Ross Collins, who mentored Lesley Barnes, won the Macmillan prize for his first picture book while studying illustration at Glasgow School of Art. Since then he has illustrated over a hundred books for children and written a few too. Some of them have been given other shiny awards. His book The Elephantom is being staged this Christmas at the Royal National Theatre by the team behind War Horse. Ross lives in Glasgow with a strange woman, a small boy and a stupid dog. www.rosscollins.net
Sue Heap, who mentored Kasia Kasia Matyjaszek, studied photography at Hull College of Art. A move into the world of book design followed, beginning with school text books and moving onto picture books and then book illustration. She says her left hand thumb is much bigger than her right hand thumb.
Sue’s page at Walker Books>
Award-winning author and illustrator Catherine Rayner studied illustration at Edinburgh College of Art and mentored Naomi Howarth. She fell in love with the city and still lives there with her husband, young son and a handful of creatures: Shannon the horse, Ena the grey cat and a goldfish called Richard. She finds huge inspiration in her pets and often uses them as models, frequently asking Ena to pose so that she can study her posture and movement. www.catherinerayner.co.uk
Natalie Russell teaches Illustration at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and writes and illustrates picture books in her studio in Broughty Ferry. She mentored Stuart Simpson and also Kasia MM. A day in the life . . . get up, breakfast, little boy to nursery and a large coffee to go, ‘Please!’ Then, off to the studio for another episode . . . will Tapir find what he was looking for? Will Fox and Bird ever see eye to eye? Hmmmmm . . . how exciting! www.natalierussell.co.uk
Alison Murray grew up in Lanarkshire and studied textile design at Glasgow School of Art and mentored Laura Clark. She then moved to London where, amongst other things, she worked as a bookseller, rug designer and museum educator. She went back to university to study design for interactive media and co-founded a successful design company based in Shoreditch (she made web sites mainly). After selling the company she moved back to Glasgow with her husband, daughter and dog called Polly. She lives there now, writing and illustrating picture books. www.everythingispattern.com