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Hannah Tolson

As a child

I was born and grew up in a small town near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. I think I was quite an outdoorsy child, I loved being outside and exploring (I still do!). Some of my favourite childhood memories are from trips we'd go on with family and friends to this big bunk barn in the Yorkshire dales. We'd go on long hikes, explore nearby caves and paddle in freezing cold streams.

As an adult

I studied at Leeds College of Art and then Falmouth University. I graduated with first class honours in Illustration in 2013, and have since continued to live and work here. I think it was half way through my degree when I realized that picture books were the area of illustration I enjoyed the most. I wrote and illustrated my own picture book in my third year of university which was then highly commended by the Macmillan Children's books prize. I think that really gave me confidence that I could keep writing and illustrating picture books, and hopefully people would like them!

As an artist

I currently work in a shared studio space along with a few other illustrators/designers. My working process varies slightly from project to project, but generally I like to work with acrylic paints, crayons and pens, and then piece things together digitally. I’ve worked on: A Pocket Full of Treasures - A Baby Journal, published by Frances Lincoln, and Ossiri and the Bala Mengro, published by Child's Play Library.

Things you didn’t know about Hannah

  1. I love dogs! Especially big ones.
  2. I love the outdoors, going for walks, sea swims, exploring.
  3. My favourite colours are turquoise blue and bright orangey/red.
  4. My dog growing up was a chocolate labrador called Rolo.
  5. I love food and cooking. My bookshelf is full of cookery books.
  6. I've recently taken up a ceramics class.
  7. I like travelling and exploring new cities, but there's so much of the world still to see!
  8. I can't eat eggs. I keep trying but my tummy doesn't really like them.
  9. When I was little, I either wanted to be a vet, a farmer, or an artist. I think I'm doing okay with one of those childhood dreams.
  10. If I'm feeling peckish, my go to food is crumpets with loads of butter and bovril, along with a big mug of tea.

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