Book People: Corinne Hall
Books which inspire young people to dream big and aim high with sport are always going to capture attention, and so it is with ‘Victress’ – a truly beautiful collection of stories and images about 35 female sporting identities which will serve as inspiration for young readers and sporting fans from 8 – 80.
I was completely intrigued by ‘Victress’ when I heard about it, as co-author Corinne Hall is a professional cricket player and an artist. In my head sport and art didn’t necessarily fit together but my teaching partner Jackie Child (also known as #bestteachingpartnerever) put me straight on this when I showed her the book. Jackie’s eldest daughter has competed at an elite level in ice-skating, and in fact knows several of the women profiled in ‘Victress’ and Jackie had this to say about sport and creativity going hand in hand…
Creativity is being able to take new and innovative ideas and act on them, and this is evident in sport. Athletes try, experiment and prefect: new moves, game plans, new routines, tactics, skills, strategies, and equipment creatively in their delivery, through thinking and generating solutions in both training and performance. Creativity requires a person to be focussed, passionate and committed to practice, all qualities found in people pursuing sport.Jackie Child www.tinkeringchild.com
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TEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CORINNE HALL
1. Tell us about your latest book.
‘Victress’ is an illustrated book dedicated to 35 Australian female trailblazers including Ellyse Perry, Lauren Jackson, Sam Kerr, Ash Barty and Dawn Fraser, who have propelled women’s sport into the professional realm. It details the personal experiences I have had with the athletes, the impact they had on their sport, the amazing things they are still achieving after retiring, and also what their thoughts are on kindness.
I drew the illustrations and teamed up with Michael Randall who helped capture the heart of ‘Victress’ through his words. It’s essentially a tribute and a thank you to those who have sacrificed so much to allow sportswomen like myself the opportunities I have today. You can only be what you can see. So I hope when a young girl picks up ‘Victress’ she believes she be whatever she wants to be. Proceeds from the book will go to a charity called the Kindness Factory and back into Grassroots cricket.
by Corinne Hall & Michael Randall
2. How did you get started as an illustrator?
I was quite a shy kid throughout high school. I struggled to express myself when I wasn’t on a sporting field or pitch, until I discovered that I could also express myself through art. I taught myself how to draw and gave my illustrations to people as gifts. Over the last few years, I have often used drawing throughout the cricket season to escape the pressures associated with playing professional sport.
3. What does a typical day look like for you?
I would wake up at about 7am, do a weights session in the gym, have a team meeting, do 2-3 hours of batting training, complete a 1 hour fielding session and then do recovery in the gym. I would finish cricket training most often at around 3pm and then I would go home to draw for a couple of hours or go to the beach and then cook dinner. I normally have 4 squares of chocolate with a cup of tea whilst watching a show and then I would head to bed around 9pm.
4. Can you describe your workspace for us?
I have 2 workspaces. I have Blundstone Cricket arena where we train and play cricket throughout the week. It has an indoor practice centre, a gym, a playing field, outdoor pitches and a café.
My other work place is where I draw. That varies – sometimes it’s at my desk, on my bed, or in my hotel rooms when I travel for cricket, but my most favourite place to draw is at the beach.
5. Any words of advice for young readers and writers?
For young readers, I would say read as much and as often as you can. There is so much to be learnt, understood and seen, and so many people’s incredible stories to be heard.
6. Do you have a favourite book or character (your own or somebody else’s)?
I have many favourite books! As a kid I loved ‘The BFG’ by Roald Dahl and the ‘Harry Potter’ series. I’ve read many autobiographies that I really enjoyed including Andre Agassi, Layne Beachley & Leisel Jones’ books. I loved ‘Angels & Demons’ by Dan Brown, ‘Any Ordinary Day’ by Leigh Sales, ‘Outliers’ by Malcom Galdwell and ‘Shantaram’ by Gregory David Roberts.
7. If you were not a creator of books for young people what would you be?
I am extremely lucky to be able to do the 2 things I love most as a career. I get to play cricket for the Hobart Hurricanes and Tasmanian Tigers and I also get to do illustrations to celebrate other people’s successes! If I wasn’t able to do both of these things I would have liked to be a psychologist or a nurse.
8. What is your favourite food to eat and/or your favourite music to listen to whilst you are working on your books?
I would normally have a few pieces of Cadbury chocolate with a cup of tea whilst I draw. I sometimes listen to music like Halsey, Pink, Ziggy Alberts, Bon Iver & Billie Eilish, but I most often have a movie playing in the background when I’m drawing.
9. How much of yourself or people you know is in your books?
I am fortunate enough to have played with the cricketers celebrated in the book, and I have also had encounters with a number of other ‘Victress’ athletes at different events. This book is very personal. I hadn’t shared my drawings with many people before ‘Victress’ came out, so I felt quite vulnerable and very nervous about how the illustrations would be received. I never wanted ‘Victress’ to be about me though, it’s about all the amazing women we are celebrating.
10. If you could have one wish for the world what would it be?
I wish we would all be much kinder to each other.