• MillRace Studios

  • Childrens*

With a seemingly insatiable need throughout my life to take my surroundings and create a separate fantasy world involving anthropomorphic animals, children's books seemed the perfect vehicle. Although some of my characters can be extremely whimsical, most are taxonomically correct with the addition of human expressions and mannerisms. I can remember watching a Walt Disney special as a child that showed his animators using mirrors reflecting their own expressions as reference for their characters. This show obviously made an impression on me because decades later I still use the technique... of course computers make it much easier today.

Although I knew what field I wanted to enter, doing so in the children's book industry is not for the faint of heart, as we all know. Needing a steady income was the impetus for becoming an art director in advertising... what I thought was a stepping stone to children's publishing became a career with a life of its own. One of my personal motto's is to try and look at everything as a learning experience and my 15 years in advertising was certainly that. It has been invaluable on many levels from learning design to gaining the insight to interpret a client's needs. It may have delayed my initial career choice, but it enriched the end product.

When the time was right, I found a rep, or I should say they found me, and my relationship with Wilkinson Studios was born. We have been working together for almost 10 years and the projects they have sent my way have given me the opportunity to expand my subject matter into many facets. With the 'rainbow' cultures in today's schools, I've had the opportunity to illustrate many ethnic characters, another passion of mine. Just as I enjoy creating expressive animals, I am fascinated by what makes a certain ethnic face that particular ethnicity. It takes a lot of observation and I will always be learning... but that's all part of the creative process.

I am always looking for new challenges and I can illustrate anything I understand. If I embark on a subject that I am not familiar with, it gives me the opportunity to learn something new and add then it to my repertoire.

I hope you enjoy my gallery, that you find something you like and at the very least that it can bring a smile to your face.