Welcome to Creative Kids Tales, Sarah Davis.
It’s no secret that Sarah Davis is one of my favourite illustrators. Her work on the Fearless series is nothing short of devine and of course, her talent in bringing Anna Branford’s Violet Mackerel to life is magical.
But let’s go back to where it all began....
Sarah Davis grew up in New Zealand doing things kids like to do. She loved wearing gumboots and falling in rivers, she loved planting seeds and watching them grow, she loved writing. Not only did she write poems and stories, but she also illustrated them. Sarah found she loved drawing too. She scribbled through her early years, doodled through her middle grade years, sketched through her high school days and has created visual feasts for the eyes in her adult years.
You would think with all that talent; Sarah would pursue art after completing high school, but instead she undertook a literature degree and taught English and creative writing in High Schools for several years.
In 2005 Sarah and her family moved from New Zealand to Sydney. Sarah had taken a break from teaching to raise her young family and found herself drawn to drawing once more, pardon the pun.
It began with small jobs she picked up on freelance sites. Before too long Sarah’s portfolio grew and through the assistance of SCBWI (Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), Sarah secured her first book contract in 2008. In her own words she ‘Is now ruined for any other career.’
Sarah attributes her love of creating to her parents. Her Mum and Dad shared their passion for reading with the family. Her Dad read aloud to the family every night by the fire while Sarah and her siblings would draw and make their own beautiful creations. Sarah shared these special times until her teenage years.
Years and many titles later, Sarah has worked with a number of leading authors from Australia, New Zealand and America including J.R. Poulter on Mending Lucille (2008), Sue Whiting and Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (2009), Chris Cheng and Sounds Spooky (2011), Toucan Can! with Juliette MacIver (2013), Be Brave Pink Piglet by Phil Cummings (2015), Fearless, Fearless in Love, Fearless & Son & Daughter with Colin Thompson (2009 – 2012) and The Marmaduke Duck series with Juliette McIver (2010 – 2013).
Not limiting her talents to only picture books, Sarah has illustrated chapter books with authors such as: Lisa Yee, Jessie Haas, Mary Casanova and the American Girl series (2011 – 2014), The Violet Mackerel series with Anna Branford (2010 – 2014) and The Anti-Princess Club with Sam Turnbull (2015 – 2016).
Her confident style developed through years by self teaching has served her well winning many awards.
- Mending Lucille - Winner: Children’s Book Council of Australia Crichton Award 2009.
- Fearless - Shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2010. Winner: CBCA Junior Judges award, KROC, KOOL, WAYBRA, YABBA and KOALA Children’s Choice Awards 2010.
- Fearless in Love - Winner: KROC, YABBA and KOALA Children’s Choice Awards 2012.
- Marmaduke Duck and the Marmalade Jam - Shortlisted for the NZ Post Children’s Book of the Year Award and the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award 2011.
- Marmaduke Duck and Bernadette Bear - Shortlisted for the LIANZA Russell Clarke Award for Illustration 2012.
- Marmaduke Duck on the Wide Blue Seas - Shortlisted for the LIANZA Russell Clarke Award for Illustration 2015. Shortlisted for the NZ Post Children’s Book of the Year Children's Choice Award.
- The Fierce Little Woman and the Wicked Pirate - Shortlisted for the LIANZA Russell Clarke Award for Illustration 2011.
- Sounds Spooky - Winner: Aurealis Awards Best Children’s Picture Book 2011. Notable Book CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2012. Shortlisted for the SCBWI Crystal Kite 2012.
- Violet Mackerel’s Brilliant Plot - Shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2011. Honour Book CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2011.
- Violet Mackerel’s Natural Habitat - Notable BookCBCABook of the Year Awards 2012.
- Violet Mackerel’s Personal Space - Notable Book CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2013. Winner Australian Family Therapists’ Awards for Children’s Literature 2013.
- Toucan Can! - Shortlisted for the New Zealand Post Book of the Year Awards 2014. A Storylines Notable Book 2014.
- Violet Mackerel’s Possible Friend - Notable Book CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2014. Shortlisted CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2014.
- Violet Mackerel’s Helpful Suggestion - Notable Book CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2015.
Sarah is an ambassador for Room to Read and the Illustrator Coordinator for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (Australia East/NZ). With more titles in the works Sarah’s innovative style is a pleasure to watch grow.
To learn more about Sarah Davis, visit sarah-davis.org