About me

I've always wanted to be an artist... From a very young age I discovered that I was good at drawing and would often create my own games made from paper. Other children would ask me to draw pictures for them.... nowadays its publishers! I loved to draw animals and people for pleasure, especially horses. The decision came naturally to me to follow the arty route throughout school and college.

I joined Mid Cheshire College in Cheshire in 1997, where I experimented with many different medias and techniques such as graphics, ceramics, fine art and life drawing. This gave me a chance to think about which field of art I might specialise in - although on completing my GNVQ I was still unsure which path to follow. From college I enrolled onto a graphic design course run by Salford University. I completed a valuable year of graphic design at degree level, but I missed picking up my paintbrushes and pencils.

In 2000 I started a new degree in Design: Illustration at the North Wales School of Art (now part of Glyndwr University). I became interested in wildlife art, and based my dissertation research on Wildlife Art & Conservation. My interest in this area has grown ever since and is an ongoing influence in my story writing.

After graduating from my degree I worked part-time as an illustrator and gained commissions from a number of publishers. My first picture book, Clever Chameleon, was published in 2005 by Barefoot Books. I went on to illustrate a number of other children's titles before deciding to go back to university and specialise in Children's Illustration.

In 2005, I returned to the North Wales School of Art to study towards my Masters Degree in 'Illustration for Children's Publishing', and graduated from the course in 2007. My postgraduate study allowed me to take the time to develop my artwork further, experimenting with different formats inside and outside the boundaries of a picture book.

After completing my Masters Degree I immediately gained a commission from Usborne Publishing, and began to work as a freelance illustrator - and have been working as a children's book illustrator ever since.

I am now a full time mum and write and illustrate as my full time job (inbetween shopping and meeting other mums for a natter in coffee shops and the like!). In the future I hope to continue to work in children's publishing, and continue living my dream!

Qualifications & training

I worked really hard for them, so I really should list them!

MA Illustration for Children's Publishing

BA (hons) Degree in Design: Illustration

BA (hons) Degree in Graphic Design (1 year)

Centra Life Drawing Levels 1 & 2

A Level 3-Dimensional Design with Ceramics

Advanced GNVQ in Art & Design

GCSEs in Art & Design Design (A*) and Design & Communication (A)

© Ali Lodge 2016