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Chris Kennett

Author, Illustrator

Chris Kennett is an illustrator/author of picture books and junior fiction.

After writing and illustrating his first two picture books in 2011-12, Chris has gone on to illustrate for the STAR WARS franchise and a variety of Kid Lit junior novels.

His latest series “Noah and Blue’s Zooniverse”, with author Nova Weetman, is a fun and wacky adventure series for younger readers. Chris has also worked in the animation industry on and off for the past 10 years as an animator and character designer.

Where were you born?

I was born in Canterbury, England. Home of Chaucer, Marlowe and Orlando Bloom!

What other jobs have you had?

My first job out of school was as a Reprographics Officer for Canterbury City Council (That’s a glorified photocopier in case you were wondering). After moving to Australia in 1998 I started out drawing caricature commissions, before moving into the world on online animated greeting cards. This lead to a career in the animation industry, where I’ve worked on a number of productions as both animator and, more recently, character designer.

What themes are recurring in your work?

A lot of my work involves high energy posing, big expressive characters and bold vibrant colours. I also like to include as much humour in my work, even when there seemingly is none.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Most definitely having the great privilege to work on the Star Wars books and to have my name forever linked to my all time favourite franchise.

Also, my time acting as Design Supervisor on the TV animation “The Day My Butt Went Psycho” by Australian legend Andy Griffiths, was a great experience. There I got to work alongside some of Australia’s best illustrators and designers.

Where have your works been published?

Predominantly in Australia and New Zealand. Although the Star Wars titles were published by Penguin Random House in New York and have been released all over the world.

Pixel Raiders has enjoyed success in the US, French Canada with Brazil and Russia soon to release the first two entries in the series.

What are you passionate about?

My family, Star Wars and satsumas (The king of the mandarin family). Oh, and drawing of course! The only job I’d do just for the love of it.

Haven’t I seen you before?

Maybe? Last year I took part in the Illustrator Battles on Kids WB which was an absolute blast.

Back in 2016 I was thrust, blinking, into the spotlight after an ABC News story, on my Star Wars work. The story caught the media’s attention and I ended up on several News outlets throughout the day.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I love pop culture and Lego! Also, if the conditions are perfect, I have been known to belt out some Tom Jones at karaoke. But that’s just between us, right?

Testimonials

Loved it ….Chris was a great genuine person – who the students really responded to.

Chris made an extra effort to follow up this week – which we really appreciate! Signs of a really genuine person who cares about students, drawing and books!

—Olivia Hodgetts, St Monica's Primary School, Ausgust 2019

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