Hi! I’m Ronella and Telling Tales is my third baby, born out of parenthood and my love of theatre and nature. I write, illustrate and handmake my stories, characters and scenes from my little corner of our open-planned living room in Melbourne. Here I attempt, sometimes successfully, to care for the kids, run the house and create the world of Telling Tales. There are moments when my ideas come to life, the family gets fed and the house stays clean. There are also moments when progress is hard won. There are tears, sometimes even from the kids. Dinner is late and I stepped on Leggo.
But I have tales to tell. And I want my kids to hear them, to live and breathe them. I am compelled to tell them because I love the mysterious Borneo rainforest and its quirky characters. Because my childhood legs ran on dirt tracks through jungle and plantation in Malaysia. Because the Borneo rainforest is disappearing.
My stories are fictional, drawn like threads from the canvas of my memories and today’s world and woven into a screen. I try to project hope onto this screen. They are written from the point of view of an adult telling stories of her childhood where she grew up on the border of an oil palm plantation and a rainforest. There is no black and white, good and evil dichotomy in the stories. Life is a complex system of interdependent characters, resources and needs.
For my part, I try to make every fibre of Telling Tales count. From the balancing act of working from home so I can be present for the kids, the renewable energy that powers our home and Telling Tales, and the materials that make every product. I detail the materials that go into each product because I want to know my money is supporting the solution and not the problem. And you probably do too.