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Paul Howard

As a child

I was born at home on April Fools Day. Unfortunately, my dad passed out and left the neighbour to welcome me into the world! I always drew as a child. I would spend hours drawing my favourite pop stars and footballers. I remember especially liking drawing kings and queens for a history topic when I was about nine. I also liked to read - my favourite books included Joan Aitkins' stories about Arabel and her Raven, Mortimer, and the Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Often I would be caught out in lessons doodling in the back of my work book, making up funny scenes, usually with me and my mates fighting against an alien teacher.

As an adult

I worked after leaving school and then went into Art College. I ended up doing a degree course in graphic design in Leicester. I had three fantastic years there and left to work for a short while at the Natural History Museum in London. I was responsible for all sorts of things there from safety checks to refurbishing displays for crocodiles. Often I'd be seen giving free rides to parties of school children on a trolley with a stuffed alligator. I once managed to break a rib bone on one of the dinosaurs, but found when I went to put it back that it had turned to dust. During this time I picked up work illustrating books for Longman Educational, which led onto working with other publishers, enabling me to wave goodbye to the dinosaurs at the museum.

As an artist

I like to work using all sorts of materials. Usually the material I use depends on the type of story and I try to apply myself to it. When I was illustrating Classic Poetry for example, I was able to use watercolour, acrylics, pencil, pastel and print linocuts and mono-prints. With Chocolate I was able to replicate old maps and draw in an Aztec style. I like to stretch myself in different ways with each book. With Look at You I based the babies mainly on my own children, who are no longer babies. By working from home, I spend a lot of time with my three children and Tiggy our dog, who also appears in several books.

Things you didn't know about Paul Howard

  1. Our dog was born in a castle.
  2. My goldfish was called Jaws.
  3. I'm addicted to butterscotch Angel Delight.
  4. I have a Blue Peter badge ... somewhere!
  5. I support Liverpool football club.
  6. I cannot eat brussel sprouts, olives and pickled onions.
  7. We had peacocks and totem poles at my primary school.
  8. I was a school prefect.
  9. I'm obsessed with music from the late seventies.
  10. My first holiday was to Benidorm in Spain.

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