"I love drawing animals with human expressions. I find it such fun creating, say- a thoughtful fox, a happy hippo, a shy sheep, or a caring bear! The other thing I like is creating landscapes, places where my characters can run about and have adventures. Living in a magnificent place like Snowdonia helps a great deal."
Petra Brown has been a children's book illustrator since 2006 when her first picture book If Big Can... I Can written by Beth Shoshan and published by Meadowside, was shortlisted for the Booktrust Early Years Awards for Best Emerging Illustrator. Since then she has produced illustrations for a range of publishers around the world. She is also the author and illustrator of the children's book When the Wind Blew.
At first I lived with my parents and older sister in a modern semi-detached brick house on the edge of Luton. Although quite near the town, we were surrounded by cornfields and green hills.
We were lucky enough to have a large garden, trees to climb, herbs to eat, and a mass of hawthorn hedges into which my dad cut little corridors and rooms for my sister and I to play in.
My parents had a comprehensive library of books. I spent ages poring over the pictures, trying to copy them. It was the same with my own books. I soaked up the images and ignored the writing. It wasn’t until much later that I bothered with the words at all. Luckily my parents would read to me. Radio four was always on in our house. I still love listening to plays and readings on the radio and regularly take out audio books from the library... it’s great being read to while I’m working.
When I was ten my parents went a little crazy (I’m glad to say) and moved to a house with it’s own morgue. An old slate-quarry hospital in Snowdonia. A great stone-block building, filled with draughts and ghosts.
I still live in Wales, with my partner Iain. We love to explore the welsh landscape with our cameras having big adventures.
My lucky break came in 2006. My first picture book 'If Big Can... I Can.' written by Beth Shoshan and published by Meadowside, was shortlisted for the Booktrust Early Years Awards.
I’m so lucky to be doing this now. Right from the start, poring over the illustrations in those books as a little girl... it’s what I’ve wanted to do.