TAYLOR – a creative collaboration

It’s been seven years since I embarked on this personal investigation into fountain pen ink, and it’s been an enlightening journey to say the least. So, in conjunction with my first ever fountain pen ink art show at the beginning of July, I’m very excited to announce that I will be launching a signed limited edition fountain pen ink art illustrated book of poetry titled Taylor.

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I have known Andy Taylor (the poet) for many many years. I used to live next door to him when I was eight years old. We went to the same school. He was good at writing even in those days and if I remember correctly he won first prize in a writing competition aged nine. I remember it well because the prize was a Raleigh bike with small wheels and no cross bar! To say he was disappointed would be an under statement. In those days, big wheels and a cross bar mattered!

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We lost touch, as you do, but his mother kept in communication with my parents and when my father died, Andy made contact. Which was very sweet of him. We got together a few years ago at Bude in Cornwall and it was great to catch up. But cutting to the chase, Andy was still writing poetry but very much for himself and, apart from ‘Memorial’ which appears in the book (illustration above), he hasn’t shared his poems with anyone! Not even his wife!

Having told him about what I was up to with my personal project, I asked him whether he’d be interested in a creative collaboration where he could get his poems into print. It would also be an opportunity for me to showcase my calligraphic and illustration skills utilising many of the chromatic effects learned through the fountain pen ink investigation.

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His answer was ‘Yes!’, and so ‘Taylor’ came to be. Andy sent across 20 poems and I set about illustrating them. I love Andy’s words – sensitive, personal and enlightening. The lettering and imagery just seemed to create themselves and the inks just flowed. It’s been quite a magical experience.

The book is a limited edition of 100 signed copies. It’s 36 pages with a ‘soft touch’ laminated outer cover and a unique bellyband wrapper. The book has been printed on a top quality HP Indigo digital press and it just looks and feels fabulous with the printed images matching the original art absolutely. The books will be available to buy at my show (£20 each) with any unsold available to buy from the online shop after the show.

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HEY! If you’re interested to know more about how to use fountain pen inks in more creative ways – whether it’s simply to observe their chromatic behaviours, or, to recreate one of my swatch cards, or, to learn how to use them in watercolour painting, illustration and calligraphy, why not check out my online course or, even better, sign up for a workshop?

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