I grew up in New Zealand and decided to become an artist after visiting a gallery when I was five. In 1990 I graduated from the Otago School of Fine Arts. I spent the following few years making and exhibiting sculpture, and applied art items in steel.
In 1999 I completed a Masters from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology doing performance installation work using voice and created environments.
Between 2000 and 2005 I worked as a film sculptor on Lord of the Rings, King Kong and The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.
While involved in the film industry I met a number of very talented illustrators and artists, including Tolkien illustrator Alan Lee, his daughter Virginia, and Freya Blackwood, who won the 2010 Kate Greenaway medal. This led to my pursuing a career in children’s book illustration.
I started writing in 2005 to have stories to illustrate. I was lucky to be encouraged in my writing by Martin Baynton, who was developing the children's Television programme Jane and the Dragon. I quickly realised there is a lot more to writing a children's story than I thought. Since moving to London in 2007 I have I attended a children's book writing course at Birkbeck College London and a writing course run by Miriam Halahmy at the Highgate Literary Institute. I joined the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators in 2007.
Member since 2008
Region: British Isles
Published In Children's Market: