I am interested in creating natural history-based picture books for children that portray our native British species in a realistic way through both the illustrations and narrative. I am concerned about the proliferation of picture books with anthropomorphised animal characters which misrepresent the way that animals really live and wish to help redress the balance. Teaching children about animals and nature is addressed in the non-fiction category but I believe that by adding a storyline into a book you can draw the audience in and increase empathetic feelings. This is not an easy thing to do as the reality of the life of a wild animal is hard, fraught with danger and often short.
Nature conservation and the protection of wildlife is becoming increasingly critical with the ever-expanding human population, resulting in environmental degradation and global warming. The earlier that children are told about these issues the better they will be primed to do something about it, and books can play an important role in this.
Children’s lives have become dominated by modern, online technologies, causing them to be detached from nature. I want to make books that excite them about the wonders of the natural world.
I have rediscovered printmaking this year and learnt how to make and ink-up coloured intaglio collagraph plates. I enjoy the craft processes and the way that the techniques encourage the artist to simplify and stylise.