The opportunity to work on this wonderful series came to me completely out of the blue and underlines the huge part luck can play in the career of an illustrator. I am very grateful to Joy
Cowley for bringing my work to the attention of Patti Gauch, Brian Jacques’ editor for Philomel Books in New York. Patti gave me a chance to do some trial drawings for Triss and eventually I was commissioned to do nine of Brian’s books: seven from his Redwall series and two from his Castaways of the Flying
I illustrated seven Redwall books:
Triss 2002 High Rhulain 2005
Loamhedge 2003 Eulalia 2007
Rakkety Tam 2004 Doomwyte 2008
Mossflower – the Anniversary Edition 2004
I thoroughly enjoyed working on these books, not least because they gave me the chance to put
my experience of living and working in Edinburgh Zoo in the early 1980s to good use. Often,
wandering around the zoo at night, I would come across foxes and badgers that used the park as a
sanctuary. There was (and still is I believe) a huge ancient badger sett at the top of the zoo and
beyond the fence, the forest on Corstorphine Hill, the setting I always imagined for Mossflower
particular, the tradition I inherited from earlier Redwall illustrators of splitting the chapter ‘spot’
art into three groups: characters (I always liked drawing the villains best); landscape and still life
has really helped me think laterally across subject matter.
In 2004 I was given the job of illustrating the Anniversary Edition of Mossflower with large black and white plates. I would dearly have loved to do them in colour.
The Castaways of the Flying Dutchman series
I shared Brian’s passion for the sea and these two stories, The Angel’s Command (2003) and Voyage
of Slaves (2006), gave me lots of opportunities with piratical characters , ships and water.