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Mitch Vane

Illustrator

Mitch Vane has had a long career as an illustrator and artist – based in Melbourne, she works in a variety of mediums but is at her happiest creating quirky humorous characters (and a lot of mess) with her beloved dip pen and Indian ink . Her distinctive loose energetic stye can be seen in many of the children’s books she has illustrated including : Bed Tales by Meredith Costain, The Deep End by Ursula Dubosarsky, and most recently Our (last) Trip to the Market by Lorin Clarke.

Mitch often collaborates with her partner Danny Katz . Her cartoons appeared with his weekly humour column in The Age for over twelve years – and they have created many hilarious children’s books as a writer/illustrator team. Mitch currently divides her time between illustrating children’s books, and developing painting projects of her own. She also does various workshops and appearances at bookshops, libraries and schools throughout the year.

You can see more of what Mitch is up to on her website at www.mitchvane.com or check out mitch vane art on Facebook and Instagram.

Where where you born?

Born in Melbourne , Australia. Disturbingly close to where I am living now.

What themes are recurring in your work?

I seem to be happiest, and at my most natural, when I am drawing things that are funny, or at least slightly whimsical. Animals make me laugh, especially dogs and cats, so they seem to pop up a lot in my work.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Creating the Little Lunch series of children’s books with Danny Katz was definitely up there. Receiving a YABBA award for Little Lunch 3 was a very proud moment, and then getting the series made into a 28 part ABC3 series by the Gristmill team was the cream and cherry on top all in one go.

Another definite highlight was having my series of 12 Zodiac stamps published by Australia Post – sticking one of my stamps on that first envelope was beyond exciting. My biggest honour was being asked to Judge the Children’s Youth & Group Art for the Cancer Council Arts Awards for four years running.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about doing the things in life that make you happy. I strongly believe that art, in all forms, is an important part of a child’s learning and development . Expressing our thoughts and feelings and fears through an artistic medium really helps us cope and make sense of the crazy world around us. It also gives us lovely things to look at!

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I work at home in a studio that overlooks the garden . Sometimes this makes it VERY hard to concentrate. I have two grown up ‘kidults’ who are still at home, but would probably prefer not to be. They have been a very big source of inspiration for Danny and I , especially in the creation of the Little Lunch characters and stories during their school years. They continue to inspire us with their own creativity.

Testimonials

Just wanted to say how much we enjoyed having Mitch visit our school yesterday! She engaged really well with our students and they were inspired by her to create and draw characters and make up stories about them to match. Mitch was just great!

—G. Ovens, Assistant Principal, Grovedale West Primary School, August 2012

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