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Katharine McEwen

As a child

As a child, I often wore my shoes on the wrong feet. I always loved making camps and hideouts with my sister, and I spent hours playing with the frogs and newts in our pond. I used to draw all the time and make books, and frequently read Asterix and Tintin books behind the sofa. My first book was called Tom and the Monster, which I wrote, aged five. It was nine pages long and written in fat blue felt-tip pen. I once won a drawing prize at school and my prize was a disc-camera and I got to personally meet The Krankies!

As an adult

My mum first inspired me to illustrate children’s books as she has illustrated five of them. I knew my future would be in books because, whilst at college and university, I would respond to most of the projects with work presented in book form. I was very lucky to receive my first “proper” children’s book commission from Walker Books when I graduated in 1996. This was June Crebbin’s Cows in the Kitchen. I now live in Tonbridge with my husband and work in London in a shared studio.

As an artist

I had my first book, Jack’s Tummy, which I also wrote, published whilst still at university and this confirmed to me my wish to illustrate further books. Since Walker Books got me started in the world of professional illustration, I have illustrated around twenty-five titles. I have yet to illustrate another story of my own, but I find the writing part a lot trickier than the illustrating.

Things you didn't know about Katharine McEwen

  1. I love flying kites.
  2. I like nothing better than a sunny, chilly day with a blue sky.
  3. A favourite pastime of mine is rummaging in junk shops.
  4. I have a weakness for cheese.
  5. I am very fond of coastal ambles and beach combing.
  6. As a child, I wanted to be an archaeologist.
  7. Despite coming from a family of sailors, I have never mastered sailing.
  8. A favourite smell of mine is rosemary.
  9. Although I’m attracted to northern climes, I feel the cold easily.
  10. As a child, I had a pet newt called Isaac and a hamster called Pippin.

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