I have always loved drawing. I still have to pinch myself to make sure that this really is my full time job. I grew up watching my mum at work as a painter and fashion illustrator, and I doodled my way through school, but I never really imagined that this is what I would be doing for a living.
I work from home in my Melbourne studio which overlooks the back yard - great for staring out of the window when I’m stuck for ideas. My dog Specky keeps me company ( and distracts me!) I use a variety of mediums, including acrylic paint and watercolour, but I am at my happiest with a good old-fashioned dip pen and Indian ink. It is unpredictable and can be really messy, but worth the suspense. All of my work is wonky and splotchy. I don’t like drawing cars or anything too technical and my perspective sucks so I wing it a lot of the time . I can’t draw a straight line, even with a ruler. My desk is usually covered in paper , paint tubes, ink splotches, water bottles, empty tea cups, pencil shavings and biscuit crumbs. I like to think of it as organised disorder . This is my desk on a good day.
I have been working as a freelance illustrator for a many years now, five of those based in London, and over those years I have worked with all sorts of mediums, on all sorts of jobs - anything from storyboards, posters, package design, colouring books, cartoons, editorial illustrations and paintings. I've had a crack at everything!! Well, maybe not EVERYTHING, but pretty close.
If you check out my Books section you’ll see I have illustrated a lot of children’s books with many different publishers both in Australia and in the U.S. and I often do school talks and illustration workshops.
My partner Danny Katz is a writer and also works from home – my cartoons appeared with his humour column in the Age for over twelve years and we have collaborated on many children’s books together including seven Little Lunch books which have been made into a very successful TV series for ABC3. Also A Book About Scary , No Thanks Hanks and three fun books in The Poppa Platoon series.
We do appearances together at schools and festivals - of course Danny does most of the talking, I'm just happy to do the drawing and laugh at his bad jokes.
I also like to paint for myself and experiment with various different mediums. My paintings change with my moods. I am interested in the themes of alter egos , female empowerment , and the human condition. I love using collage, oils, house paint and mono prints on wood or canvas. Anything I can get my hands on really. At the moment I am working with clay to create my characters in 3D which is a lot of fun. mitchvaneart.com You can see a lot of my art work on instagram at mitchvane_art or on facbook at mitch vane art