ABOUT JULIA WAKEFIELD
I began illustrating educational books in London in the mid 1970s after completing a Diploma in Illustration at Harrow School of Art. I came to Australia in 1979 and illustrated fiction and non-fiction books for Macmillan Education, Thomas Nelson and Oxford University Press. I returned to England in 1989 where I took up water colour, printmaking and teaching, and focused on my family. I’ve been living in South Australia since 2001, and I’m now a published poet. My children are grown up and the arrival of grandchildren has encouraged me to concentrate seriously on illustration again. I have always written stories for children so now I am beginning to put stories, poems and pictures together.
I like illustrating slightly edgy stories: I grew up on a diet of Goya, Daumier and German Expressionists, as well as contemporary British cartoonists such as Ronald Searle, Quentin Blake and Ralph Steadman. But I’m a big softy at heart and I never lose my sense of humour. My favourite Australian children’s books have always been the Magic Pudding and Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. I enjoy working with pen and ink and black and white, but recently I ventured into pastels and discovered technicolour.I was totally captivated by a recent trip to Canada, which resulted in a story about a mountain that I’m currently illustrating in the hope that it will be published. When I’m not illustrating I draw everything around me, from underwater scenes (I live near a great area for snorkeling) to people in the street and the birds and flowers in my garden. I also produce all manner of handmade prints – etchings, linocuts, woodcuts and lithographs. I like to combine traditional materials with digital ones – nothing is ever out of date, it will always be rediscovered.