Hi, my name is Michael Wilkin. I was born in Germany but grew up living in different countries including England, Germany and Kenya.
I have always liked drawing and as a little boy I would sketch on any scrap of paper I could find. I even sketched on the back of cardboard boxes and scratched drawings of sailing boats in the sand with a stick.
As a 16-year old, I arrived in Western Australia with my family. Based in Perth, I was an apprentice and copy boy for the Sunday Times newspaper.
My training there as a commercial artist led me into an advertising agency role and I later launched a freelance career as an illustrator.
A strong foundation of early training helped me to learn about a broad range of subject matter and the many ways of using different media including water colour, oils, acrylic and pastels. Today I create art using traditional and digital media – sometimes a combination of both.
Many years ago, I relocated to Melbourne and now live on the city fringe. Here I spend part of my day with our animals who provide me with a constant source of interest and inspiration.
During this time, I’ve been fortunate to illustrate many books for Wendy Pye Publishing. I’ve enjoyed a wonderful working relationship with Bruce Wallace, art director, and the team. I embrace every opportunity to produce artwork for children’s educational books because it allows for creative spontaneity, something that is not always possible with my other, more technical assignments.
One of the things I enjoy most when I am working on a title for Sunshine Books is developing the look and expressions of the various characters in the story, to make them as appealing and engaging as possible. That is so much fun!
It’s particularly pleasing to know that many of the titles I’ve helped to create for Sunshine Books remain popular with kids all over the world and are being read and enjoyed today.