“Nearly everyday growing up I’d be making something,” says Alex Milway, author and illustrator of Pigsticks & Harold and the Incredible Journey. “Whether it was simply drawing with a pencil, building a Lego castle, or carving some intricate puppet dinosaur’s eyeball, I’d always be knee-deep in sticky tape and cardboard. And I’m still like that now.”
After leaving school, Alex went to art college and learned to be a fine artist, specializing in oil paints. From there he worked in magazine publishing, and it was while doing this that he wrote his first book, The Mousehunter, and then The Mythical 9th Division series. But it was with the birth of his first daughter that he decided to write a book for younger children. And so Pigsticks and Harold were born. Alex says, “Doing both the artwork and the words is a real joy, though it does make for a lot of work. Each book starts off with the rough words, then I’ll make a full length dummy version, completely planned out with pencil drawings. From here, I hone both the words and the pictures, before drawing them in brush pen, scanning them into the computer, and coloring them digitally.”
Alex has many hobbies, from playing guitar to whittling spoons. “I don’t have enough time for all of them,” he says, but he does have one thing he always finds space for: cooking. “I love food and learning how to cook things properly. A bit like Harold from my books, I love to bake biscuits and cakes. Pizza and pasta too!”
Alex Milway lives in London with his family.