Navigation
« Herman & Rosie – Two for the Show, featured on The Picture Book Builders blog (interview by Jill Esbaum, October 2014) | Main | Herman and Rosie deaf translation video »
Wednesday
Oct152014

Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)

Gus Gordon’s book Herman and Rosie fell into our hands last year, and we fell in love immediately. After reading I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo! which Gus illustrated for Jill Esbaum, I was curious to know what inspires Gus, how he works etc. He’s sharing some insight with us today for Thursday Talk. Lucky us!

Hi Gus. Welcome to the Sunshine House! Australia (and the world) fell in love with your book ‘Herman and Rosie’ , which won the Honour Book award last year. Can you tell us where the idea for this story came from?

For a long time I had wanted to write an urban tale. I really enjoyed, as a child, the whole ‘city mouse, country mouse’ story – the juxtaposition of two worlds. In many ways I was just waiting for the right idea to come along. Then one day, for some reason that can’t be explained (nor should even be attempted), I drew in my sketchbook, an illustration of a suited crocodile playing a musical instrument on a rooftop in the moonlight.

I like those drawings that beg you to ask questions – that are intriguing. ‘What’s going on here?’ ‘Why is he in a suit?’ ‘Does he have a job?’ ‘What does he do?’ etc. It’s a weird thing asking one of your sketches ‘what are you all about?’ but that’s how it goes. You keep drawing until you figure it out.

In a different sketchbook around the same time, I had drawn a deer playing records in her apartment. It wasn’t long before I decided that the two characters should be in the same story, as music (something I am hugely passionate about) seemed to be the important link. Pretty quickly I realised that the two of them were unhappy, lonely in fact, which in itself is a fascinating idea – that they could conceivably be lonely surrounded by so many. This premise became the motivation behind the central narrative and music was a way of connecting the two.

How did your creative journey begin, and how did you end up where you are now?

That’s kind of a big question but I guess it all began with my mother who was incredibly encouraging and also quite a good artist in her own right. I was a compulsive drawer as a child and I also enjoyed writing stories – anything that involved using my imagination and I was up for it. Basically I was a huge daydreamer.

After school and some years in the wilderness chasing cows, I moved to Sydney and started drawing cartoons for magazines and newspapers. It wasn’t until I was offered my first children’s book to illustrate (about 18 years ago!) that I really decided what I wanted to do. I had forgotten all about children’s books – specifically books with pictures in them, and all of a sudden I was excited. For whatever reason it seemed to suit me.

I began to focus all my attention on illustrating books with the aim of eventually writing them. Throw a bunch of dumb luck in there too.

What are you working on now? What’s next on the horizon for you?

I am currently working on a book about Drop Bears by James Roy. I have also written and just storyboarded my new book, which may be about a duck. As far as the future is concerned, I am more than happy to continue telling my own stories and perhaps choosing to illustrate the odd story that moves me by someone else.

Where do you work? Can you describe your studio, or favourite place to sit and be creative in?

I work from home in a studio that used to be a garage a long time ago. It has a lot of natural light coming in which is nice. I have two main workspaces. One is a long desk where my computer, scanner and printer sit. It has a long bookshelf above it where my precious book finds live. The other workspace is an architect’s desk where I draw, paint, create messily and daydream a good deal of the day.

An old miner’s ‘trouble light’ I bought in Paris recently hangs above it. There is also room in the studio for a large corkboard (where I work out if my stories are making any sense), a list board full of deadlines, a layout table and my collage shelves. It’s a good space.

Gus Gordon's work space

What inspires you?

Geez, all kinds of things. Here are some in no particular order: travel, children’s drawings, Badgers, positive people, good music, vintage engravings, old advertisements, postcards, interesting collage, Serge Bloch, Richard Scarry, JJ Sempé, William Steig, George Booth, Leigh Hobbs, Jim Henson, Middle Earth, New York city, France, dark woods, the ocean, cheese, clever friends, my wife, our kids. I’ve probably missed something really important.

What’s your favourite children’s book?

That’s an unfair question. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame would have to go close though. Harry The Dirty Dog by Gene Zion, illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham is another great one. It does everything right – picture book perfection.

Have you got any tips or secrets you can share with people interested in illustration, or writing their own book?

I don’t have any secrets. It’s mainly hard work and if you love what you do you’ll do that anyway. Having said that, here are a few things I’ve learned.

–       Write for yourself

–       Read a ton/draw a ton

–       Surround yourself with ambitious, positive people

–       Plan your day, month, year (otherwise it won’t happen)

–       Teach yourself to approach problems from another angle

–       If you love it, stick at it (learn to be stubborn)

 

References (75)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: bicep workout
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: David Drwencke
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: USHUD
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: USHUD
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: Createurs de Luxe
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: tv cabinet
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: safe.mn
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: Church Jobs
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: san jose local seo
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: 128gb micro sd
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: Fast weight loss
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: unlock iphone 4
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
  • Response
    Response: IPL 8 Schedule
  • Response
    Where is your had drawn a deer playing records in her apartment? I want to see that drawn.
  • Response
    game of thrones season 5 episode 1 putlocker game of thrones season 5 episode 1 stream
  • Response
    Response: IPL 2015 Schedule
  • Response
    Response: whatsapp status
    Amit
  • Response
    Response: mothers day poems
  • Response
    Response: www.viki.com
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: GoPro Attachments
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: GoPro Selfie Stick
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: 64gb Micro SD
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: GoPro Suction Cup
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: GoPro Selfie Stick
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: GoPro Selfie Stick
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: GoPro Accessories
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: Go Pro Remote
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: GoPro Accessories
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: GoPro Selfie Stick
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: Gino Darland
    I found a great...
  • Response
    Response: Marilynn Brixey
    I found a great...
  • Response
    Response: Carri Cartright
    I found a great...
  • Response
    Response: Dustin Deyo
    I found a great...
  • Response
    Response: Issac Shiner
    I found a great...
  • Response
    Response: first page
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: GoPro Selfie Stick
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: four Ebay
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: seo specialist
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: her explanation
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: 32gb micro SD card
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Response: roofing Products
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)
  • Response
    Gus Gordon - Gus Gordon Resources - Thursday Talk & Tea With Gus Gordon, featured on The Sunshine House Blog (interview by Zanni Louise, October 2014)

Reader Comments (3)

Great to have you at the Sunshine House! :)

February 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterZanni

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>