As my bio neatly diplayed on the right side of this webpage suggests... I work with my brother on a variety of projects, but most notably on children's books. They are not the type of books you will see on a top seller list by far. John and I work in a niche market... That's what happens when you have two kids who grew up with a distrust of most things... Even as kids, we always wondered who and what the "Brothers Grimm" must have been like, and I suppose kind of saw ourselves as that sort of super pair.
If you ever read any of the original Brothers Grimm fairy tales, you would see that some of them were pretty serious. One of my favorites was "Cat and Mouse" (it may have been something else, the hardback version we shared has been destroyed for years.) If you have never read it, you should, the ending was shocking for a young boy of my age...
No, our books were never meant to have titles like "See Spot Run" or "Ned's First Day of School." They were more like "My Daddy has tattoos" (our father incidentally DOES NOT have tatoos... he actually opposes them something fierce, just thought I'd clear that up!) or discussing the cap that hid little Ned's horns from his classmates... You see a niche market. Something a little different that rock and roll parents... (that statistic of tattooed parents alone grows daily) can pick up with a smile to put on the bookshelf along with Sesame Street's alphabet book.
John was botn with a pencil in his hand, he has a talent that I have never seen equaled. I'm not just saying that to be biased either. I have seen tattoo artists stop their work to watch John draw his own design. His teachers from high schools and colleges could only watch with disgust and envy as John only improved with what God gave him. I have watched with amusement as he takes any medium he wants (paints, clay, pencils, even sand castles) and turn something into a vision that was greater than what you had pictured in your mind. I envy him.
He tells me the same thing. He often talks of my talent to tell a story even if I have to make it up on the fly, and to play music. We often wish we could trade talents in a heartbeat.
Currently, he came to me with the concept of a pop up book. From conception to prototype. Will it be a children's book? Maybe... the problem is... I have a severe case of writer's block. I can't come up with a good idea right now to save my life.
John usually reads comics to get inspired, it's an old habit from when we were kids. For me it's a bit different. First, I listen to music. First it's punk rock, when that fails, it's old country, when that's a no go it's Tom Waits, then Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds...
If Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds can't make me come up with a story, then music won't help me at all.
After music, I read comic books like John, If that doesn't help, I watch the Star Wars trilogy. If the Star Wars trilogy doesn't work, I lift weights in the garage. If that doesn't work, I ask my step daughter what makes her laugh, If she has no new answers.... I type mindlessly on the computer until something comes out.
I think that's what is happening right now.
Thanks for being my sounding board... I think there's a Nick Cave album I missed around here somewhere...
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