Please address any enquiries to:
Will you illustrate a book I have writen?
Sorry no. Generally I only take on work that has come from a
publisher. Manuscripts are assessed by publishers WITHOUT an artist
attached. The publisher then chooses an illustrator who they
think will best suit the market they are aiming at (afterall they are
the experts in this area – and they are also forking out all the money).
So I suggest you follow this route. You can always recommend an
illustrator you like in your proposal to the publisher.
Could you come and talk at my school or library?
Sure thing, especially if you live in Paris or Hawaii and will pay for
my travel expenses. Remember, that making books is my full time
job, and my only income, so unless I am on a Book Council or
Storylines tour there will also be a fee for all the excitement and joy I bring.
How many books have you done?
I have illustrated over 120 books. Though I have lots in my pile of
rejected books that I can pull out one day when I become famous.
Can I buy a book directly from you?
If you want to purchase a signed copy of any of my books, fire an
email my way and we’ll go from there.
Will you sign my book?
Yeah - if you want to send it to me with a return courier bag.
Who are your favourite illustrators?
Phew - that’s like asking about favourite movies. My two stand-out favourites
are worlds apart - legendary American illustrator Norman Rockwell and
avant garde comic artist Dave McKean. My work is often influenced by old
style illustrators like Edmund Dulac, Genady Spirin, John Howe and Degas.
I also love Shawn Tan, Bill Sienkiewicz, Dr Suess, Kent Williams and lots of others.
How long does it take to make a book?
Rough pencil sketches can take a month or three (depending on how inspiried I am by
the words). Then I submit these to the publisher. Once I have approval from the
publisher the finished colour illustrations can take two-five months (although I have
once done the whole process in 16 days!). Generally the publishing process
is long and involved. A manuscript has usually been around for a year in the publisher's
schedule before an illustrator gets it. Then after I’ve finished my part it takes another
eight months to get it printed and into the shops. My book Faithfully Mozart took six
years to complete.
Can you tell me how the publishing industry works?
If you have a spare couple of years! Seriously - if you are really interested
in publishing check out The Writers & Artists Yearbook, or check out any
official writers' societies. In New Zealand, ReadNZ and the Book Council have
extensive information on their websites about getting published. I'm not going
to post the links here, becasue I think everyone needs to do a bit of searching
around for themselves first, and not just lazily go and ask someone to tell them
all the answers, when there is so much information easily avaiable online.