Ross Collins’s primary 1 teacher, Mrs Spears, told his parents that he should go to art school. 13 years went by until he was finally ‘old enough’ to get into the Glasgow School of Art. Can you believe that? – 13 years. On graduating he won the Macmillan Prize for his first picture book. Since then he’s illustrated over 100 books for children and written a few of them too. Several of them have won enormous glittering awards which he keeps in a box in Latvia. Ross’s book The Elephantom was recently adapted into a critically acclaimed play by those clever people at the National Theatre who made that War Horse thing. When he’s not creating children’s books he enjoys working on character development for animation studios like Laika and Disney. He also likes walking in the Scottish glens with his dog Hugo, who is an idiot, and his partner Jacqui and son Ridley, who are not.
Katharine McEwen has been illustrating children’s books for over 20 years, working with some wonderful authors including Allan Ahlberg and Michael Rosen.
After years of longing to illustrate a book about bears, she eventually bit the bullet and penned her own, Bear Hug, which was published in 2014. She lives in Kent and often seeks inspiration from the surrounding countryside. Katharine is clueless about computers, so creates her artwork with gouache, watercolour, coloured pencils and paper collage.
As well as illustrating, Katharine is a mummy to her little boy, Finley, and when able, enjoys making ceramics, seeking out small adventures and exploring new places.
Jenny Løvlie grew up in Northern-Norway on Ekkerøy, a tiny peninsula sticking out into the Barents Sea, where she was the first child to be born in 12 years. Summers were spent in the great outdoors under the never-setting sun, climbing rocks, watching the seagull-chicks hatching and rock-pooling and the dark winters reading, drawing and making.
Jenny studied Illustration & Animation at Kingston University in London, and graduated with a BA Hons in 2014. Her love of nature shines through in her work and she draws inspiration from the wild landscapes of Scandinavia, nordic folklore and Scandinavian design. She uses bold colours, interesting textures and strong shapes in creating landscapes, people and animals. Jenny is fascinated by the strong bond between humans and animals and the link between humans and nature. Jenny’s favourite things are going on adventures in her van, camping, bird-watching, cooking and reading.
Anna Wilson lives in Penzance, Cornwall, with her family, cats, chickens, ducks and a tortoise called Hercules. She has written numerous wonderful picture books and fiction titles for Pan Macmillan, HarperCollins, Stripes and Nosy Crow. A keen wild swimmer, Anna’s passion for animals and the natural world shines through in all her work.
Sophie Beer is an illustrator/author. She lives in the sunniest part of Australia yet hisses like an angry vampire at the sun, which is unfortunate when she’s in public. As a kid, Sophie was obsessed with making books, and, equally, with drawing covers for the books she made. Now, she gets to do those things for real and is quite in stunned disbelief at her luck.
Sophie is a lover of words and pictures, bees, indoor plants, good charity shop finds, frozen banana, native Australian flowers, and making books for kids. She creates little worlds on a page from a rickety table in her home near the beach, coexisting with her greyhound, her husband who looks a bit like a greyhound, two outrageously pampered cats, and the wild birds she feeds daily.
When Ruth’s three children aren’t sending footballs whizzing past her ears and persuading her that sweets are healthy, they’re saying funny things that she scribbles down and turns into stories.
Ruth used to be a writer and sub-editor on national newspapers and glossy magazines, but she’s much happier working from home as a freelance writer.
Julia Christians received her diploma in communications design at the University of Art in Brunswick, and after graduating, started working as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. She lives in the deep dark forest of the Harz Mountains, Germany, with her husband, kids, and a pack of dogs.
Born in the wild and windy north, Nicola began her career as an usher, but life by the big screen was too heady and too fast. Instead, she chose to study Illustration in Buckinghamshire, where she developed a passion for children’s books that far surpassed her love of popcorn. She has since had books published here and in the United States, which include Best Friends, Spot a Lot, and Leaping Lemmings. Nicola lives with her family in Cheshire, close to the local cinema where she likes to occasionally lurk in the foyer.
Camilla Reid has written, conceived and edited children’s books for over twenty years.
Her titles for Nosy Crow as an in-house author include the Pip and Posy series (illustrated by Axel Scheffler), the Bizzy Bear series, (illustrated by Benji Davies), and the Felt Flaps series, (illustrated by Ingela P Arrhenius). Her titles for other publishers include The Littlest Dinosaur and the Naughty Rock (illustrated by Michael Foreman, Bloomsbury), the Seriously Cute series (illustrated by Katherine Lodge, Bloomsbury) and the Lulu series, (illustrated by Ailie Busby, Bloomsbury).
Ingela P Arrhenius
Ingela P Arrhenius graduated from art school in the early 90s and has been working as an illustrator ever since. At first, she worked in advertising and magazines, but her focus over the past ten years has been on products and books.
Ingela has created patterns for fabrics, wallpaper and stationery, as well as packaging and home accessories. She has also collaborated with several toy producers around the world and her love of retro style, typography and colour is reflected in all her work. Ingela lives in Stockholm with her husband (an author) and two sons.
Lucia Gaggiotti graduated from NABA (New Academy of Art) in Milan with a BA in graphic design specialising in illustration. She moved to London in 2005 to become a freelancer, working for clients such as Carluccio’s, Jamie Oliver, Pizza Express and M&S. She’s been working between London and Italy ever since and she was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in 2018 for her picture book, I Really Want the Cake. She is a folk music and nature documentary enthusiast and her house is packed with found objects, old prints of any kinds, gadgets, travel treasures or precious second-hand vintage objects.
Charlotte and Adam met in Zanzibar working with Voluntary Services Overseas. Charlotte’s house was near the sea – perfect for swimming with dolphins and hanging out with bush babies. Adam lived in a rainforest, where he spent his time playing the guitar or cooking egg and chips. Since then, Adam and Charlotte have made up lots of songs and stories together. Walking to school with their children, playing games such as I’m Thinking of an Animal, led to lots of story ideas and their first books with Nosy Crow.