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  • Writer's pictureTug Wilson

How the illustrations came to be

I'd always wanted my children's fantasy adventure book 'Cameron Tiberius McPherson and his Magic Chair' to have illustrations. Collaborations are an important way forward in creative projects. Because the story's central character is a disabled boy, who becomes a hero in his community, it was important for me to go to the community to collaborate.

The Publisher, Candy Jar, is a Welsh publisher based in Cardiff. I approached Cardiff University's Illustration department and set up a competition with a prize for the winning student. The response was extraordinary! It was probably one of the most difficult decisions I ever had to make. Such talent!

In my opinion, more collaborative projects like this should happen as they encourage young people to come forward and engage in a process, not dissimilar to future work-related presentations and interviews. It was so important to me to offer an opportunity to a young person, a 'calling card' for future job prospects. The winner was Chiara Manship, whose winning designs really captured the pathos and individualism of the characters, as well as the drama of the situation through her beautifully simple, black and white illustrations.

You can find out more about this journey here : USW website

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