Lucia and Lawrence - Capturing the Magic of FriendshipJuly 9th, 2018
Lucia and Lawrence - Capturing the Magic of Friendship
By Joanna Francis
Relationships have always been the part of life that I’ve found the most interesting. We all know that wonderful feeling of finding a friend you just click with, someone you have everything in common with, a connection that is natural and effortless, that makes you feel secure and understood. But what about those other kinds of friendships? The ones that have a rocky start, where you’re both stumbling over diversity and misunderstanding that at first seem like a challenge too big, but with time and compassion can yield the greatest rewards. To understand and accept someone so different from ourselves, deepens our own character and strengthens it with the attributes of the other that we may lack. These kinds of relationships, with a person so different in nature, are the ones I’ve always found the most interesting, and has become the central theme of my new book Lucia and Lawrence.
The characters in this story are very close to my heart. Lucia is loud, brave, creative and passionate, much like my daughter, and a bit like myself. Illustrating her was easy and fun as that combination of a girly tom boy is what we do best. Lucia is often surrounded in clouds to represent her dreamy nature and she is usually upside-down or jumping off something as she finds it hard to keep still. Lucia’s crayons also make numerous appearances in the story and show the wonderful gift she has of adding colour to everything around her.
Lawrence is more like one of my sons and my dearest friend, both extreme introverts, incredibly clever and beautiful gentle people. Everything about Lawrence is more subdued. The colours I used, his smile and his body language. He is always in his room, enveloped in a browny- gold warmth and surrounded by numbers and cardboard. Until Lucia introduces colour into his world with her crayons.
The idea for the story came from a past experience with a friend who would not come to my birthday party. A rejection that felt so big at the time I was sure our friendship was over but like in the story we were able to find our own way of connecting. In the book Lucia is instantly intrigued by how different Lawrence is to her and recognizes how special he is when she sees the amazing things he can make. Of course, they have challenges to overcome. Their differences are so great that is seems hard to find an initial way to connect, until Lawrence presents Lucia with his wonderful creations that come straight from her dreams. It is then that they realise it is actually their differences, celebrated and brought together, that make these two friends capable of magic.
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