Emma Chichester Clark (born 1955)
In 1988, Emma Chichester Clark won the Mother Goose Award as the most exciting newcomer in children’s book illustration. Since then she has written and illustrated many acclaimed picture books, including the series, ‘Blue Kangaroo’ and ‘Melrose and Croc’. A hallmark of her work is her sensitive and convincing portrayal of human feelings and foibles, even within the most fantastic situations.
Emma Chichester Clark was born in London on 15 October 1955, but lived in Ireland until 1975. She decided to become an illustrator while still a pupil at Cobham Hall School, in Kent, and in 1973, took a foundation course at Bristol Polytechnic. She studied Graphic Design at Chelsea School of Art (1975-78), and while there was particularly inspired by the teaching of Susan Einzig, and by a single visit from Linda Kitson, who encouraged a greater use of sketchbook drawing. After two years of working in a design studio, she studied at the Royal College of Art (1980-83) under Quentin Blake, Michael Foreman and Peter Brookes. She has taught Illustration at the City and Guilds School (1984-85) and Middlesex Polytechnic (1984-85).
Her early work comprised dark, atmospheric images in oil pastel influenced by Goya and Balthus, which were used to illustrate numerous magazines, and adorn dust jackets for Jonathan Cape, Pan, Penguin and other paperback publishers.
However, Emma made her name with her more familiar style, in coloured inks, in 1986, when she won the Mother Goose Award for Best Newcomer with Listen to This, an anthology of stories to be read aloud, collected by Laura Cecil. Since then she has worked in collaboration with many authors, including Margaret Mahy, Michael Morpurgo, Roald Dahl, Adrian Mitchell and Geraldine McCaughrean.
She has also written and illustrated over twenty of her own books, including I Love You, Blue Kangaroo! (winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal for 1998) and Melrose and Croc: Together at Christmas (winner of the Blue Peter Book Award: The Most Fun Story with Pictures for 2007).
Emma exhibited at the Thumb Gallery in 1984 and 1987, and began to show at the Chris Beetles Gallery in 1999.
Later collaborations with other authors include: Emma Barnes, How (Not) to Make Bad Children Good and Wolfie, both Hairmyres: Strident Publishing; Nanette Newman, What Will You Be, Grandma?, London: Brubaker, Ford & Friends; Colin McNaughton, Have You Ever Ever Ever?, London: Walker Books; and Michael Morpurgo, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, London: Walker Books (Illustrated Classics).
Those to her own texts include: No More Kissing!, London, Andersen; Plum, Rabbit and Me, London, HarperCollins Children’s Books; Lulu and the Best Cake Ever, London: HarperCollins Children’s Books; Come to School, Blue Kangaroo!, London: Andersen Press; Lulu and the Treasure Hunt, London: HarperCollins Children’s Books.
Her most recent books include: Bears Don't Read!, London: HarperCollins Children's Books; When I First Met You, Blue Kangaroo!, London: HarperCollins; and Love is My Favourite Thing, London: Jonathan Cape.