This weeks blog post is a Q&A with Ardagh and Elwick, where Ardagh asks Elwick and Elwick asks Ardagh. So here’s my (Ardagh’s) first question to Elissa (Elwick).
ARDAGH: What’s it like working with one of the greatest writers of his generation?
ELWICK: How should I know?
ARDAGH: I was referring to me.
ELWICK: You mean you were asking yourself that question?
ARDAGH: No, I was asking what it’s like to work with me.
ELWICK: It’s rather fun, isn’t it? There’s always a mixture of silliness and hard work, and I like that we often challenge each others ideas and evolve things into a big bundle of Ardagh&Elwick-ness. There is only one down side to working directly next to you though, and that’s your humming, but I’m learning to drown that out with cheesy film soundtracks, so we’re all good.
ARDAGH: What’s the best thing about our partnership?
ELWICK: Organic process, really is a collaborative process.
ARDAGH: Now it’s your turn to ask me a question.
ELWICK: Okay. Which was your favourite Ninja Turtle? I liked the one who ate all the pizza.
ARDAGH: I was grown up and married when Ninja Turtles came along. I’ve never even seen an episode, you CHILD. Now ask me a proper question.
ELWICK: What’s your favourite thing out of ALL the best things about working with me?
ARDAGH: Well I must admit that I love the lunches you make for me when I come up to London to your studio. I like the way you always wear fancy dress…It is fancy dress isn’t it? I love the way you give your drawings such character and bring them to life. And I’ve been a particular fan of the way you draw trees…But most of all I like the way your mind works and how similarly we think but at the same time together we come up with something that neither of us would have come up with on our own.
ELWICK: Your turn!
ARDAGH: How do you plan to make the look of Little Adventurers stand out from other picture books?
ELWICK: I don’t want the artwork to look too flat and digital, especially since the series itself has a very make and do/handmade quality to it, so I’m going to incorporate different textures, pencil/charcoal, etc, alongside my digital way of working. With us both working so closely with Jack [our designer at Walker books] we’re thinking about the book as a whole, how the narrative is conveyed through the images and not just spread by spread. Every detail is being thought about carefully.
ARDAGH: So, in combination with the text we’ve also worked on so closely together, this should be a mighty fine first book. One last question for me?
ELWICK: How has the process of writing a picture book differed from your usual fiction?
ARDAGH: I don’t think it’s really a matter of the difference between writing a full length children’s novel and a picture book, it’s the difference between sitting along in a room in front of a computer for months on end, and collaborating with someone else who also brings so much to the table. That’s a compliment because I’m referring to YOU, Elwick.
ELWICK: Oh that’s nice *blushes*
ARDAGH: Shall we end on a high then?
ELWICK: We could show a video of our working process.
ARDAGH: An excellent idea.