Snazzy Cat Capers Art Show—Focus on the journey
When we first talked about doing a display in the Kelowna Innovation Centre atrium for the month of September 2018 (the month that Snazzy Cat Capers gets launched), we really wanted to make sure it was more than a 'snazzy' display.
People are always asking us about the whole mysterious journey—what happens when you want to write and publish a book, so we decided to try showcase the whole wacky, crazy process of how this Snazzy Cat Capers book series came to be—from the first glimmer of an idea in the middle of the night—through rejections and fatigue and rejuvination—to publication. (Book 1 publishes September 18, 2018!)
Snazzy Cat Capers Art Show—Using the structure of the Innovation Centre space
We got the go-ahead for the book journey display from the gracious Kelowna Innovation Centre team. We also had (and have!) a LOT of support from the super-smart Accelerate Okanagan team. Our hope was to tell our book's story—idea to publication—in a linear way, so we considered how the physical building space might work with this. Since there's a left to right 'progression' that's pretty natural to the space (ending with a connection to the Kelowna Public Library!), we were really excited to make it work this way!
On the left wall, we're starting with the first part of our Snazzy Cat Caper journey—which was the creation of a graphic novel about a fish! So, the first wall will be dedicated to Oscar Fishgerald Gold, the ever-enthusiastic fishy character who (eventually) shows up on Ophelia von Hairball's doorstep as an inventor. He wasn't always an inventor though! In the first rounds of our book, Oscar, the protagonist, was a superhero! The cat was his nemesis....
This first phase in the development of our book took over a year. We've got a busy family and great jobs we love, so this was a passion project, and the creation took place during really early mornings, late nights, and ridiculous amounts of time stolen in school gyms and hallways while the kids were practicing their sports.
When we finally fleshed out the graphic novel, we reworked and revised, then choose a literary agent (the amazing Gemma Cooper of The Bent Agency) and sent it off! You'll get to see some of our first rejections. And if you haven't published before, creating books (or really anything at all) means you need SO MUCH resilience and a healthy pair of rose-colored glasses. (Also a spare pair for when you smash them. Or when they get soggy from tears and sweat.)
The first wall is about Oscar... but the rest of the Innovation Centre atrium walls will show the journey of the publication of Book 1 with Ophelia von Hairball V of Burglaria as the superstar. We're sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly. Some rough writing drafts, some post-it-note art, and a lot rough art. This part of the process took a couple of years. But in the end, we ended up with an absolutely stellar team at Macmillan's Imprint. We're SO GRATEFUL for the creativity, collaboration, and learnings that we've been lucky enough to experience with them. #teamworkmakesthedreamwork
Snazzy Cat Capers Art Show—Frames, animations, and the practical stuff
We're currently designing the animation for the Kelowna Innovation Centre staircase with the help of Jenny Weightman—a very talented animator friend (and old co-worker of ours at Disney). We have SO MUCH art in all kinds of stages to display that we decided we'd need to create custom frames to help us pull the look and feel of the space together. So we're getting help from our maker friend. (Ross Ladell is amazing—he's got a company of super-smart software engineers and developers and does he have the BEST TOOLS EVER in his shed.)
We used his laser cutter to cut out the unique designs that Neil created for our custom frames. We've done only one prototype and we'll put it together and paint it to see how it looks before we cut out the rest of it. We're using a total of ONE HUNDRED NINETY-TWO separate pieces of wood for our frames. And that's just for 12 frames! Our display will have approximately 23 framed pieces in total. (Neil just counted and almost fainted.)
We're gluing together the prototype this week! And then we've got a bit over a month to go before the show goes up. We hope you'll join us for the book launch September 21, 2018 in the Kelowna Innovation Centre from 5:30-6:30 pm. Kelowna's own Mosaic Books will be there with fresh copies of Snazzy Cat Capers! Please check out the journey on display during the month of September.