive’s staff; Belle Alderman (who I previously remembered as she hosted a talk by Jan Ormerod and Margaret Wild that I attended a couple of weeks ago that was facilitated through the ACT Writers Centre). Through previous collaboration and correspondence with Franki, Belle had arranged a selection of archive material from the picture books held there. This was really beneficial to see, as we saw illustrator’s storyboards, character sketches and artwork up to their final pieces. Therefore we could now see that all the processes and character building that we had been learning over the previous weeks are just the same steps that the professionals go through and that their final artwork is now the next step to aim towards.
It was such a privilege to see these steps behind a book and be able to see the original artwork that it only leaves you with true inspiration.