James Foley - Four Fab Festival questions

Vikings, lions and courageous kids... Welcome to the world of James Foley, a fabulous illustrator-author with a real love for workshops, creativity and drawing. His books have won multiple awards and he has spoken at conferences across Australia.

We're thrilled to have James running workshops at heARTlines!

Below, James answers our Four Fab Festival questions:

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

The Last Viking Returns, the sequel to The Last Viking
The book has a Viking theme park in it plus an evil dragon. It’s more exciting and action-packed than the first one.

2.     Where did inspiration for that book come from?

The first book ends with the main character, Josh, looking after two new siblings. Norm suggested they might be berserkers. I suggested they might get into danger and Josh has to save them. We went from there. 

We needed a change of setting so that we weren't rehashing the first book, and a Viking theme park seemed ideal - we would be able to widen the scope but also still include lots of Viking influences. I wanted to include a dragon as well, so Norm and I looked at the Norse myth of Fafnir vs Sigurd.


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

Whether you’re a kid or an adult it’s the same: write and draw as much as you want and have as much fun as you can with it. Don’t worry about making it perfect, just make it fun.

Too many of us give up on creative work in childhood, or adulthood; we give up because we want our work to be perfect, or the best. That stuff doesn't matter in the long run. All that matters is that you’re making art and enjoying yourself.

4.     What did you have for breakfast this morning?

I went out for brekkie - I had scrambled eggs on toast and a hot chocolate … ok fine it was TWO hot chocolates.

Thanks James!

You can find out more about James and buy his 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, including Mark, from 15 May till 28 June 2015.

The exhibition is FREE, and you can get more information on workshops here.