Who is Freya Blackwood?
Freya Blackwood is one of the most talented children's illustrators in the world today. Her stunning and iconic illustrations perfectly capture the warmth and complexity of growing up. While warm and classic, her style has a unique quality that renders her work instantly recognisable. The pathos of her characters is a joy to behold, and her work has deservedly captured international attention and a swag of awards and nominations. These include the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal (2010), which is the UK's most prestigious award for children's illustration, and the CBCA Picture Book of the Year Award - Early Childhood (2007).
Her most recent books are Maudie and Bear (2010), Harry and Hopper (2009), Her Mother's Face (2009) and Amy and Louis (2006). The Tresure i Box is Freya's first book with Penguin Australia. Freya lives in Orange, NSW, with her daughter, Ivy.
I was born in 1975, and grew up in Orange in New South Wales, Australia. As the daughter of a painter and an architect, I was encouraged to draw from a young age, and produced many illustrated books as a child.
I left Orange to study a design degree (Visual Communications) at the University of Technology, Sydney and then worked for several years in the film industry in Sydney and Wellington, New Zealand.
In Wellington I worked at Weta Workshop on The Lord of the Rings trilogy as an effects technician. It was then I rediscovered illustration and have never looked back. In 2003 Scholastic Press published my first picture book, Two Summers, written by John Heffernan. I've since illustrated books written by Libby Gleeson, Margaret Wild, Roddy Doyle, Jan Ormerod, Nick Bland and Kyle Mewburn.
I love creating characters, giving them emotions and their own small world to live in. These as well as the challenges of design and the problem solving involved in creating a picture book are what continue to inspire me.
Many of my books have been translated into other languages and can be read by people all over the world. In short - I couldn't be luckier or happier! I now live back in Orange with my divine daughter Ivy, our rather naughty whippet Pivot and four noisy chickens.
Freya Blackwood and Libby Gleeson presenting at the CBCA Conference, Canberra, 2014.