I grew up in East Anglia, a rather flat primeval place where any Dutchman would be at home rolling his Edam. I lived with big skies and a ruler straight horizon. Imagine my boggle-eyed awe when I first sighted a landscape with bumps. Currently, I live in Hampshire, a place of a subtly bumpish nature where I live with my wife and two pet children who sometimes sneak into my bedroom and draw on my pants.
As with every illustrator ever (except the weirdoes), I grew up scribbling and chewing my pencils and it was probably such a diet that lead (uh-oh) to an artistic longing straight from my internals.
I went on to study at the Norwich school of Art and Design where I had nothing to do with illustration. I did learn a great deal about animation, biscuits and why penguins are bad.
I work in traditional mediums and digital wot-nots to make artwork using a rigorous mangle-like process. First I draw a picture. Then I rub it out and draw it again. I colour using watercolour, pencils and ink, sniff it, screw it up and start over.
I also do lots and lots of staring. Staring is fine for art but very bad for people. It makes them scared so best not do it really.
The digital work process is much the same but without the sniffing. (All digital artwork smells of screen wipe.)
When not sniffing screen wipe, I am usually dreaming up story ideas for future books.
As I work I dream of being a knight with a whopping great castle and a seriously snorty horse. This is what I would have been if I hadn’t become an illustrator, no doubt about it. Trouble is, they are all extinct now (knights that is, not horses.) I have become a pirate instead.
I wish that Victor Ambrus was my Grandad and that Edmund Dulac had been my great great Grandad with Arthur Rackham as my other great great really fab Grandad. In my head it is all true!
I love being an illustrator since it allows me to imagine and create all the things that I am not (but I AM a pirate, I am!) Some of the work I produce I love and some of it gives me tummy bananas but it all has one thing in common, it seems sort of upside-downy when I look at it wrong.