Swansea Metropolitan University student's random dart lands illustrator job
AN ILLUSTRATION graduate from Swansea Met University has the flight of a dart to thank for seeing his work appear in print for the first time.
The vagaries of flight saw the said dart, thrown by Belfast-born Conor Busuttil, land near Swansea on a map, setting in motion a chain of events which would lead to a series of books about a cat called Mr Tomkins published by city-based iponymous publishing Ltd.
Mr Busuttil said: "You might call it a lucky dip and it is probably one of the strangest things I have ever done. My two best friends had decided they would study in Belfast and Aberdeen, whereas I remained undecided.
"I circled the most promising universities and resolved to go to the one nearest to where the dart landed. I now regard this as a happy accident, and one I will repeat again. I regard graduating from Swansea Met as one of the leading achievements of my life."
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In his final year he was contacted, along with other illustrators, by Tim Prosser of iponymous publishing who was looking for illustrators for a book by David Blatchford.
He said: "I was given an opportunity to compete with my classmates in creating a bizarre magical cat who wore tweed suits and looked a bit like an eccentric antique dealer on TV. I was extremely lucky and the publisher was convinced to give me the chance I had been waiting for.
Since then the relationship between me, Mr Tomkins, David Blatchford and the whole iponymous team has flourished and I haven't looked back."
Mr Blatchford said: "I had an idea of how I wanted the characters to look but Conor picked up that idea and produced illustrations that are so clever and considered that they enhance the story in a way I was unsure would be possible."
Mr Prosser added: "I have seen some illustrators in my time but this boy is something else, he's going to be massive."