Interesting Facts about Craig Phillips

Craig is an author and illustrator here at Wildling Books. He is so talented and I am always in awe of his work. I got Craig to share some interesting facts about himself. There is one in here that even I didn't know about. One especially makes me so sad and angry, and shows how adults can really have a terrible negative affect on children. 

  • When I was about 12 or 13, I wrote a poem about the first world war. My teacher refused to believe that I had written it, and thought I had copied it from somewhere. So she stood me up in font of the class and scolded me at length in front of the class for plagiarism. I don’t recall writing any poems for a long time after that. I think the first poems I wrote many years later were the little pirate songs in The Adventures of Jack Scratch, followed by the first real poem, Aroha’s Way.
  • I am a water-baby. I need to be around water to keep myself in a good head space. I need to get in the water, like surfing or swimming, every other morning, to keep me happy and healthy.
  • I get very easily distracted as I have ADHD. This can be annoying, but it is also a superpower as it has allowed me to hyper focus on the things that I love and have been able to excel at. Things like drawing and storytelling. But my desk is covered in doom-piles of old sketches, bills and all sorts of stuff that I’ll get to ‘later’.
  • I love mountains. And have spent much of my younger years travelling and snowboarding. There is something beckoning about mountains and, like the ocean, they often appear in my books... like Giants, Trolls, Witches Beasts, and The Adventures of Jack Scratch.
  • While I am very serious about my work, I like to be silly when I’m with good friends. I enjoy a really good laugh with Bex at the silliest of things. I feel that having a silly side is very important and can get you through rough times.
  • I grew up with comics, fairy tales and fantasy art. All my work is inspired by these, and especially by circa 1900’s children’s book illustrators. You can especially see their influence in the pages of our Intuition book. I’d love to spend the rest of my life creating books of magic and fairy tales and adventure.
  • I am an enthusiastic advocate for physical health and wellbeing, especially if you are working a job that involves a lot of sitting, like writing or illustration. I tell every young artist I meet that, if you want to be an artist, and spend loads of time at your craft, you absolutely MUST keep yourself healthy and strong.
  • When I left high school I won an award for art. I chose a fantasy art book by a slightly corny fantasy artist names Boris Vallejo, who I was a big fan of at the time. The principal made a joke about me choosing a 'picture book' for my award. The whole audience laughed as I took my award and left the stage. But I didn't care. I had a Boris Vallejo portfolio!! and could not have been happier!

I just want to say that Craig is an amazing human, that I am so grateful entered my life. He always makes me laugh and is one of my best friends. Bex