Qu: When did you start writing and drawing?
I’ve been drawing and writing all my life. I was that little geeky girl that was always either with her nose in books or in a drawing or note pad.
Qu: When did you start writing and drawing
I have illustrated more than 35 books. Although I have written and illustrated various picture books, so far only one has been published. It's called "Fierce Grey Mouse", a story about a little mouse that wants to be fierce
Qu: What training do you need to be a professional illustrator?
The best thing to do is a degree in illustration at university. I have a 1:1 hons degree in illustration and narrative (story writing) from Bath university. Even better if you can also do a Masters degree in illustration, which is still one of my big wishes in life.
Qu: Wht else do you draw for people?
I draw logos for small companies, pictures for greeting cards, images for presentations, icons for websites and promotion materials like posters, stickers, bookmarks, leaflets etc. Anything anyone wants drawing, I draw it!
Qu: What did you do before you became an author and illustrator?
I spent a long time in big international offices, travelling all over the world, sorting out the training and development needs and strategies for the employees. I escaped from the office at the end of 2006 and went back to university to study illustration and story writing.
Qu: Who are your favourite characters to draw and why?
I love drawing Pojo, because of his great adventures and I like drawing his floppy ears and his little red scarf.
Qu: What do you enjoy doing the most, the writing or the drawing?
Difficult question. I think naturally I'm a drawer/illustrator, I cannot imagine a world where I wouldn't draw. But my drawing is always story related. Whether that's a story in my own mind or somebody else's story. Without the story or the writing, there's no drawing. They go together for me.
Qu: Where do you get your inspiration from for your drawings and your stories?
Animals and nature are my main inspiration in life, so also for drawing and stories. You will find that most of what I draw or write takes place outdoors. In forests, meadows, the seaside and hills. And usually most of the characters in my stories are animals.
Qu: What was your favourite book as a child?
Difficult one, I love so many books. By the time I was 11 I had read all the children's books in our local library and was given special permission to start reading adult books. So that gives you an idea of the amount of books I need to choose from.
Qu: what advice would you give to our young scribblers?
For both drawing and writing: do it lots, every day if you can.
Try and be okay with criticism. You might not always agree with it, but listen to it, assess your work and see if it will be better if you do what others might have suggested. That can be hard, as both writing and drawing is so personal and comes from your heart. But I promise you, you'll be a better writer or illustrator (or both) if you can positively deal with criticism.
The other things I would recommend is to read lots of books and visit art galleries and musea. Enjoy what other people wrote or drew or painted. Try and understand what makes their work great.
Experiment with different materials and techniques. Both for writing and drawing. It feels different to write with pen and paper rather than on a computer. You can tell your story in different ways. Maybe as a letter to someone, or as a diary, or from the first person instead of the third person, or maybe as a news article. Try different things with the same story and see what happens.
For illustrating, you get different effects when you paint with watercolours than when using pastels for example. You might find that mixing the two gives even more wonderful effects. Break through what you already are comfortable with. Get messy and discover new wonderful things. Good luck!
For more information on Chantal's books and illustrations go to