ACHUKA is delighted to bring you Tom Knight as the 12th guest in our weekly (every Saturday) Meet An Illustrator feature. Do visit the backpages of this feature to discover who the first eleven guests were.
When choosing the chapter book Good Knight, Bad Knight And The Flying Machine as her Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week in May 2020, Nicolette Jones wrote, “Tom Knight deserves to be better known than he is.” We agree!
There is also a Good Knight, Bad Knight picture book:
On his YouTube channel during lockdown he posted several Good Knight, Bad Knight ‘Crafty Time’ videos, as well as proving himself to be as good a guitarist and singer as he is an illustrator – a couple of examples follow the Q&A.
Books coming later this year:
Shadow Chaser (Decide Your Destiny) by Simon Tudhope ill. Tom Knight, Usborne – July 2021
First Names: Greta by Tracey Turner ill. Tom Knight, DFB – Aug 2021
The Book of Rules by Brian Gehrlein ill. Tom Knight, Macmillan US October 2021
As a child, what were the first illustrations you remember being pleased with?
When I was around 7 I drew a picture of some chickens doing the cancan. My teacher laughed so hard that she gave me a gold star and made me walk around the school and show it to all her teacher friends.
Who/what inspired you when you were young?
Hergé was my first illustration love, but I also conducted heated affairs with Ronald Searle, EH Shepard and Raymond Briggs. I had an intense relationship with Tolkien’s illustrations in The Hobbit too.
Who inspires you today?
Too many to be concise, but Sara Ogilvie, Eric Ravillious, Alex T Smith, Chris Riddell, James Dodds, Edward Bawden and Carson Ellis are a few. I really can’t get enough of the natural world though – trees, fields, hedgerows and the ocean are endless sources of wonder.
Did you study art/illustration?
No, I did a degree in graphic design at Colchester Institute. I thought I’d sneak into illustration round the back.
What is your favourite artist tool/product?
I love my cheap Noodlers Ahab flex pen, despite it’s incessant leaking.
Where do you buy your art supplies?
What software/apps do you use?
What was your first commission?
The Mermaid Mysteries for Boxer Books.
What are you working on at the moment?
A book about Greta Thunberg, two picture books and a board book about pirates. I’m a juggler!
Twitter or Instagram? Instagram
Coffee or tea? Coffee, thank you
Cat or dog? How DARE you ask me that
Grape or grain? Grape
Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise—I’m fairly useless by the evening these days
What do you listen to when you are working? Music when I’m drawing, podcasts and audiobooks when I’m artworking.