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Andrew Plant

Author, Illustrator

Andrew trained as a zoologist before discovering he preferred painting and writing about animals rather than dissecting them! Now he loves creating books about almost any subject, and is passionate about sharing that creativity with kids. A scientific artist, or an artistic scientist!

Where were you born?

Melbourne, the Australian one. Not Florida.

What other jobs have you had?

I used to do thousands of architectural pictures of houses for sale – tedious but great draftsman training. Despite my lack of any formal dance training, I also choreographed school musicals for about 25 years, and directed quite a few. I still design and paint theatre sets, and absolutely adore creating murals – basically it’s like doing enormous picture books! Plus I work in a gifted-children program with seriously clever primary-age kids.

What themes are recurring in your work?

The natural world and its amazing inhabitants pop up regularly in my books, but my interests range a lot more widely than that, and many of my more recent books haven’t got a single dinosaur in them! Whatever I’m illustrating, though, I like the little, often unnoticed details of a subject. I like hiding things in pictures, and looking at subjects from unusual angles.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Publication of my first big picture book as an author/illustrator – Could a Tyrannosaurus play Table Tennis? – was pretty exciting. More recently, getting The Poppy published, it getting a CBCA Notable Book award, and all the various things that have followed – murals, other books, and dozens of talks to schools, libraries and veterans’ groups – has been awesome.

Where have your works been published?

Australia, New Zealand, USA, South Korea, UK

What are you passionate about?

The future. That means conserving this one world we’ve got for our kids, and helping those kids to be creative, confident and passionate themselves.

Haven’t I seen you before?

I’ve taught at many schools and libraries both around Australia and overseas (China and France), and my mug pops up in newspapers occasionally!

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

Although I love going to schools around Melbourne, it’s the trips to schools in places like Winton or Marble Bar that are really special. I think it’s so important to get out to regional schools, as the kids there often miss out on a lot of the incursions and opportunities that big-city kids are regularly offered.

You can see samples of my illustrations and of the murals I have made at my website, www.andrewplant.com.

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