Welcome, let me show you around. I am an artist from South Australia. I have always wanted a creative job so I feel fortunate when I draw or teach art. I illustrated picture books for several publishers.
Where did my characters come from?
It was while studying art these little cartoon characters first appeared in little comics in the back of my sketchbooks. This lead to the creation of a zine and making a few handmade watercolour cards. I continued to experiment with other art forms but I'd found my medium!
About How I make things
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.
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.
These are some presentations on how I go about creating backgrounds and how I use technology in making books.
See what I'm working on at the moment in my Instagram sketchbook or get creative yourself over here!
How I got into illustration!
I started by exhibiting my quirky comic strip paintings and 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 steep and exciting learning curve! It was a CBCA Noteable Book so it did come together!