Welcome to Creative Kids Tales, Tony Flowers.
Slipping on my detective hat, I have uncovered the following information about this month’s featured illustrator, Tony Flowers.
Tony has recently been released back into the Australian population after spending time with Weredragons, Werewolves, Samurais and Ninjas and a sprinkling of time travelling dinosaurs. I understand it was his illustrating talents that saved him. His previous life as a glass blower may have offered assistance, but that is unconfirmed.
Tony is an internationally acclaimed artist with a big following in Japan and the US, winning a prestigious award, and rightly so, from the Oshima Picture Book Museum in Toyama for his handmade pop-up book Gaijin Holiday. The USA awarded Tony for his street chalk art, with Italy and England also hypnotised by his work.
He is self-taught in the art of pop-up books, producing prize-winning one-off editions. Tony successfully ran children’s pop-up workshops in Sydney, before recently relocating his family to Canberra. My suspicion – he is secretly planning on capturing the country’s politicians and drawing them into one of his evil creations.
Originally from Tasmania, Tony has always been fascinated with drawing and bringing characters to life on the page. Although he has created many 3D pop-up illustrations, Tony prefers to work with 2D characters and adopts the highly successful visual literacy technique to engage impressionable young minds at schools all over Australia. Sessions consist of drawing demonstrations, audience participation and lots of laughs and smiles from both teacher and students alike.
Tony has partied with A-list illustrating celebrities Terry Denton and Peter Carnavas and conducted joint workshops with Sarah Davis.
He has also been known to appear in the growingly successful draw-offs around the country, competing against fellow illustrators such as Gus Gordon, Andrew Cranna, James Foley, Nina Rycroft and others who paid me not to mention their names.
Tony holds a Masters degree in Visual Communication and accredits much of his early creative inspiration with the Japanese show, Monkey. Books that inspired him as a child were The Adventures of TinTin - Explorers on the Moon (1954) and Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag (1928).
Together with Nick Falk, Tony created the widely popular Saurus Street, Billy is a Dragon and most recently their Samurai vs. Ninja series. Their works have been recognised by Speech Pathology Australia, parents and teachers around the country for helping to entertain and engage reluctant readers.
The partnership between Nick and Tony Flowers blossomed after meeting on a beach in Tasmania. (cue slow motion running towards each other music) Introduced by Tony’s wife, the pair soon realised each had a story to tell, and through Nick’s words and Tony’s illustrations a literary love story was born. You can read more about their partnership here.
Tony loves being silly, in fact, I have not seen him be serious…EVER! Including the time he and his partner in crime, Nick Falk, were guests on an edition of The Author’s Shelf. But that’s ok because silly suits this passionate artist who has created works such as: a crazy parrot that blurts out the most inappropriate things, a boy/dragon/boy again, a kung-fu fighting worm, yes you read correctly, time travelling dinosaurs and most recently sword wielding samurai’s that are better served being viewed than me trying to explain.
Tony lives in Canberra with his patient wife and their two boys. Working on his Canberra takeover, Tony is currently working on a picture book project for the National Library of Australia, the details of which are top secret. In 2016, Random House and Penguin Books will release exciting new titles featuring Tony’s signature drawings.
Never before has one man made a blank page come to life with such powerfully impressive illustrations like Tony Flowers has. (He paid me to say this.)
To find out more about the brilliant Tony Flowers visit his website tonyflowersillustrator.wordpress.com
P.S., I also discovered Tony plays the banjo, very, very badly.
P.P.S., He also loves Batman!
P.P.P.S., Parts of this introduction may not be entirely true. Ok, I did not receive money from anyone for the above information.
Read Creative Kids Tales' October 2015 interview with Tony Flowers