When I create characters, I literally sing them to life at the drawing board, and the process is something of a magical one.
The journey of bringing Wonky (and all his friends and successors) into form, was truly a magical 'birthing' process, and I do rather feel like a 'midwife' safely ferrying these characters and creatures into their visual form, translated from the words, through the creative inner workings of me, and onto the page.
A sense of the character comes, from reading the words. It starts off as a feeling. The process then involves 'tuning in' to that feeling of the character and drawing until what comes out on the page matches the 'feeling', and becomes the character on the page.
In the process, I researched a lot and looked at the anatomy and character of donkeys; I certainly learned a lot about what amazing creatures they are!
Once I felt happy with Wonky's visual presence, I went into the next phase of capturing his different physical attributes, character traits, and moods, according to the cumulative text ...
A lot of this part of the process involves a mirror and the willingness to make something of an idiot of myself, in catching the right, (sometimes rather unflattering), expression in looking at my reflection!
Luckily, my facial repertoire comfortably stretched to the Wonky expressions I had in mind to capture, though I do not consider it a great claim to fame that my naturally flexible, rubbery face modelled for a stinky Donkeys'!
I guess there will always be something of the artist in any portrait or picture, not least when the artist has modelled for the illustrations and expressions using her own flexible visage!
(I suppose as Wonky's 'Mum' it is likely there would be some family resemblance!)
Katz Cowley is the Best Selling, Award-winning Illustrator of The Wonky Donkey and a passionate Creative Catalyst, facilitating workshops to reconnect people to their innate, authentic self-expression through drawing and related creatively juicy practices.
For information on all my other books, projects, creations, and workshops, please visit www.katzcowley.com