By Rachel Hickingbotham
“Drawing has always been my passion,” declares Guy Price, a heating and air-conditioning technician from Garfield.
“I work full-time doing maintenance and repairs. Nothing creative in the slightest.”
But despite not been able to quit his day job just yet, Guy has managed to stay true to his love of drawing and has illustrated his first two children’s books.
“It was something I had always wanted to do,” says Guy.
Guy created the covers and internal illustrations for both books in the The Extraordinary Gum Tree Series, written by Gippsland author Karen Casey.
The two children’s books are titled ‘The Extraordinary, Unordinary Gum Tree’ and ‘The Extraordinary Tom Fink’. The series contributes $1 from every book to Aussie Helpers, a charity supporting farmers facing hardship.
“It was always the long-term plan to release a series of books that would raise money on a long-term basis,” author Karen said.
“The crisis for farmers is ongoing and, living in Gippsland, it’s something I see and hear about in my own neighbourhood. The book series allows me to make some sort ongoing contribution that I couldn’t otherwise make. The stories are farm-based and have Australian nature themes, so they’re good fit for this cause.”
Guy has completed murals and illustrations for many local businesses and bands, and is building his folio of work in preparation for his first solo exhibition in May this year.
“It has been very challenging juggling the time I could spend drawing with work and a family, but the end results are so rewarding, and I have a sense of pride seeing my work in print form. I gifted both my son and daughter copies of the book and wrote a little message inside the cover to them. They are proud of me too,” said Guy.
Guy’s two children, 8-year-old Ethan and 5-year-old Peyton inspire him to not give up on what he loves.
Peyton in particular, shares Guy’s talent for drawing.
“Ever since she could pick up a pen, you could see she had talent. She is very delicate and very planned with her process”, explained Guy.
“I’ve never been sure of the direction to take my work as a career and I dabble in all different mediums and processes. But as long as I’m creating, I am happy.”
More than 400 copies of the books have been sold to date, providing over $400 for Aussie Helpers. Karen hopes to create a third book to complete the series and continue support for farmers. The books can be bought in various independent bookshops and online at Booktopia and other online bookstores.
DISCOVER THE EXTRAORDINARY GUM TREE CREATORS
Guy Price’s first solo exhibition will be held from May 28 – June 24 at the Red Tree Gallery in Jindivik.
Karen Casey is a former journalist who worked for newspapers and lifestyle magazines around Australia and overseas. Her first unpublished manuscript was long-listed for the Australian Vogel Literary Award. She has since released three books, the two in the children’s book series and a humorous travel memoir, ‘The Misadventures of the Travelling Quirkus’. You can hear Karen speak at the Emerald Library on July 1 at 6.30pm. This is a free event but bookings are essential.