What is it?
The Wizard and the Hat is 36 page 8 x 8" watercolour illustrated children's book. It is the story of a young wizard-in-training who is not very powerful. He can only conjure cups of tea, which he doesn't like very much. One day he hears the story of a magic hat hidden in a deep forest. Accompanied by pet demon Amon, the boy goes on an adventure to find this hat and learn whether power really is the solution to unhappiness.
If you ever feel frustrated with your life, The Wizard and the Hat is a reminder that not everything is as bad as it seems. Drastic changes aren't always for the better, and sometimes you just have to appreciate what you have.
How did it start?
I love colourful adventure stories: J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli films, Maurice Sendak's Where The Wild Things Are and Terry Jones's Fairy Tales, among many others. I remember eagerly reading or watching them when I was a kid.
I've noticed that in today's children's books most protagonists are well-behaved, model children. I love cheeky kids like Max from Where The Wild Things Are, but they are few and far between. I wanted a bit more naughtiness and a bit more adventure. So I decided to make a character who gets himself into a bit of a mess. This boy has to make his own mistakes before he can learn from them. To keep it exciting I threw other elements into the mix: vast landscapes, a demon, a long journey, some flying and best of all, my favourite drink: tea. The Wizard and the Hat is a little under 600 words long. A lot of the story is in the visuals, not the text.
I spent weeks and weeks sketching. To develop the characters, costumes and settings I walked around Edinburgh (Scotland) with my sketchbook. I drew inspiration from costume shops, charity shops, museums, parks and cafés. Here some early concepts from my sketchbook!
A "Making Of" book with more sketches is available in one of the reward tiers (the Complete Set - Diamond Collection).
After writing the story, developing the world and making a Dummy Book I was ready to start on the final paintings. This is how The Wizard and the Hat was born, an illustrated 36 page, 8 x 8 inches square children's book with a bit of adventure, a bit of magic, a bit of naughtiness, and some character growth.
I want to know more about the art...
Sure! There are 36 pages of hand-painted watercolour illustrations. Images are colourful and detailed, showcasing snippets of the wizard world. There is additional artwork on some of the rewards (prints, pencil cases, notebooks etc.) and for the stretch goals. So, plenty to look at! Below some sketches and a painting in progress.
Final Page Examples
The Dummy Book vs. Finished pages:
Why do you need me?
Self-publishing is a lot of work. The book should look the best it can look, with paintings being scanned professionally and printing done to a high standard. Every single book will be hardcover and fully coloured to make the images pop.
Funds will go towards scanning the work (A2 paintings), purchasing an ISBN number, printing the book, shipping the book from the printer and printing rewards. Most of the funds will go towards the printing cost for the first edition of the book, with a small portion set aside for the rewards and the obligatory Kickstarter fee. With your help I can print the first run of the book, and in turn, you will be the first to own a copy of The Wizard and the Hat. As for shipping: all products can be shipped worldwide and will include a handwritten note. Any rewards for the Double Up Sets (Ruby and Diamond Collection) will have tracked and signed delivery.
Ok, let's see the rewards!
Pledge £8 or more: Digital Edition – Amber Collection
eBook: The complete book will be provided in .pdf format. DRM free because sharing is caring.
Pledge £18 or more: Book Edition - Opal Collection
eBook + Kickstarter Book: a copy of The Wizard and the Hat. All copies are hard-cover, full colour books.
Pledge £25 or more: Prints Edition – Jade Collection
eBook + Kickstarter Book + set of Limited edition prints (two 6 x 9 inch prints).
Pledge £35 or more: Signed set – Amethyst Collection
eBook + Kickstarter Book + set of Limited prints + signed Bookplate.
Pledge £55 or more: Stationery Set – Sapphire Collection
eBook + Kickstarter Book + set of Limited prints + signed Bookplate + A5 Moleskin notebook + pen + pencil case.
**Note: Artwork on pen and pencil case may vary** Notebooks are all A5 PU soft finish books with 80 lined pages. They all have a bookmark, a pocket at the back for securing business cards and loose notes and an elastic closure to keep the contents in place.
Pledge £75 or more: Double Up Set – Ruby Collection
eBook + 2 Kickstarter Books + 2 sets of Limited prints + 2 signed Bookplates + A5 Moleskin notebook + pen + pencil case.
Pledge £95 or more: Complete Set – Diamond Collection
eBook + 2 Kickstarter Books + 2 sets of Limited prints + 2 signed Bookplates + A5 Moleskin notebook + pen + pencil case + Making Of Booklet + Surprise gift.
Here are extra rewards for you once the goal is met!
Is it really for me?
If you like adventure, you'll like this book. If you like magic, you'll like this book. If you appreciate kids that are naughty at times (maybe you were one or own one), you'll like this book. And, if you feel a bit down about what you have and don't have in your life, hopefully this book will bring a smile to your face.
The Wizard and the Hat has taken a long time to make: writing the story, designing the characters and painting the final illustrations was an adventure in itself. I've worked as hard as I could to do the best I can do. Now I need some of your support - your magic - to make it come to life.
Risks and challenges
As this book is going to be printed to a high quality standard, it will require a lot of communication with the printing company. Since they are experienced with printing I am confident everything will run smoothly.
There is enough time allocated for shipping so you will safely receive your products by May 2016 at the latest.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)