Leila will be unavailable for school bookings in 2018, but will be back for 2019!
I grew up in England and spent my first few years making mud pies with five siblings and Jeni from number 15. Not long after completing an Illustration Degree at Bath Spa University, I jumped on a plane in search of the sunshine.
In 2009, I illustrated my first children’s book Duck for a Day, which was shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year Award – Younger Reader’s category. No Bears, my second collaboration with Meg Mckinlay also popped up on the shortlist in the Picture Book of the Year and Early Childhood categories of the 2012 CBCA awards. The sequel to Duck for a Day, Definitely No Ducks was released in early 2013 alongside Ted, my first solo project.
My work is a mixture of pencil, paint, paper and any other bits and bobs found in my studio… I love adding collage to my illustrations and often spend far too long flipping through magazines to find the perfect pattern or colour…
Chatting to small people about all sorts of bookish things is one of the highlights of my job. I always try to add in lots of interactive elements and involve the students in the whole process of making picture books – including my embarrassingly scruffy sketches! I find this really helps students to embrace imperfections which are so essential for development.
I also love running illustration and writing workshops for both adults and children and structure sessions around current projects to keep ideas fresh and contemporary.
I currently live and work in Newcastle, Australia.