I am an artist from South Australia. I have illustrated picture books for several publishers. I have always wanted a creative job so I feel fortunate when I draw, make animations or teach art. It was while studying at TAFE that I developed my cartoon characters. They first appeared in little comics in the back of my sketchbooks which lead to the creation of a zine and making a few handmade cards. I continued to experiment with other art forms but I'd found my medium!
I started by exhibiting my paintings of quirky children and animals sent my portfolio to magazines. Interpreting the articles to create cartoons for Child Magazines was fantastic preparation for illustrating books but making ‘A Little Bit’ (a picture book by Christine & Peter Maniaty, 2008) was still a massively steep and exciting learning curve.
About How I make things
Every artist has their own process but when I receive an email with the text of a new book attached my mind explodes with the possibilities. I get my graphics tablet and my sketchbook out and start writing down all these preposterous ideas like, what if all the characters were rabbits or just shapes? I read the text again and try and imagine the author’s vision for the story. I realise that is impossible and I get cracking on making some character sketches. This is when I find reference photos and research. For example, when I worked on ‘The Eleventh Sheep’ (a picture book by Kyle Mewburn, 2008) research involved chasing lambs around a paddock and I fill sketchbooks with realistic drawings of animals, I then close those books and start cartooning. I experiment with new painting techniques that suit the story, and finally I make about 15 storyboards.
I love playing with other people’s stories and feel very trusted when they allow me to do so. I have started writing books too and I am always making up little worlds in my head.
More about how I make things and...