I have had the pleasure of working as a freelance illustrator for over 17 years and in that time illustrated more than 48 picture books, board books and early reader novels. My books have been published in 41 different countries and translated into 40 different languages, so it’s great to hear from readers from far flung places. In addition I have also created work for magazines, educational and greeting card publications.
After art college at John Moore’s University in Liverpool the internet was a far off dream and freelancing seemed like a total mystery. Combined with the pressure of earning a living, I fell into graphic design for a few years, working on products for children. This in the long run proved a useful training ground for a wannabe illustrator. In between utterly deathly boring changes to packaging designs I secretly scribbled in my notebook. I would amuse myself with my imagination let loose, my world started to unfold with images of pigeons, gorillas and daft fairies. It was either that or find myself snoring on the keyboard. As my passion for my alternative world developed, I formed a cunning plan to escape drudgery and vowing to never commuting on that hellish road the M25 ever again!
Then I plunged myself into creating a new portfolio of illustrations and research. After I had started contacting potential clients, it was a case of sit and wait for that phone to ring. Then one day the call came from Little Tiger Press. I had met them at the London Book Fair, after a series of very happy accidents and a chance meeting on a tube train. Then began the process of convincing them I was worth a punt. So, after one small woodland’s worth of paper later, I had produced enough illustrations to convince them to give me a contract for one book deal.
That first picture book was ‘One Snowy Night’, written by M Christina Butler, about a Little Hedgehog. It is still in print and has spawned a 13 book series and counting. It also kick started my freelance illustration career and further commissions so I am very thankful to that little prickly fellow.
Clients: Little Tiger Press, Lion Hudson, Gullane Children’s Books, Cbeebies magazine, WHSmiths, Hardie Grant, Piccadilly Press, Modern Times, Tiger Tales, World Vision and many more.
Events: Edinburgh book festival 2007 and 2010, Wigtown Book festival 2012.
I am also married to a very handsome man!