My Dad was visiting my Granny and they were reading the paper together when they spotted an 'illustrator needed' advert. I phoned up Matthew Brandis and we spoke about a story he had written for his daughter's (Anna's) birthday all about her and her older brother, Tom, foiling a dastardly plot by two despicable crooks to steal the Queen's crown when she visits a primary school. I emailed him examples of drawings I'd done before and we struck up a partnership. I got the first ten illustrations over in time for Anna's birthday (two weeks later), and the rest finished so that Matthew could sell copies of the story at the Christmas carol concert to raise money for the school. I was also surprised to learn that I was picked over two other illustrators.
This was a tricky job at first, as I felt that Matthew had created this whole imaginary world of this story in his head, which I could only be adjacent to whilst creating my own ideas for the same world, like a parallel universe. There was so much love that had gone into Matthew's story that I really felt the pressure to align both my imagination with the world created in the Matthew's mind. The only way I could do this was by keeping Matthew up to date with my roughs and early drawings, and the process really fell into place from there.