Five minutes with… Nick Sharratt

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Published: Thursday 27th April 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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We caught up with writer and illustrator Nick Sharratt to find out more about Big Draw-Along and how he creates his colourful characters.

Nick has been illustrating children’s books for over thirty years, bringing to life vibrant characters in over 250 books. You may recognise his distinctive drawings in the popular writings of Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Jeremy Strong and also his own collection of stories.

Hi Nick. Can you tell us a little bit more about your event?

I’m delighted to be returning to Goole with the Big Draw-Along. I’ll be drawing some old favourite characters for the children, as well as introducing a few new ones that I’ve been working on.

The audience has the opportunity to draw along with me – it’ll be lots of fun. I’ll be sharing some tips and tricks and I’m excited to see what the children come up with.

You’ve brought to life so many iconic book characters in your time. Can you talk us through your process?

It all depends on whether I’m drawing a character for someone else or creating one for my own book.

When it’s for someone else, they will have done lots of the work already. I will then imagine how they want their character to look and turn it into a picture.

In contrast, when I write my own stories, I will start with the pictures. I create a character that I would enjoy drawing and writing a whole book about and start from there.

Then, I will write the story to go with the pictures that I’ve drawn.

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How did you first get into illustrating children’s books?

I’ve loved art since I was a boy and did lots of drawings at school. I then went to art college to study graphic design.

My first job as an illustrator was for a magazine, and gradually I found my way into the world of children’s books. It’s where I feel happy.

Children’s books allow you to really stretch your imagination and children are a great audience for art.

Who has been your favourite character to draw?

I like the variety of characters that I have drawn over the years.

I think my favourite character would have to be Tracy Beaker; I’ve definitely drawn her the most times. She’s such a strong personality.

From my own books, it would have to be the dad and the little boy in the Shark in the Park.

What can children expect from the Big Draw-Along? And what would you say to those who are nervous about their drawing skills?

I think everyone can draw. It’s just a matter of confidence and practice. There won’t be any rules apart from to enjoy yourself!

I can guarantee that there will be some wonderful pictures created by all of the children.

You can draw along with Nick Sharratt at Junction in Goole from 2pm this Saturday.

Tickets are £5 for children and £6.50 for adults. More information can be found on the Junction Goole website.

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Published: Thursday 27th April 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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