Drawn from experience

THE book Incurable Imagination is aimed at young children, but it’s also a poignant read for world-weary adults who have forgotten how to dream.

“Audrey has the worst case of ‘imagination’ her teachers have ever seen,” states the book’s blurb.

“While other children paint pictures of their families, Audrey paints the ogre who lives under her bed drinking tea.

“It’s clear her condition is incurable, and what’s worse, it’s contagious and soon the other kids in her class start showing symptoms.”

Bayswater artist Aśka jumped at the chance to provide illustrations for author Paul Russell’s Incurable Imagination, and the result is an endearing book full of colour, life and vibrancy.

An only child, who lived all over the world before settling in WA, Aśka tapped into her own childhood for Incurable Imagination.

“I spent a lot of time making believe; it conjured up a lot of images from the past for me,” she says.

Her drawings of the café au lait Audrey, from baby to young schoolgirl, complete with African-braided hair, reflect Australia’s multicultural society, Aśka says.

“I work with children on a daily basis. We have an ethnic mix in Australia and books don’t reflect that.

“Kids may be young, but you can see the impact when they see that in books.”

The quantum physics graduate ditched science in favour of an arts degree and a career illustrating kids books.

So far she has illustrated eight books and won several prizes and grants.

Aśka also runs hands-on, fun science programs at WA schools and Scitech.

Incurable Imagination is available at all good high street and online bookshops.

by JENNY D’ANGER

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