Q and A... Amanda Lillywhite

Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?

A:  I wasn’t ambitious at all until I found out, as an adult, that I could be an illustrator.


Q: What are you afraid of?

A: When I was growing up in Australia I was scared of the big spiders over there but I eventually learned to live with them – just don’t ask me to touch one! (English spiders are too cute to be scary.)


Q: What’s your favourite colour?

A: Warm sunshiney yellow.


Q: What is your favourite possession?

A: The retired two-seater carousel horse that now lives in our house.


Q: How long have you been a writer?

A: I’ve been writing stories for about 15 years, I’ve been drawing since I was able to hold a pencil.


Q: Do you write by hand or on the computer?

A: Both (this applies to drawing as well).


Q: Which of your characters do you most identify with?

A: Duck and Bear from my comic about illustration and writing are based on my own experiences so I guess it has to be them.


Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?

A: Scribbling down words and pictures, crossing them out, starting again… until something starts to make sense and seem interesting.


Q: What sort of books do you write?

A: Picture books and graphic novels for children.


Q: Which writers/illustrators would you have on your dream team and why?

A:I know a lot of amazing illustrators and writers in real life. For my team I’ve chosen authors I’ve never met before but would like to:

Tony Millionaire because his sock monkey comics are so odd.

Shaun Tan for his beautiful illustrations.

Emily Carroll because of her scary fairytale-inspired webcomics.

William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies, was the first story that deeply affected me. I have to include him.

Finally, Mariko and Jillian Tamaki because their drawings and words work together so beautifully in my current favourite graphic novel – Skim.


Q: I loved writing this bit...

I made an autobiographical comic a couple of years ago for hourly comics day. It seemed like it would be a big challenge because it had to be finished within 24 hours, but I ended up loving the experience of writing and drawing it.


Amanda Lillywhite low resolution copy pencils