In 2003 I was commissioned by Nick May at Orion to produce an image for the Terry Pratchett Disc World Calendar. Orion had decided to commission people who had no previous experience of this type of work, and though I had done many designs for calendars I had not worked on science fiction. The brief was really open, a scene or a character from the Disc World books. Anything but Death! So I set to to read some of the books and pretty soon was hooked, as were both my children.

I loved the city at the top of the up-sidedown mountain, full of dragons waiting for people's imagination to wake them and make them take form, so chose Wormsburg as the place I wanted to illustrate, sent off a sketch or two and waited.

painting of Wormsburg from The Colour of MAgic by Terry Pratchett, watercolour, by Jackie Morris

The next year the brief was almost as open. I was asked to do an image from "The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents". At the time I had a rat living in the kitchen, an uninvited guest, so the last thing I wanted to do was read a book with anthropomorphic rats in. But then as the commissioning editor said, at least I didn't have to look far for reference.

The rat in the kitchen got away.

watercolour painting of rat, from The Amazing Maurica and his Educated Rodents

"The Amazing Maurice" is a fantastic book that we all enjoyed as a book and also an audio tape, and the character of Darktan, the focus of the painting is one wonderful rat character.

drawing of piles of dragons sleeping like sardines in a can

The image for the 2006 calendar, more dragons again, from "Guards Guards", the place where all the dragons go to sleep and lie waiting like so many sardines, squashed into a small place, waiting and sleeping and dreaming.....

watercolour painting of sleeping dragons for the Disc World Calendar, 2006.

 

The 2007 calendar was a photographic piece with images taken from The Hogfather, but Nick May contacted me again to ask for a contribution to the 2008 calendar and this year I chose to show Sam Vimes asleep in the nursery with baby Sam. The image appealed so much, of this roughand tough hero who melts every evening and moves mountains to return home to read "Where's My Cow" to baby Sam as it is his favorite book.

Sam Vimes, from Thud, by Terry Pratchett. Watercolour painting for the 2008 Disc World Calendar. Illustration by Jackie Morris. Image shows a weary Sam Vimes asleep in young Sam's nursery surrounded by cuddley toys, with Where's My Cow resting on his knee and Dribble the ancient dragon doing what he does best on Sam's shoe.

 

For 2010 it is back to The Amazing Maurice again. This time I had helps and hints from the cats for what to do as someone, probably Max, brought in a great dead rat and left it tucked in neatly in a pile of washing.

 

sketch for the Disc World Calendar piece for 2010, Max posing as The Amazing Maurice with rat hanging from his mouth



 


 


©Jackie Morris