Welcome to the first of our new "Spotlight Series", where we speak to some of our favourite children's book authors and illustrators! Each week, we will focus on a different author or illustrator - sharing their Q&A responses and also some of our favourite of their books.
I'm really excited about this series, as I've wanted to do something like this for ages. There are already quite a few amazing people lined up to share with you, but we'll be kicking off with the absolutely incredible... OWEN DAVEY!
You may recognise Owen's bold and often quirky work from his very popular non-fiction series of 'About' books with Flying Eye Books (think Bonkers about Beetles, Smart about Sharks, Mad about Monkeys etc), but you may also recognise another book we had in a past Bookieboo box - My First Pop-Up Dinosaurs! I was thrilled to discover that Owen was even behind the amazing artwork in one of my favourite (super addictive) mobile games, Two Dots!
We were so excited to talk to Owen and learn a little more about him and his work. Enjoy!
SPOTLIGHT ON OWEN DAVEY - Q&A
Can you start by telling us a funky fact about yourself?
I'm not sure if this is funky, but I love playing guitar. I play in bands every now and then and love writing songs or just noodling about on it.
Where do you find your inspiration, or sources of creativity?
Usually nature. There's a seemingly endless amount of cool creatures to draw, and I'm so often left in awe at how cool the natural world can be.
Which of your books are you most proud of? (I know it's probably like choosing a favourite child...!)
Oooh that's tough. I still love Smart About Sharks. That one felt a bit like a breakthrough for me and it gets loads of positive comments about the pink cover :)
What was your favourite book as a child? What is your favourite book now?
Both the same. All the Harry Potter books. I'm a bit of a Harry Potter nerd and regularly re-listen to the Stephen Fry audiobooks of them. In fact, I paused The Chamber of Secrets just so that I could answer these questions.
Is there another author or illustrator that you admire or look up to?
There are hundreds to be honest. I'm inspired by so many creatives. For argument's sake, let's just say JK Rowling, purely for her ability to have created such a fun world for her characters to inhabit. I always want to try and bring that idea of a self-contained universe into my work, whether it's with my approach to the style, or a colour palette, or just the language I use.
If you hadn't become an illustrator, what do you think you might be doing as a career?
Probably something to do with maths. I studied it at college along with Graphic Design and Fine Art (and Philosophy), so something along those lines. I really enjoy problem solving and I like that in Maths, it was the only one of those subjects that had definite answers, but you still had to be creative sometimes to get to them.
What advice would you give to a child that is interested in becoming an author or illustrator?
Draw. A lot. I know it's not the most interesting answer but practice is key to getting good at anything. I've spent most of my life with a pencil in hand (or a computer on my lap) trying to explore my creativity and I genuinely learn new things all the time. Perfect doesn't exist, but practice at least points you in the right direction.
Time for a Rapid Fire "This or That"!
Day or Night? Night
Dogs or Cats? Dogs
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
Batman or Superman? Batman
Summer or Winter? Summer
Comedy or RomCom? Comedy
We absolutely loved getting to know Owen Davey a bit better and hope you did too! We'll include Owen's socials and website below - if you aren't familiar with his work, check him out!
Looking forward to sharing our next Spotlight! Any guesses who you think it might be? xx Bookieboo