My first successful creation Humphrey’s Corner is almost 20 years old, but although Digby Dragon is a more recent brand he is actually older than Humphrey.
Many years ago my Mum who was a school teacher had a story idea for a little Dragon called Digby.
I drew a few sketches, but the story and the drawings were pushed away and forgotten in the back of a cupboard for at least two decades.
Humphrey took all the limelight!
It was on a trip to the Scottish Highlands that Digby came back into my mind.
Applecross is a overwhelming beautiful seaside village oppsite the Isle Of Skye
It has a very special meaning to me as my Great Great Grandma was born and lived there with her Dad who was the local school Headmaster.
It was whilst walking the mountains that I remembered Digby and decided to bring him to life and make Applecross his home.
I broke my ankle soon after my return, but the enforced rest worked well as I lay in bed with my leg propped up on cushions with sheets of sketches all around completely absorbed in Digby’s world.
Fizzy Izzy was born and as I drew her I fell in love with her ditsy personality and sweet little chubby legs and tummy. Her cheekiness reminded me of my daughter and I knew her disastrous spells and chaotic mushroom house would be such a source of endless fun material for stories. Grumpy Goblin made an appearance next and his higgledy unconventional train and accompanying snail friends, then Chips bounded on the scene in his crazy hyper endearing way.
Grizel the very naughty Elf and Mungo her adorable side kick, Albert the gentle Badger and Archie his little helper, gorgeous Muddles and a whole list of other characters ( waiting to be born!) all appeared on my drawing pad.
By the time I could walk again Digby and his friend’s personalities and homes were created too, all set against the beauty and majesty of Applecross Wood by the sea.
It is a huge joy as an artist and creator to see your characters come to live on the screen, particularly in such a high quality production.
The journey into animation has been a steep learning curve in many ways, both artistically and professionally, but working with the animators, writers and acting as Associate Producer on the TV show has been a very rewarding experience
In the original pilot Digby was aimed at a younger audience with softer colours and more rounded characters.
But he needed to grow up a little, which he did with out complaining ; ) to enjoy his countless attempts at flying and the many adventures and lessons he learns throughout Applecross with his loveable gang in tow.
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