Liz Million (but my married name is O'Brien)
Date of birth:
18th March 1976
Place of birth:
Darlington, County Durham, England
Where do you live now?
In a lovely tall town house in Darlington with my lovely husband and my gorgeous little boy.
What do you do?
I illustrate (draw) and write children's books and I visit schools, libraries and museums all over the world to talk about my work and to show people how to draw!
I am the youngest of three children raised in a very happy home in Darlington with my lovely Mum and Dad. I was always drawing as a child and my parents were very encouraging (probably because it kept me quiet haha!). I did my GCSE's and worked hard at school. I always knew I wanted a career in Art and Design so after studying Art and Design at A level I went on to do a year in Foundation where I passed with a distinction.
I then spent three years at Kingston University (Surrey), studying a degree in Illustration. I finished my degree course and went to visit a few publishers. I was lucky because a few weeks later, Walker Books asked me to do two picture books!
I lived in Brighton for a year before moving back to Darlington in 2000 because I was poor and homesick!
I work from home in my lovely little studio where I create my characters and stories.
Hobbies and Interests:
Drawing, painting, photography, visiting art exhibitions, animals, dancing to 70's disco tunes, talking, falling over, laughing at people falling over and annoying everyone with my loud voice and brilliant accents.
Friendly, enthusiastic, focused, funny, confident, organized, honest, caring, outspoken, reliable, smiley, good at impressions and silly voices, loyal, ambitious and likeable. Oh and modest. Did I mention good looking? Ha ha!
Loud, brash, insensitive on occasion (usually talking about someone and they're right behind me, arghhh) slightly controlling, terrible at maths, critical, never listen to important information and believe I am always right even when I'm probably not!
Favourite things in life:
Mark and little George who was born in 2009, my lovely family and friends particularly my wonderful grandparents, being my own boss, animals and wildlife (birds in particular), jelly sweets and cakes and chocolate, inventing characters for books, music of all kinds, cheesy Hammer horror films, reading my kindle, running, tropical fish, a good strong mug of tea, sunny weather and snow. I love seeing children enjoying themselves and belly laughing til it hurts!
I spend a lot of time with little George who also loves to draw and paint!!!
Not George's feet-poooooh!! Freesias, baby bubble bath, smelly candles, my pillow, fresh bedding, cut wood, bonfires and fireworks, autumn leaves, marzipan/playdoh, my perfume, cats tummies when they've just given themselves a wash, strawberry milkshakes.
Cheeeeeeeese, rare steaks, chicken, spag bol, chips, bacon frazzles and Chinese food. I love puddings and cakes and I have a very sweet tooth. I love haribo jelly baby sweets but tend to eat fruit now!
To be happy, healthy and to keep making people smile. To keep children interested in art as a career. For my books to be on every kids bookshelf. Host my own art programme on TV like Tony Hart!
Far too many gorgeous colours to choose from, perhaps a bright orangey-red or an inky navy blue. Colours are extremely important to me as an artist. I think that having colour around you keeps you inspired and keeps you happy.
Most Embarrassing Moment:
Far too many to mention! I am so clumsy. I'm constantly bumping into things, always putting my foot in it by talking loudly about a person who is listening behind me, smashing cups, tripping over dogs and small children. The worst one EVER was when I was on a drawing trip to Poland and I wasn't looking where I was going. I fell into a wheel chair - with a bearded legless old man in it - I was mortified but he seemed to enjoy the ride! Bless him! He didn’t smell too great!! pwoarghhhh
What would you have done if you weren't an illustrator?
Probably been a kids TV presenter, a loud holiday rep, an animal mad zoo keeper or a mad teacher that lets her pupils draw all day and not do maths!
I write and illustrate books for children, it's my dream job! You can see examples of my work.Books
If you want to have some fun you can print out some of my illustrations and you can colour them in at home.Colouring
I am a very enthusiastic speaker and the kids all have a fab time watching me draw and listening to my stories.Visits