Karen Blair - Four Fab Festival questions

In Year 8, Karen Blair won 3rd place in the Children's Book Council of Australia Make Your Own Book Competition. She has never looked back!

Karen is a talented illustrator, super presenter, and wouldn't-you-just-love-to-have-her-as-your primary art school teacher.

Well, Karen is exhibiting her work and presenting primary school workshops for heARTlines in 2015, so you're in luck!

Below, Karen answers our Four Fab Festival questions...

1.       What book/s will you be speaking about at this year’s HeArtlines Festival?

Hello From Nowhere by Raewyn Caisley

2.       Where did inspiration for that book come from?

The landscape came from my own experience of the outback and friend’s photo’s and videos of the Nullarbor, the characters are a combination of friends, family, and my imagination. I spend a bit of time sketching and creating the characters before working them into illustrations, which will help tell the story. There were also a lot of extra details which I had to learn to draw, like caravans, trucks, bobtail lizards, petrol pumps and 200 kangaroos! Whenever something is unfamiliar I always do lots of sketching first.

3.       What’s your advice to aspiring writers or illustrators of children’s books?

Practise and play and practise some more. Keep old stories or drawings, you never know where a character, idea or sketch may be useful again in the future. Have fun and read and draw if that’s what you love!

4.       What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Porridge and coffee.


Thanks Karen!

You can read more about Karen and buy her books when you come to this year's heARTlines festival in Mundaring, where we'll be exhibiting awesome artwork from Western Australia's most fabulous children's illustrators, and featuring workshops from WA's best children's authors and illustrators, from 15 May till 28 June 2015.

The exhibition is FREE, and we'll be releasing more information about workshops soon...watch this space.