Throwback Thursday: Aladdin, part II

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Amayas the Magician, Ink and gouache.  The scan of the artwork together with the panel as it appears in the book. The border motif was also originally painted by hand in one section and was then stitched together digitally by the designer.

Amayas the Magician. Ink and gouache.
The scan of the artwork together with the panel as it appears in the book. The border motif was also originally painted by hand in one section and was then stitched together digitally by the designer. Illustration for Aladdin, Walker Books, 2011.

In the original Thousand and One Nights tale, The magician from the Maghreb who sent Aladdin to retrieve the lamp doesn’t seem to have been given a name. Entertaining ones have been used in retellings and pantomime performances, but I wanted to give him an earnest north African name. After a little research, I felt that ‘Amayas’ suited him best. I haven’t been able to locate my source again since, much to my chagrin, but in trying to track it down again as I’m writing this post, ‘Amaya’ was yielded as an Arabic female name meaning ‘night rain’.

His costume design has a basis in Tuareg and Berber clothing, with a liberal helping of Mongolian shamanistic elements. I imagined that he had probably supplemented his magic arts in central Asia during his travels along the Silk Road. His staff is topped off with half an addax skull.

More to come! Here is a reminder of last week’s post, in case you missed it.

Throwback Thursday: Aladdin

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I have been making regular #ThrowbackThursday posts over on my Facebook page and on Twitter, but I’ve been neglecting to do so here. Time to remedy this, especially since I still haven’t got round to putting up galleries of my past published work.

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Aladdin and Princess Badoura. Detail from spread 6, layer 1. Ink and gouache.

Aladdin (Walker Books, 2011) is a personal favourite of mine, though it feels slightly overlooked compared to my other work. That may be partially my own fault as sharing anything from it is tricky; the book works rather like a series of theatre scenes and is best seen in actuality. Continue reading

Wild tulip

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Wild tulip (Tulipa sylvestris). Watercolour on Bockingford, 2.5 x 3.5″.

‘Flower, gleam and glow,
Let your power shine…’

Alright, it isn’t that flower, but a friend did remark on its passing resemblance. Incidentally, however, the magic golden flower from Disney’s Tangled is clearly based on a lily of some kind, and tulips are a close relative.

 

Jingle Bells in Children’s Books Ireland Recommended Read guide

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JingleBellsLBF-1100I had hoped to wait a while longer to mention my latest book, Jingle Bells, to be published this autumn; but having received this news from Walker Books, perhaps now is as good a time.

‘Jingle Bells has been chosen for Children’s Books Ireland Recommended Read guide. The guide features reviews of the very best titles for 2014 and generates big orders for our Irish sales rep! They print over 40,000 copies of the guide and it’s available in libraries, bookshops and schools across Ireland and the UK. It will also be sent to all CBI members worldwide.’

This picture of the printer’s dummy of the book was taken at the London Book Fair back in April. Reports are that it’s now available for pre-order on Amazon.

 

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