Illustrator Gus Gordon on Drawing the Tom Weekly My Life Series

Tom Weekly 'Dumb Thoughts' by Gus Gordon

Children’s book illustrator Gus Gordon (Herman and Rosie, Somewhere Else) talks about illustrating the Tom Weekly My Life series. Gus and I have been working on this series together since 2011 and the sixth book, Tom Weekly: My Life & Other Failed Experiments is out in July.

‘Tom Weekly reminds me very much of my 12-year-old self. It isn’t too difficult a task to channel the random thoughts of that younger, fantastically naïve, enthusiastic, imaginative boy as it is pretty much how I am today. I still, like Tom, daydream about incredible situations and still have the propensity to think in a random, fractured manner, jumping from thought to thought with no real segue as if I am picking my thoughts out of a hat.’

Illustrator Gus Gordon

‘Drawing for me was the most efficient way of communicating these unorganised ideas. Off-kilter illustrations and pointless list writing were a speciality of mine. I drew in every class, in every margin on everything and anything I had in front of me. This kind of fervour – the need to express myself through drawing – was how I approached the illustrations, or more specifically, how I saw Tom drawing them – a natural extension of his rambling imagination.’

The Lone Ranger by Gus Gordon and Tom Weekly

‘The subjects (awkward encounters, girls, gross bodily functions, eating) were also all too familiar to me. Whether it was a panicked list about an operation, escaping false teeth or a drawing of a floating poo, it all felt disturbingly normal. Obviously it was the same for Tom!’

Tom Weekly Stella Holling by Gus Gordon

You can check out the Tom Weekly My Life series here.


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