Stephen Michael King’s first picture book, The Man Who Loved Boxes, skyrocketed to popularity, winning the Family Award for Children’s Books in 1996. It was also short-listed in the Crichton Award for Children’s Book Illustration and has been sold around the world.
The Christmas 1996 bestseller, Beetle Soup, a collection of Australian poems and stories for children, illustrated by Stephen, was short-listed for the 1997 Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Award.
Stephen describes drawing as something that he simply can’t live without! ‘As far back as I remember I loved to draw. All I needed was a stick and a nice patch of dirt and I was happy for hours. When I was ten years old I became partially deaf and experienced difficulty communicating with people. Drawing and dreaming became my escape …
‘I work from a small studio in my backyard surrounded by my growing forest of trees. Our house is in a tiny township near the Hawkesbury River in Sydney and we are surrounded by national park. My favourite pastime is sitting on my front step and dreaming of the veranda I will build one day.
‘I work mainly with watercolours and ink, although I do occasionally use coloured pencils. I work fast so my ideas stay fresh and my brush and linework fluid.’
Watercolours, black ink, oil painting and sculpture are Stephen’s favourite media. His work and relaxation revolve around drawing and he has now produced a number of successful books. His first picture book, The Man Who Loved Boxes, won the Family Therapy Association Award and was shortlisted for the Crichton Award in 1996. It has since been published around the world and translated into a number of languages. In 1997 Stephen collaborated with Robin Morrow over Beetle Soup – Australian Stories and Poems for Children, which was shortlisted for the 1997 CBCA Book of the Year for Younger Readers. Patricia was released in 1998 and in 1999 both The Little Blue Parcel and Henry and Amy were shortlisted by the CBC for the Picture Book of the Year Award.
Please note that due to his ongoing working commitments, Stephen Michael King is only rarely available for school visits