About two years ago I took a class on book illustration as part of my degree requirements at SCAD. I decided to illustrate a children’s story I had written about Syd Barrett. When I completed the project I decided to try and get in touch with Syd’s sister, Rosemary, in order to send her a copy of the book to see if she liked it. If she did, I planned to suggest we try and get the book published to benefit the Syd Barrett Fund, a charitable fund she set up after Syd passed away in 2007 to help the London-based organization Escape Artists. I was very pleased to hear that Rosemary loved the book and was interested in using it to help the Fund.
Shortly before visiting England last November, I contacted Rosemary to see if she would be interested in getting together while I was in Cambridge. She not only agreed to a meeting, but put me in contact with Simon Webb, one of the fundraising managers for Escape Artists.
While in London I visited the Escape Artists’ office so we could discuss the book and how to get it published. Last week I received a bit of exciting news from Escape Artists: MOJO magazine would be running a short news piece on EA in their April issue as a follow up to their Syd-themed March issue honoring the 40th anniversary of the release of Syd’s The Madcap Laughs album. In the piece they would be mentioning how we’re trying to find a publisher for my book!
I was extremely excited to hear the news as not only could it mean a big step forward in trying to find a publisher (MOJO has a readership of over 98,000), but also because MOJO is one of my favorite magazines. I never figured on being mentioned in it as I’m not a big, famous rock star or anything (at least not last time I checked).
The article isn’t available yet, but there is an update on the Fund’s blog about it. The article also reports a bit on the second City Wakes program Escape Artists is getting together, which will feature Syd’s paintings. We’re hoping to feature some or all of my illustrations from the book as part of the exhibition. The exhibition will be the second or third week of November, and I definitely plan on being there. I can’t wait!