Iain proves quick on the draw

Air­drie duo’s col­lab­o­ra­tion

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - News - Judith Ton­ner

Two of Air­drie’s cre­ative tal­ents col­lab­o­rated on a re­cent project, and made such a per­fect part­ner­ship that they are al­ready work­ing on their next ven­ture.

Calder­bank artist Iain John­ston il­lus­trated the cover of Raw­yards poet Tony Wil­son’ s lat­est an­thol­ogy, Go­ing Un­der­cover.

Both had met at a writ­ing group in the town and Iain said: “I showed Tony some of my work and he was quite in­ter­ested.

“I’ve il­lus­trated a few mag­a­zine cov­ers in the past; my whole fam­ily are artists and have had this as a hobby for four or five gen­er­a­tions.

“Tony had an idea for the cover and gave me a sug­ges­tion of what he wanted – he had this idea of a man at a bus stop with a bag on his head, and I did rough sketches and then the fi­nal ver­sion took a fur­ther two hours to do.

“He’s al­ready work­ing on his next book and asked me to do the cover for that too, which I’ve al­ready com­pleted for him and is ready and wait­ing for the next vol­ume.”

Iain, 77, is also a keen writer and re­cently teamed up with Craigneuk writer Janette Horn to pro­duce a vol­ume en­ti­tled Echoes of War, de­tail­ing the sto­ries of some of Mon­k­lands’ WWI he­roes.

He said: “I did a rough ver­sion of the cover, which the printer then took on; and did all the pen and ink il­lus­tra­tions for in­side.

“It was a good project to work on and the book has been sell­ing well.”

He added: “I use lots of dif­fer­ent medi­ums – paint, pas­tels, pen and ink, wa­ter­colours and pen­cil on pa­per­board.

“At the mo­ment I’m work­ing on some mag­a­zine cov­ers, and I’m try­ing to do a graphic novel.”

Go­ing Un­der­cover fea­tures 30 poems by Tony Wil­son in­spired by the peo­ple, places and mem­o­ries of Mon­k­lands, and is on sale in the gift shop at Sum­mer­lee mu­seum in Coat­bridge.

The “Raw­yards bard” pre­vi­ously told the Ad­ver­tiser of his ninth an­thol­ogy: “There are one or two poems about places in Air­drie, such as Henry Scott and sons, the iron­mon­ger on Chapel­side Street.

“Other poems are about lo­cal and world events, and some from when I was younger and even back at St Mar­garet’s High.

“I was re­ally im­pressed with Iain’s sketches; he’s brilliant and the de­sign he showed me for the book just fit per­fectly.

“He’s very skilled and his de­sign re­ally adds to the book.”

My whole fam­ily are artists

Top team Poet Tony Wil­son, left, and cover il­lus­tra­tor Iain John­ston

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