Showcasing illustrator, SCBWI Regional Illustrator Coordinator, Australia East & New Zealand and friend, Marjorie Crosby-Fairall
Both being part of the SCBWI Committees, Marjorie in Sydney and me in Melbourne, we had certainly crossed paths quite often on my visits to Sydney for SCBWI and CBCA events. But at the end of 2015, Marjorie and I began working together on a special project, a book called One Christmas Eve, this being my second Myer Windows book.
Different from Little Dog and the Christmas Wish, which was already a published book before it became the ‘windows’ book, I was madly writing the text; Maryann Ballantyne, then Publisher Black Dog Books, was editing, and in Sydney, Marjorie was working with Donna Rawlins, then Artistic Director at Walker Books Australia.
Marjorie was on the tightest deadline, regularly doing ‘all-nighters’ but she remained focused and in control for the whole period. Her cool-head and supreme professionalism shining through.
I remember one night taking photos of a sunset at Luna Park while standing on a seat and on the phone to Donna Rawlins. Marjorie superbly illustrated that sunset from my photo and it also appeared in the 2016 windows.
I first sighted the artwork in a hotel room in Sydney during a CBCA Conference and my final check of the finished book was on my iphone at Hong Kong airport before I jumped on a plane to Italy. It sounds exciting and romantic – it was, in truth incredibly stressful.
The launch of the book and the windows all happened at once, Marjorie flew down from Sydney and we were both caught up in the excitement of television and newspaper interviews with Maryann Ballantyne and with Lily, the eight year old who was the model for both Marjorie’s illustrations and for the windows themselves.
It was a whirlwind visit for Marjorie and I suspect a career highlight as it is for me.
Marjorie has illustrated many lovely books, why not visit her website and have a look around?