Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Search engine

I have been trying to sort out my studio over the last couple of days.  I have so much stuff hoarded away in there and no efficient way of finding anything.

I am a long way away from resolving this and I suppose it must be true of anyone who has had a long creative career.  How much of what we produce to we keep?

I have a small sample archive of the work I created as an illustrator and cartoonist for The Economist and the F T and the Independent and so on, as well as work done for design groups and magazines.  I have a fair bit of work done for children's publishing - both for my books and the books of others.

But I also have shelf-loads of sketchbooks and scrapbooks and I have folios and plan chest draws full of artwork of various kinds.  I have stacks of canvases and boards, some with paintings on, some primed and waiting.

But added to all this, I am a writer.  In fact I am first and foremost a writer now, in terms of income, and many of the people I work with are fairly oblivious to my other life as a visual artist.

So as well as all those sketchbooks, I have notebooks - some going back thirty years.  I toy with the idea of typing them up in the times when I have nothing better to do, but that's probably not going to happen.

And of course that leads on to that other great store of stuff - my computer(s).  I have file after file after folder of stuff going right back to when I first started, still in the default type on Word - New Roman was it?

That stuff doesn't take up as much space, but it bothers me for the same reasons - it is a great lumber room of half-forgotten things with no clear way to see what's in there.

So I am trying to open the odd notebook and open the odd folder to try and see what I have there.  There are stories I came up with that stalled because I couldn't resolve them or knew they weren't what my publisher might have wanted.  I want to look at all that stuff again and see it afresh.

Who knows what I might find?


  1. I think it's great fun to look through them things you have created but you can't even remember the time you did. Well i'm only 20 years old but still I started to collect my drawings way years back (i've not got enough patience to learn all the time like you do if youre an illustrator even though a few years ago I tried to image myself as a Disney illustrator lol!). Sometimes I wonder how artists cope with everydaylife still having time for passion and creating. Oh, I'm now reading your book, Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror. Its crazy how it turns my imagination on ! I hope more of your books will be translated into Polish... You could also publish an album with your illustrations, I looked through them and I love them...! Wish you all the best. anonimowa_girl@o2.pl

  2. hello Mr. Priestley,my name is lucia and im a reader of your books,and you are an idol for me,makes me like them even more horror stories.terrifying stories excite me and make my imagination fly, also, I like to draw and I drew a picture dedicated to you ... I hope to show it at some time and us to be in contact, a kiss and thank you for your amazing stories!!!:)

  3. Thanks Anonymous Girl. I hope more of my books are published in Poland - I hope too that I might get to come to Poland. I think all the Tales of Terror books are either published or will be published in Poland (I think). I love the idea of publishing an album of illustrations. Maybe I will one day!

    Hi Lucia. I am so happy to hear that I make your imagination fly - that is what writers want to do. Or it's what this writer wants, anyway. Thanks for taking time to leave a comment