|Howard, Brian, Wendy and Rex.|
B - It’s been a peculiar collaboration that way. It's not a traditional one, I suppose. We've just finished our book, which is all about Trolls. We'd been wanting to do a Troll book for years...and then we finally got the ‘go-ahead,’ and now suddenly we were doing it! I started by painting random pictures, trying to find my way into the subject intuitively as an artist...and then Wendy and I had the realisation that what we were actually attempting was: ‘Trolls: The Story!’ Everything! Trolls have been around forever, so that is a huge amount of myth, history, and iconography. So the question then became: “How do we do that?” The collaboration between Wendy and myself wasn’t so much about showing things to each other, or bouncing ideas off each other, but becoming two travellers on a quest to find out about Trolls together.
H - I can really relate to that.
|Gone fishin' by Wendy Froud|
R - This is really exciting to hear, because it's very close to the way Howard and I worked on John Barleycorn, including the pin boards to keep track of different elements of the book. The way you've described how you draw, Brian, is like a writer describing how they write a book. You’re describing how you 'write' a drawing! What I found, working in collaboration with Howard, is that it's all about constantly asking questions: about the story, the characters, about what’s happening, and why sometimes it can happen in that way and why sometimes it can’t.
H - How do you write, Wendy? Do you do it in a way that's similar to Brian's painting method, where the story just 'comes' to you intuitively, or do you have a clear idea of the story beforehand, mapped out?
|Art from forthcoming book 'Trolls' by Brian Froud|
|Troll witch with owl 2 - Brian Froud|
Don't miss Part 2, where the conversation turns to Renaissance Man, the Dartmoor landscape and the liberating arrogance of youth!