Wednesday, October 28, 2009


SIDE TRACKING-

this is something that will come up quite often- I am the master of side tracking- a curse. This was a serious hindrance in my studio in the late afternoons, I blame the warm winter sun actually- the warm yellow light would creep in and everything morphed into magic. Even the pencils seem beautiful and so I would start taking photographs.......this is my life's problem - a jack of all trade - writing, photography, theatre???????????? they all pull me in their own direction. Some times hijacking me using serious means ie ; the aformentioned sunshine to lure me.
I guess that's why my little book turned out the way it did- using all sorts of mediums .
The next day dream is puppets - I held off as long as I could - I didn't let myself make one until all the illustartions were finished and now a puppet family has been born. I will introduce you to them shortly..........

Monday, October 26, 2009




All I had at the start was just a tree- well, not even a tree...just a branch from a tree down the road that my daughter and I picked up last March. Then an idea came and some very basic sketches... although I have notebooks filled with story ideas for adults and chilrden. so it was more like matching the object with the idea. Still, the journey is quite lovely and having a fional product at the end can not be imagined at the begining. I certainly had no grand plan. But once the creative space emerged I just went with what I was holding in my hand at the time- that dry branch.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009



My studio is in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Footscray- an inner Melbourne suburb where more then 100 languages are spoken. It's an ever changing area first settled by Greeks , Italians and Macedonians who ran the local market , then in the 80's came the Vietnamese which exciting restaurants and Asian food stores and now the new arrivals are from Central and North Africa so new and delicoiusfoods, cafes and shops are opening. I don't know where else you can buy- Mangoes for a dollar a kilo and green unroasted coffee which you can take home to fry and brew. Yum. It is all about the smell of the place. My studio is in the Trocadero art space and downstairs is an Indian shop so the incense wofts up through my window, followed by delicious BBQ pork enticing me to go and have lunch ( You might as well get used to the food referrances- I am a foodie and once was even crazy enough to have myown restaurant ).......

So I've had this lovely space all to myself since april so it took six months to finish my book. But they were only really half days as I spent the mornings with my daughter . So 4 - 5 hours a day was not really enough but it's more then enough when you haven't had it for so long.

Ah, a creative space....it's an essential part of my psyche but very hard to achieve in this busy life. I have to say that once I had it I just powered through the ideas. I didn't have the luxury of writer's block as my only problem is lack of time . Having stolen this time somehow I knew I had to use it wisely...or at least efficiently......as this space has for so long lived inside my head while the ideas exploaded in my little brain.

I am the sort of person who says: ...wouldn't it be great if....."and my friend's eyes widen and they nod politely and sign to themselves...oh, poor Dagmara ...another one of her silly day dreams...

But the only reason they were day dreams is because you need time and space to execute them.

So finaly i got mine for a little while

Monday, October 5, 2009

at the begining there is an end is sight

So I start near the end of my first hand made book.........and I think to myself...why ??? Why did I pick this day dream to become the strange creature is has become. I never thought of myself as an illustrator and here I am with a near finished children's book- all written and illustrated by myself....I do really know why...the answer lies in become a mother.
RULE NO 1- when you are creative and become a parent the big war of guilt begins
RULE 2 - it never ends- your two babies forever making you feel bad that you are not spending enough time with one rather then the other.

So what to do ?

Combine the two.

I have always thought of myself as a writer and they say everyone has at least one children's book in them...so here is mine.

It's a reaction to not being creative for a couple of years- staring at my daughter Maya, thinking of her, looking at her, loving her, getting used to her.....the creative voice at the back of my head chocking on baby poo smell.....ah, a dream really...the voice being faint with lack of sleep first , then through lack of time.


But then a small window opened - my partner Stone was having a break in his studies so I took A BIG LEEEEEEEEEEEEEP- and got myself a little studio....oh. I love my little studio......it's a space I haven't had for so long....a space ....ah.....space to think......so the book was born