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Children's books illustrator for over 40 years...

I have always drawn and painted pictures in some form or another. Most children have a natural urge to be creative - art, music and drama should be a compulsory part of every curriculum! After studying for a diploma at Colchester School of Art I gained a place at the Royal College of Art, London, where I was fortunate to be taught by eminent artists including Quentin Blake.

My main interest at the RCA was in an area known rather disparagingly as 'educational illustration'. This referred to the formal and rather boring black and white illustrations found in most text books at the time. I started developing a style which combined factual information and humour, trying to incorporate as much detail as possible - even simple pictures should never be boring. Imaginative use of line and colour can turn the most uninspiring diagram into something interesting. I make drawings that are both funny and descriptive and I suppose I am lucky that they appeal to both children and adults alike.

After graduating, I pursued a freelance career working for the Sunday Times Magazine and the BBC amongst others. I also held part-time teaching posts at Wimbledon, Harrow and Cambridge Schools of Art, and it was during this time that I was asked whether I would be interested in submitting samples to a new publishing company: Usborne Publishing. The rest is history!

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