Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Could the dream come true?

My heart is telling me to put the house on the market, move to France and become a river gypsy. However...that simply can't be.
How many river gypies do you know with broadband? And where would the publishers send my book layouts...and where would I grow my veggies! hee hee!
No, if we're going to do it, it needs to be a methodical, well planned, well researched and a fail safe endeavour....

My earnings would not be enough to live on in France...full stop. I either need to tri-fold my income or do something else alongside it. Also the French tax system is crippling, and I need to understand it inside and out, as I don't want taxes to be the reason we have to come home after a year or two...
I have had an idea, and any comments or advise regarding this would be appreciated!!
I thought, if we bought a house with a big barn, we could convert the barn into -
upstairs - luxury rooms, twins or singles...whatever, all ensuite.

then downstairs...

here's the intersting part...

a huge room with a long table, where I would hold 4 or 5 day courses on writing and illustrating for children.
One end of the room would have floor to ceiling bookshelves, stuffed with picture books and story books...
the other end would have more shelves full of brushes, paints etc...

I could teach aspiring writers and illustrators the tricks of the trade, how to layout a story to keep momentum going, how important it is to have a hook in your tale, how to get your mailshots opened, looked at and filed, rather than ending up on the slush pile. How to prepare your idea for presentation to a publisher.
I could help them adapt their drawing and painting style to suit the children's market...little secrets I've learned along the way...
Nick would prepare breakfast, lunch, and the evening meal, all prepared from our kitchen garden of course!
The party of say, six or eight would then have a day or so to explore the beautiful surrounding countryside or perfect their new skills.
So what do you folks think to this idea? If I did one or two a month, that would certainly help bump up our income...

Oh, and look who can hold herself up all on her own!


Catherine said...

Je pense...c'est une plan magnifique!

Rosie said...

What a fabulous idea, during my time in the creative world, it's always best to teach, you make much more money doing that.
Rosie x

Anonymous said...

Having spent the last year in a French class full of people all preparing to go and start businesses in France, I think it's a fab idea, there seems to be a growing industry of 'learning holidays' and your idea sounds fab. What a brilliant excuse to go somewhere lovely ("it's a working holiday!! honest!"). Sign me up!

Anonymous said...

It sounds blissful! Do it! Do it!
I've just realised how little I know about the illustration business. I wish I could pick your brains!:)

ladysnail said...

it sounds like a great ida erica! your little angel looks beautiful! dx.

cookie said...

you have tapped into my dream!
it sounds idyllic..mmmm
i'm already in drwam land.
do it! do it!
my mom in law went on one of those holidays(art)and loved it!
go for it ,life is to short to not do it.

Mel said...

Thank you so much for stopping by again! Just gorgeous pictures of your little angel. Alas, the tooth fairy has not come as of yet. My little girl hasn't quite grasped the concept, but I'm planning something very soon.

natural attrill said...

What beautiful pics of your lovely little girl, you must be so proud, isnt it wonderful being a Mum?

Re your dream to move, and needing more dosh, have you thought of branching out into other areas with your artwork? Your style looks very commercial.
Perhaps keep doing what you do, your lovely books, with your agent, but also have a go at some other projects by yourself maybe, then there's no commission to pay out!
I have illustrated a few kids books, nothing fancy, only through packaging companies. I just dont understand how people make a living doing this, the amount of time and work that goes into painting a double page spread, for not alot of money, compared to working on artwork for the gift industry, cards, or packaging for kids toys etc.
Perhaps this isnt what you want to do. I only mentioned it cos you asked about making more money to move to France.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
Best wishes,

Rima said...

A brilliant plan!
Go for it Erica!
And bravo to little one for lifting herself up too :)
I say if you want to be a river gypsy... be one!! Too often people are held back by "shoulds" and then life gallops by... Following that heart dream is important... and the fear of it going "wrong" holds us back, but what's the worst that can happen? I mean you're sensible intelligent people, you'll be ok, and if things pan out in an unexpected way then you'll follow another branch of the path... and discovering new adventures all the time :)
Re broadband on the hoof, we'll be doing this too... I know of a few folks living in vehicles/boats who use mobile internet via a usb pen connection, not sure how fast it is, but it works apparently... And there's always wireless areas you can hijack :)
AND - why can't you have a wee vege garden on a boat? :)
AND AND.. can I have some tips on not getting chucked on the slush pile please? :)
Big good lucks xxxx

Joanna said...

Your course sounds wonderful, I need a course just like that. What a wonderful dream you should follow it, Mobile internet is getting cheaper all the time. Lovely pictures too.

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