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Ben Wood

Illustrator

Ben Wood has been illustrating for publishers and design studios for many years. He has been a Booked Out speaker for nearly as long and enjoys creating books with students.

Where were you born?

I was born in Melbourne, but grew up in the country in South Gippsland. I have lived in Bendigo, Melbourne and now live in Sydney.

What themes are recurring in your work?

I tend to be interested in illustrating stories that contain themes of ‘home’ and ‘being yourself’. I like characters in stories that are true to themselves. Australian identity and bushland are also favourite themes of mine.

What have been the highlights of your career?

In 2006 I was accepted into the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Mentorship Program. I was introduced to the big world of publishing and children’s book illustration. I even got a chance to work alongside award winning illustrator Roland Harvey.

Where have your works been published?

Other than children’s picture books published in Australia, I have had illustrations appear in Dolly Magazine, and many other magazine publications. My books have been published in Australia, Canada and Asia.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about animals, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz book series, dinosaurs, Muppets, fairy tales and silly monsters!

Haven’t I seen you before?

I have a twin brother so people mistake me for him all the time!

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I have a Tyrannosaurus Rex in my studio.

Photo credit: Kathy Luu Photography

Testimonials

The students really loved Ben Wood’s visit. They really enjoyed the workshop approach and all the tips and hints on how to draw characters and how to use shapes and background to complete the illustration. The students were really engaged and wanted to continue their work once they arrived back at their classrooms.

—Teacher, Killara PS, August 2017

Ben was fantastic with the students and lovely to communicate with. He was punctual and organised. His workshops were wonderful and left the students inspired. He spoke appropriately and had the students interacting throughout the workshop which was great. They were talking about it for the rest of the day. We would highly recommend him to other schools.

—M.Lingard, Panton Hill Primary School, August 2017

Year 5 teachers said the children were enthralled and mesmerised. They continued drawing long after he had left. Absolutely loved it.

Ben was on time, actually early, he was friendly, professional and kept the kids engrossed. Would highly recommend him.

—C. Roberts, St. Bernadette's PS, August 2017

Just wanted to say how awesome it was to have Ben Wood visit our school yesterday. Our students were left inspired by his work and stories. The students are still talking about him today!

—-P. Bettiol, Library Technician, Strathmore Primary School 2016

Students had a great experience visiting with Ben Wood as part of our Book Week celebrations.  Ben told everyone about his early life and how he became self- taught illustrator. He demonstrated that drawing characters is as easy as starting with a shape.  He then showed how to add feelings with eyebrows and mouths and also how to draw clothes as well as a background to the picture. Students were then given an opportunity to create their own character. Some amazing pieces of work were created and from the enthusiasm demonstrated, students had a wonderful time!

—P. Reibelt, Teacher Librarian, Albany Street State School

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