Inspiration can be found in the simplest of places and they can stay with you for a lifetime. I would love to write a little about the legacy that Raymond Briggs left in my heart after the sad news that he passed away this week. 
For every Christmas I’ve known, The Snowman has been on TV and sitting down to watch this beautiful film with my Sister - at least once - was an annual treat. I credit Mr Briggs with a dream to see the Northern lights one day from watching the colours of his illustrations dance in the snow, my young eyes wide open and my adult ones still captivated.  The Northern lights and snow often feature in my early illustrations and this is one of the first things I drew when I began illustrating each day. 
The magic of this The Snowman hasn’t dwindled a bit with age, although the ending never fails to put a lump in my throat which wasn’t there in my younger years. I have a lot to thank Mr briggs for, for those lovely moments with my family, for supporting my belief in Father Christmas, for creating a story which contributed to my love of snow and not to overlook the inspiration to ice a Christmas cake, (even if my first attempt at a snowman became a lump of icing, suffering a similar fate as the one in the film!)


It is funny how an idea and a creation made many miles away can land in your world and shape it, a beautiful reminder of how connected we are through stories and inspirations. How those characters can become so dear to you, your own experiences of The Snowman, Winnie the Pooh, The Wind In The Willows, Narnia, those magical places exist in your heart as much as they do in the mind of their creators. I’m so grateful for those things that filled my heart with the idea to live in the snowy mountains, to draw and create stories of my own. I am so touched that my film Mr Bear’s Christmas will be shown alongside The Snowman this Christmas. If Mr Bear brings an ounce of the Christmas magic to others that The Snowman has for me, I would be truly delighted.

Rest in peace Mr Briggs, I will raise a glass to you in December. 

Lorna Gibson