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Robert Crowther

As a child

Robert Crowther was born in Leeds in 1948. His father was a commercial traveller and the family moved many times around the north-east during Robert's childhood. He was interested in drawing from an early age, particularly detailed scenes packed with characters. While still at school, he produced illustrations for The Three Little Pigs for Yorkshire Schools Television. On leaving school, he went to art college, eventually taking an MA at the Royal College of Art.

As an adult

It was while at the Royal College of Art that Robert became interested in pop-ups. “I just loved the way things came alive when you did them in 3-D,” he says. Another of his college projects was to create a self-portrait in biscuit, which led to his being commissioned to make biscuit portraits of the Dutch royal family and a guest appearance on BBC TV's The Generation Game! After college, he worked as a freelance designer for Madame Tussaud's and other leisure venues, before becoming a full-time children's book creator. Father of two and grandfather of three, Robert now lives with his partner, Sarah, in Norfolk.

As an artist

Robert produced his first book, The Most Amazing Hide-and-Seek Alphabet ook while still at college. It was published in 1977 and became an instant bestseller, revolutionizing the world of novelty books. "I didn't think I could get it printed, because there were a lot more mechanics than in other books at the time. Normally books only had six pop-ups; mine had twenty-six!" Over the following decades Robert has produced numerous novelty books, earning him international acclaim and the affectionate moniker "Mr Pop-up". He regularly gives pop-up workshops and demonstrations in schools, libraries and festivals throughout the UK and in the USA.

Things you didn't know about Robert Crowther

  1. He loves wearing very loud, brightly coloured socks.
  2. He loves cheese and plain chocolate.
  3. He supports Sunderland, and his favourite fantasy is that one day they'll play in the Champions League.
  4. He still has the first pop-up book he was given as a child – a pop-up volume of Bible stories.
  5. If he wasn't an artist, he'd like to have been a postman or a train driver.
  6. He once appeared on BBC TV's The Generation Game, making a biscuit portrait of Mickey Mouse which the contestants had to copy.
  7. In 1997 he took a train trip right across America, coast to coast, from Boston to Los Angeles.
  8. He designs and paints scenery for the village pantomime in the local hall.
  9. He has built groovy hideaways for the family cats at the top of his house.
  10. His granddaughters call him Dan!

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