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'Keep your hobby'

  • Published at 04:30 pm November 13th, 2019
DLF_November 8_Pg 2_Keep your hobby
Photo: Rajib Dhar

Curtis Jobling discusses young adult fiction

In a country where careers in the arts and other creative fields are still viewed with suspicion, a session with British writer and illustrator Curtis Jobling comes as a refreshing ray of hope. Jobling is the designer of the global phenomenon Bob the Builder,  and has several international best-selling children’s and young adult books to his name.

“I don’t have the qualification to write a book” he says in his engaging panel Wereworld & Max Helsing: The teenager’s guide to horror and fantasy! A modest claim, perhaps, for someone published by Penguin Random House and short-listed for the Waterstone’s Book Prize, but he emphasizes how a love of reading and a dedication to his craft helped turn a hobby into a successful and rewarding career.

“Keep your hobby!” he bellowed to cheers and applause on Day 1 of DLF. “The thing you do that you love, nurture it.” Starting off with an introduction to the nature of his work as an illustrator, he went on to discuss how a love of reading led to the discovery of fantasy and horror genres, which ultimately blossomed into a successful series of books. “Fear is an emotion we cannot run away from” he said, explaining why he chose to stick to fantasy-horror as his medium.  

The panel was made more interactive by the use of slideshow presentations, which Jobling used to quiz the younger members of his audience about whether certain photos were previews of ‘wolf man’ or ‘hairy man’, or whether certain monsters were friend or foe. The funny captions on each reveal had the audience in stitches.

If you’re sad that you missed such a fun panel, worry not, Wereworld & Max Helsing: The teenager’s guide to horror and fantasy!’ will be reprised today at 11am at the Vaskar Novera Hall