Who influenced your illustrator career?
I guess the earliest influence would have to be my mum, who always encouraged me to draw and be creative. After that came my kids, who loved reading picture books and that genre was the impetus which started my writing and illustrating journey. I’m inspired by many talented artists and illustrators, but especially love those who write as well as illustrate their stories (Alison Lester and Freya Blackwood are two favourites).
Favourite medium to work with?
I love working with pencil and watercolour. I always have to start with pencil and paper – this allows me the most freedom of expression. But after lots of refining, it’s also great to get to the painting stage and watercolours allow for movement, colour surprises, and often beautiful, unexpected (or unintended) effects. Even the bad effects (and mistakes!) can be a useful learning tool.
What is your interesting illustration quirk?
I love drawing animals, especially mice!
Illustration space…organised or chaos?
Probably ‘organised chaos’ would be the correct description! I do need to have things accessible and relatively tidy, but my problem is I usually have a few creative ideas on the boil at any one time, so my table(s) can get pretty full with projects at various stages of development or research.
Some of your other work
I’ve created illustrations for Christmas Press (upper and lower middle-grade novels) and a Christmas Anthology story about a Wombat and his friends. Also a children’s CD cover for ABC Commercial. I enjoy making illustrations for SCBWI’s monthly ‘Draw This!’, which can be lots of fun – you’re given a prompt word as inspiration, and you then create an illustration to match that word. Here are some of mine:
What is your newest release?
Lola and Grandpa is my debut published picture book as an Illustrator! It’s very exciting to be part of this book, as it’s beautifully written by Ashling Kwok, and the publisher Little Pink Dog Books has been wonderfully supportive and encouraging.
This is a very special kind of book – one which touches on love, loss and the value of memories and family, and this is precisely the type of picture book we all need to read, especially in troubling times such as we’re facing now.
Favourite part of your new book?
My favourite part of creating the book, was coming up with the visual motifs and layers of meaning which I’ve threaded through the story – hopefully the readers will pick up on these.
My favourite part in the book. I have a few!
Here’s one of the particularly joyous moments in the story (both text and picture):
Lola and Grandpa can be found at Little Pink Dog Books.