I was born in Sydney, Australia, in the 1970s, where I grew up with my older brother and sister and we were great friends. I loved the usual things like roller-skating, bike riding, pet collecting, moonwalking, and singing. I permanently resided in a world of fantasy and would often flesh out those worlds through drawing or writing constantly. Drawing for me was as natural as breathing and a way to bring the things I desired most into some kind of form. I guess it was a way of escaping into a reality that sometimes felt out of reach for me.
There are two influences that stand out significantly on my path as an artist and writer.. First, my father’s enormous library, a room filled with books from the ground to the ceiling and a place that for me was a sanctuary. I loved books as if they were my best friends and I would regularly go through the books hoping to find something really magical. Second, one day when I was six or seven, I did find something special. It was not a book as such, but an old sketchbook filled with incredible drawings of characters from Walt Disney animations and some caricatures of different personalities; I was awestruck. I later found out that the sketchbook belonged to my mother. I couldn’t believe that my mum had this secret talent. I was so excited that from that moment on, that sketchbook was like a hidden treasure in a room full of magical possibilities.
After attending art school for three years, I found a job to support my art practice at a bookstore in Paddington, Sydney, called Berkelouw Bookdealers, a well reputed book shop that sold new and second-hand books, but specialized in rare books. It was here that I began to cover the walls and the front window with my drawing and messages scribbled onto the brown paper bags from the shop. People would come in and buy my work, and after ten years the author of The Blue Day Book, Bradley Trevor Grieve, entered bought one of my drawings and set me up on the path of making books.
Orlando on a Thursday was my first book with Candlewick, and my son Orlando is, needless to say, pretty excited to have his everyday experience reread to him with pictures and everything.
Three Things You Might Not Know About Me:
1. I like wearing crazy monster glasses sometimes when I’m making breakfast
2. I like drawing and painting with both hands at the same time
3. I can moonwalk