VCPTM Louis M Slater.
Louis was the son of one of the local market traders who owned a shop just up the block from Robins. In early 2006 he came to work on the market having returned from Cornwall where he had previously lived, he had not been around for long when they both realised that they had a lot in common with each other. Louis had been to art college and had moved on into life and sadly much of his artistic ability had been put aside as he wandered through life looking for a place where he fitted in.
When Robin first met Louis he was sifting through what was a huge pile of notes and plans, which would be organised into what would become the books that will be published in the HTTK series. Although no one knew of the story at that time, it was a year later as firm friends he first began to tell him of my plans for the book. When Robin first picked out a few trusted individuals to use as a readers group, Louis was one of the first on the list, his imagination was intense and he very quickly became one of what today could be considered the books biggest fans.
2007 was a difficult year for all of the local traders, as their business were swept aside to make way for a new civic square, and as sales fell there was not really a great deal to do except sit tight and hope the Local Council would be reasonable when the time came to settle. With sales falling and Christmas closing in Robin was in the process of trying to organise the book to be published, and it was at that time he asked Louis if he would consider drawing a picture of the Bowman to fit on the cover.
Robin had seen some of his portfolio earlier in the year, and a few pictures had caught his attention.
Robin stated, “One in particular of Tintagel as a ruined fortress gripped me. Louis has a great eye for those small details that others sometimes miss, the fortress was drawn in a wonderful manner, but it was the way the grass had been drawn to reflect the sea winds that captured my attention.Over the Christmas that followed Isaw each sketch as it was outlined and slowly the picture of a single bowman came together, Its quite ironic that the final task I did when we had to close down the shop, was to sit with Louis in the empty building with his sketches taped to the wall. We sat side by side looking at them and both in agreement something was missing, It soon became very obvious that Robbie would not be out in the woodland without Rune. Louis took out a pen, and in bright blue ink he sketched the figure of Rune leaning on Robbie’s shoulder as she does many times in the book, It was a defining moment as it made instant sense. His memory and eye for detail brought the whole thing together, and over the following weeks I watched as his artwork expanded.”
In the final cut for the books cover, Robin decided to use just a small part of the completed picture, although the full picture is framed on his wall. He loves the picture but felt that during the editing process that it gave too many clues to the book, a lesson he thinks that will serve them better for book two.
Louis is a freelance artist, commissioned by VCP to work on the HTTK drawings. He has been commissioned on several occasions to draw portraits and specifically requested pieces of art for members of the public, so if you see him around with the VCP Team and you are intrested in getting him to draw for you ask him for his rates I’m sure he would like that.