Janet Parsons is an internationally published, award winning author of both stories and songs with most ideas coming in at 3am when other people are sleeping soundly. The youngest of thirteen children, she believes her imagination was fed a healthy diet observing the antics of her siblings and fuelled with great literature in a TV free home. She lives in beautiful Melbourne, Australia with her husband, children and enough wildlife to start a zoo.
Janet has just released the second children’s book in the acclaimed ‘Love’ series as well as ‘Open your mind and say ahhh!’ – your guide to capsizing a crisis. She is also working on a young adult trilogy. With all this going on, Janet remains fairly sleep deprived.
Claire is an artist and illustrator from South Australia who has illustrated picture books for several publishers including Omnibus Books, Scholastic Australia, The Five Mile Press, Windy Hollow, Porotroo Publishing and Wombat Books. It was while studying at O’Halloran Hill TAFE’s excellent arts program that she developed her distinctive cartoon style. They first appeared in little comics in the back of her sketchbooks which lead to the creation of a zine and making a few handmade cards. She now print around fifty different card designs.
She exhibited her quirky paintings of children and animals but she found her art was more suited to illustration so she began to send her portfolio to magazines. The Child Magazines franchise commissioned cartoons and eventually a front cover. Interpreting the articles was fantastic preparation for illustrating books but making 'A Little Bit' (a picture book by Christine & Peter Maniaty, 2008) was still a massively steep and exciting learning curve.
Every artist has their own process but when Claire receives an email with the text of a new book attached, her mind explodes with the possibilities. She gets out her tablet and her sketchbook and starts writing down all these preposterous ideas like, what if all the characters were rabbits or just shapes? She reads the text again and tries to imagine the author’s vision for the story. When Claire worked on 'The Eleventh Sheep', her research involved chasing lambs around a paddock and she filled sketchbooks with realistic drawings of animals and then transformed them to cartoons. She loves playing with people’s stories and feels very trusted when they allow her to do so. She is also working on writing some picture book texts as she is always making up little worlds in her head.