In 2014 I moved to a small town, in southern Spain. During this whole time, I have been writing my short book Alice, inspired by a collection of illustrations I drew on my travels across Central America. It was an epic adventure and lasted two years, although initially it was meant to be a short visit. The whole experience changed my life forever! So much so that shortly after returning to the UK, I decided to move to Spain, in the hope of making a life there and walking the El Camino de Santiago.
Before all my grand adventures, I was an artist and community arts manager based in South Wales, and had lived in many different places in the United Kingdom. I had enjoyed many successful and interesting years as a creative professional until the economic crash around 2012. This was a big catalyst for change and I took the decision to start over, however, I had never thought that this would involve travelling to the otherside of the world.
I discovered Alice on all my adventures in Central America such as; on murals in local hostels, on shop walls, on toilet doors, a name of a coral reef in the caribbean or passing conversations in which she was casually quoted or dropped in conversation by strangers. Soon I found myself in my own version of this famous children’s story which was so prevalent on the backpacker trail. That’s when the concept of Alice in the Jungle was born, starting with illustrations and finishing as a book in Spain. In truth, in my head, it had always played out as an opera or even a movie like Amélie.
Writing the book has been a fully immersive experience, allowing me to reflect on my experiences and understand who I´ve become. I´m older, wiser and happy to be living in Spain. I finally have a place I can call home. The evolution has been huge and this would not have happened if I had not begun this journey.
Women feature a lot in my illustrations as I believe each adventure was an exploration of my personal identity and femininity, taking the women I met as role models or inspiration.
Alice can be read as a blogged book and will be released a chapter at a time, along with related artwork and other published stories.
A very special thank you to my husband Pablo for translating my book into Spanish and allowing me to use his beautiful photography on my blog. My beautiful niece Candela for composing a piano piece inspired by my book and playing it during my exhibition opening on March 27th, 2021. To the wonderful women who proofed my book and gave their critical opinions; Beth, Sandra and Anita. To my wonderful group of private readers for their words of encouragement and critical thinking; Emma Jane, Julia, James and Claire. And finally, thank you to Sarah Hardy for technical support with my blog and to Jesus for giving a fantastic space to exhibit my illustration.
Oh thanks Mum, Julia and dad for everything lol xxxxxxx
Copyright. © 2021 Lucy Jane Lilley