A bit about me

My name is Stephen Waterhouse and I am an illustrator and an author. I was born in Yorkshire in England in 1976. I have been illustrating since 1998 and I create pictures for books, posters, cards, jigsaws, maps, advent calendars, packaging and magazines. I enjoy using bright, bold colours to create my characters with lots of detail, lighting and atmosphere to tell stories.

I have written and illustrated my own series of books for Bloomsbury children’s books called ‘Get Busy This Christmas!’, ‘Get Busy This Summer!’ and ‘Get Busy, Dad’s Back!’ These books are about the adventures of a family of penguins.

My largest commission was in 2007-8 and it was to illustrate ’50 Favourite Bible Stories’ for Lion children’s books. This book has been published as part of Sir Cliff Richard’s 50th year in show business celebrations. Sir Cliff selected the 50 stories and they were retold by the author and broadcaster Brian Sibley. Sir Cliff also narrated the stories on three accompanying cd’s.

I have always loved drawing and painting and I first remember being aware of my imagination when I read the Roald Dahl books. My favourites were ‘The enormous Crocodile’ and ‘James and The Giant Peach’. Seeing all the details, energy and humour within Quentin Blake’s illustrations made me want to draw even more.

When I was 12 years old I first saw ‘The Simpson’s’ and the bright colours made a really big impression on me. That is where my love of colour started, along with seeing Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings and the work of other Impressionists’ like Monet and Degas.

Art was my favourite subject at school and I was encouraged a lot by my art teacher who was hugely enthusiastic and instrumental in developing my passion for art. After leaving school I did a one year Art and Design Foundation course at Huddersfield Art College. I then studied illustration at Loughborough University School of Art & Design and graduated in 1998.

Where I work

I work at my home studio. I am a freelance illustrator which means I work for different publishers and companies sometimes all at the same time! I like to keep it very colourful and busy with lots of photos, artwork, other artists work, toys, robots, and characters……..this all helps me to feel inspired and creative!

How I work

I work both traditionally and digitally on an i-mac. When I work traditionally I use acrylic paint and oil pastel together with screen printing.

I also work digitally on my i-mac using photoshop, painter and some other art software. This means that there isn’t any original artwork….as the images only exist in the computer! I can very easily put my artwork on to cd or e-mail it to publishers anywhere around the world. I often work on hundreds of layers within each illustration so that I can change things easily if I need to. It is a lot of fun.