What is Nightland Colouring Book?
Nightland Colouring Book follows a young child's journey through the night as Nightbird carries him between her wings across Nightland. There are many birds and beasts living in Nightforest, there are dragonboys and a witch with a thousand eyes. The child gets to see what happens to the Sun and the Moon at night. And he even finds out what his parents are up to.
It is a book inspired by northern myth and folklore, visual traditions and landscapes. The cultural background and surroundings of my own childhood in South-Estonia, forests in every direction.
Nightland Colouring Book reflects the understanding that there are things in the night that are best left alone but there are also hidden blessings. And help often comes unexpected.
It is the kind of book I always wanted to experience. So I have created it.
I believe there is a need for an alternative to what is mostly offered and most easily accessible to very young children when it comes to books.
I believe young children deserve to be treated with respect.
They deserve stories that are well written.
They deserve questions that are left for them to answer. To be trusted to make up their own mind and at the same time to get to know the richness of where their cultural roots can reach.
Nightland Colouring Book consists of twenty images (that can be coloured) and a story that goes with them. The originals of the illustrations are my ink drawings and I am also responsible for the concept of the book. The text has been co-written with Lemmit Kaplinski, a steampunk wizard and saviour of the art of printing. Translation assistance was given by Diana Norma Szokolyai, a poet and performance artist from NYC.
Nightland Colouring book has already been published in Estonian and has proven itself to work for many people of different age groups. Its Estonian version also already has a small international following.
Who am I?
I am Ellom, a writer and illustrator from Tartu, Estonia. My first passion is poetry and poetic collaboration but I have also worked with children's books for some time, published three books for young children in Estonia and illustrated a collection of Saami fairy-tales. I come from a literary background, have studied both folklore and linguistics and have years of experience working with the very young. And I am a mother.
Why this way?
My publishers in Estonia have found their true passion and decided to become a printing museum. I fully support them in that endeavour (and recommend to visit them in Tartu!) but that means I am on my own when looking for a way to make Nightland Colouring Book available internationally. I have all the rights to my work (and agreements with collaborators) so I am also free to do what I want with it.
Making the book available in English is a natural development - as much as Nightland Colouring Book draws inspiration from traditional cultures and the place where I was born, my community of friends and work-partners is very much international. This book is for that community. For those I know and who are already fans of the book and for those out there whom I don't know but who have been longing for this kind of vision or feel they click with it.
I feel crowdfunding is a very good way to reach the people whom this book might make happy. It is direct, flexible and personal.
How to support Nightland Colouring Book?
The idea of crowdfunding is simple and beautiful - if you want to see the book come to life, you can make it happen.
By putting some money into it and by spreading the word to all you know who might be interested.
You will also receive something, in addition to taking part in a book's creation - there are different perks, from a pdf to an original drawing. Some of them come signed and with handwritten inscriptions or are created specifically for this indiegogo project.
If you have no money to give but feel excited about the book and want to come on board, just spreading the word is really really helpful. Very much appreciated!
Word of mouth, email, facebook, twitter . . . any environment where you like to share about this project is good. There is also the campaign video that you can link, on vimeo and on youtube.
Where will the money go?
The funds I receive will be used for the following:
Paying to everyone involved in this project, which includes paying for a new layout for this edition.
Printing an initial run of 500 copies of Nightland Colouring Book and shipping the ordered copies.
Buying me some weeks off my day job to re-work a few of the images, organize the printing and shipping and possibly create new drawings for you.
Indiegogo and Paypal fees.
If there should be extra funds (which would be wonderful), they will be put towards my next project - "The Book of Animalpeople". It will be a book comparable to Nightland Colouring Book in theme and style, but has less emphasis on colouring and more on detailed images. You can see some of the illustrations for that book, and some of my other work at ellom.net (direct link to Animalpeople illustrations here).
I have planned to get the books to you by early spring, there is reasonable hope that it will happen earlier but have to take into account possible delays at printers and, always, the unexpected. There will be updates and explanations if the schedule should change.
Thank you for stumbling here (or coming on purpose)!
Here's to hoping we can make this happen!