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

Clara Vulliamy: If I wasn’t a writer-illustrator I’d be…


There’s nothing else I ever wanted to do, nothing else I could do.
Embarrassingly I’ve never been employed, and now I guess I’m utterly unemployable. My Mum, in a half-hearted bid to stop me becoming yet another artist in the family, urged me to have a shoe shop (which is odd because I don’t see her doing a proper job either…)

There’s only one time I’ve looked at someone and thought – I could do that! If I wasn’t making children’s books I’d be…


a Borrower.

This is because I’m a hoarder and a rummager, and a darning, hammering, make-do-and-mend sort of person. We make our own of everything in this house and only throw away clothes if there’s nothing left but holes.


And I do really love tiny things. Some are found things, like this old Russian matchbox discovered behind the fireplace, and some I’ve made.


(I have no idea what I’m going to make with my tiny nun and children, though – all ideas gratefully received!)


So, I may not be fit for the workplace and I never did have that shoe shop. In other life I’ll be under your floorboards making soup in a bottle top.

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.

2 comments on “Clara Vulliamy: If I wasn’t a writer-illustrator I’d be…

  1. Pingback: words | Sunny side up!

  2. kateormand
    January 29, 2014

    Wonderful post (as always), Clara!

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This entry was posted on January 24, 2014 by and tagged , , , .

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