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  • Description
  • About Illustrator

Constantine takes himself VERY seriously. He’s the HEAD HOG! He is always very right, very proper and very dignified. But one day Aristotle, the littlest hog, asks, “Constantine, why don’t you ever have fun?” Constantine doesn’t know, but maybe Aristotle can help him find out.

Ben Wood

Where were you born? Where do you live now?

I was born in Melbourne, but grew up in South Gippsland in Victoria. My grandparents had a farm, so I spent much of my childhood having adventures on the farm. I now live in Sydney.

Where did you go to school
I went to a small country school, and to get to school I had to walk through the bush!

What were you like in school?

I was very creative! I drew all the time — even in Maths class! I got in trouble for it!

What was your favourite book growing up?

The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum. It is full of silly characters and places!

Who is your favourite children’s author?
Oh, what a hard question! I have so many favorites! Roald Dahl is one of my favourites now. That man knew how to write a funny story!

What is your favourite food/colour/movie?
I LOVE food! All food! I send most of the day talking about what I want to eat for lunch or dinner. My favorite foods would be spicy Mexican and Indian foods! YUM!

My favourite movie is Jurassic Park. Dinosaurs are cool!

Who inspired you to illustrate?
When I was doing my VCE I was the only Year 12 student who wanted to study art. It was likely I’d have to go to another high school so I could! But my high school art teacher knew how important it was for me and taught me herself. I was able to stay at my high school because of her. She was a huge inspiration to me!

How did you get started?
After studying Graphic Design at university, I applied for a May Gibbs emerging illustrator mentorship program. I was taught about the world of children’s publishing, and was able to meet many very talented authors, illustrators and editors. It was a great experience that introduced me to the world.

Why did you want to be an illustrator?
I’ve always loved stories! Reading, writing and drawing have always been my favourite things to do. Now, I get to do it as my job.

How do you think up ideas?
I’ve always had a very creative imagination, but on the days that it is feeling a little flat, I look at artists I like, watch a movie, or I draw for fun! There are no rules when drawing for fun — I can do anything!

Do you have a special place where you illustrate?
I have a nice big studio with lots of natural light. I like to work in here, listening to the cockatoos flying around outside. They are loud!

What is the best thing about being an illustrator?
I get to create worlds. I get to work with amazing authors, and creative folk! I get to meet readers and writers, and talk about stories. It is fun!

What do you do when you are not illustrating?
When I’m not illustrating a book, I am painting, drawing, and thinking of other creative projects I can do. My brain never stops! I also visit schools and run drawing and book-making workshops with students. I also read a lot of books, and love to play with my dog. Her name is Wombat!

What would you have chosen to be if you were not an illustrator?
An art teacher!

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