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'Success is not particularly good for creativity'

9 September 2019

'I put my whole soul into this book, but I didn't allow myself to hope that it would lead to anything. In fact I firmly hedged my bets against it having any success at all, because it would have been too painful to hope and then be disappointed," she said. "But then this happens, and I'm proven miraculously, incredibly, joyously wrong...

Success is not particularly good for creativity because it feels like your permission to fail has been revoked, and that is basically a prescription for failure. I wish the book and characters could have terrific success while I myself continue to toil in obscurity. I think that would be healthier for everybody.'

Jessica Love, winner of the £5,000 Klaus Flugge award for illustrated books for her picture book about a trans child, Julian Is a Mermaid, in the Guardian