At Living Paintings, we’re working hard on the next addition to our Touch to See library for blind and partially sighted children. This new book has it all, space travel, a dinosaur and poop. That can only mean one thing… Our next book is The Dinosaur that Pooped a Planet! Written by McFly bandmates, Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter, with illustrations by Garry Parsons.
With the publisher’s permission secured and 30 copies purchased from Penguin, we can start making. The first stage in our amazing and unique adaptation is the exciting job of selecting which illustrations will be made into tactile pictures. We then sketch these out, sticking as close to the original illustrations as possible, and send them to our sculptor Peter Boex – full-time artist and lifetime friend of Living Paintings.
Peter transforms the line drawings into raised, tactile images in wood, on an MDF baseboard. Check out the video of him in action. In the video, Peter is carving Dinosaur’s big, round tummy. To the side Danny has already been carved and is dressed like an astronaut and holding a torch. There is a copy of The Dinosaur that Pooped a Planet book in the background.
When we have the raised wooden carvings (we call them ‘master artworks’) back, it’s onto the colour selection stage. This is done by one of our production room volunteers, comparing the original colours in Garry’s illustrations to the selection of Humbrol paints we work with.
In the meantime, we have been writing a script; describing all the illustrations and guiding the blind child’s fingers over the colourful raised images, which will be paired with atmospheric music to create our audio description.
Once we’ve completed these stages, it’s onto visually impaired editing! We will send a copy of the book and script to one of our young library members to road-test. They will take time to feel the pictures and listen to the audio, noting if any changes need to be made. Whether this be that the descriptions need more detail or that the image can’t be felt clearly enough.
When we have made the amendments, it’s full steam ahead to create the final version of the audio description and the multiple book copies complete with braille pages and painted feely pictures! All this work is carried out by our team of amazing volunteers.
More on these exciting stages and the people involved coming soon to the blog, so stay tuned!
If you and your blind child would like be VI editors for our future projects, please email our Volunteer Coordinator, Sharon, at firstname.lastname@example.org