A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.

Behind the scenes (if you can get in through the door)

It’s only when I know I have visitors – even virtual ones – that I truly see how chaotic my workspace is.

It’s where I keep a lot of books, but don’t treat them very well.


It’s where I keep my art materials…


and a lot of other odd stuff too, like my collection of toys that no one else wants or loves.


There’s usually a crafty project on the go too, for a festival or school event, cluttering up the place…


and the latest obsessive collection: at the moment it’s tissue paper – I love the noise it makes. The tea-cup paper was discovered lining a long-forgotten chest of drawers.


But sometimes I remember that all I need, all I really need, is a piece of paper, an 8B graphite pencil, a black Moleskine notebook, and some uncluttered, focused peace and quiet.


So thank you Author Allsorts, this has prompted me to turn over a new leaf. Come back in a month or so and see if I’ve kept my word!

claraPortraitClara Vulliamy
I was born in London, daughter of author illustrator Shirley Hughes and architect John Vulliamy. My first experience of making pictures was being allowed to use up my Mum’s paints at the end of the day, which was like scraping the icing out of the bowl after baking.
I studied Fine Art at Chelsea School of Art, The Ruskin and The Royal Academy. After graduating I began illustrating in newspapers and magazines, and doing a weekly cartoon in The Guardian. I started writing and illustrating children’s books when I had a family of my own, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve made around 30 books, including The Bear with Sticky Paws, Lucky Wish Mouse and Martha and the Bunny Brothers.
I live in Twickenham with my husband, our two grown-up children and a gang of cheeky guinea pigs.

8 comments on “Behind the scenes (if you can get in through the door)

  1. Glenn Marvell-James
    July 26, 2013

    Fantastic little insight, don’t know of anyone else who has a bag of noses!! Really looking forward to your new book with your Mum, remember being read her books as a child. Now I read yours and your Mums books to my daughter Pippa.

    Would love to get Pippa a signed book by you both, could I send you Pippa’s to be signed?

  2. Abi Burlingham
    July 26, 2013

    I love your collection of animals that no-one else wants, Clara. I have a patchwork elephant I found on a shelf in a shop that no-one wanted. He has a lovely home in my spare room now in the sun!

  3. kateormand
    July 26, 2013

    Love this! Especially your bags of tails, noses and ears!

  4. C. J. Flood
    July 26, 2013

    Gorgeous post!

  5. Hello Glenn, thank you so much for your kind comment! I’m so glad you like the sound of the Hughes – Vulliamy project. We’d be delighted to sign for Pippa. How old is she? I wonder if she’s like the Dixie Crazy Cars activity sheet! I’ll be in touch.

  6. Hi Abi, I’m so glad that you too have given a home to an unwanted creature! I can’t imagine a nicer spot than in your spare room being warmed by the sunshine…
    in fact can I come along too??

  7. Thank you, Kate! It would seem eccentric I’m sure to anyone outside out lovely gang of authors and illustrators – thank goodness I’m among friends…

  8. Thank you very much, how very kind of you to say so!

Comments are closed.


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