What I do
I illustrate and write children’s books. I also art direct animation for children’s TV.
It generally takes about three months to illustrate a picture book. I illustrate with a mixture of loose ink drawing, collage and digital. I scan my real artwork into the computer and then play with composition, colour and scale.
Sometimes I work on bigger projects like the CBeebies animated series that I co-created called ‘Olobob Top’. I write the storylines for the episodes, which are then given to our team of writers to write into scripts. I am also Art Director, which means that I design how the series looks. So I spend my time designing characters and the environments. There is always a lot to do when you work in animation!
Jobs in illustration and animation
In publishing, you could write or illustrate– you can do this from your own home. Or you might want to work ‘in house’ in a publishing company as an editor or a designer who work with different authors and illustrators. The editor works with the
author and illustrator on the story and flow of the book, while the designer works with the illustrator to get everything visually right. Together, they help the author and illustrator make the book the best it can be.”
In animation, the team is bigger as it takes more time and is much more involved. There is the producer, the director, the writers, the art director, the storyboarder, the editor, the designers, the animators, the music composer, the sound designers and many more involved with the actual hands on animation process.
It feels instinctual and natural for me to work as a creative. I figure that you spend a lot of your adult life working, so if you are lucky enough to have a choice– you should choose a job that you enjoy. The great thing about working as a creative is that your job is neverboring. Each project is different in some way and you are always learning, progressing, moving forward.
My mother worked as a secondary school teacher but was always making things at home, including clothes, cakes, jewellery, quilts, and could knit and crochet too. I grew up just making and doing lots of different things and never being afraid to give something new a try. Maybe this is why I find it hard to just do one thing–I just like playing!