ACHUKA has been an admirer of Petr Horacek for years, so it’s a particular pleasure to have him as our twenty-first guest answering the weekly illustrator questions. Why do we love his work? Because of its fresh colours and childcentredness.
Petr Horacek grew up in Czechoslovakia and lived through the 1989 revolution when he was in his early twenties. “Great fun! It was an exciting time,” he writes on his website. Made more so by the arrival of an English girl called Claire. “We have been together ever since,” he says. (Claire Horacek is also an artist.)
Moving to England to start a family with Claire (they have two daughters) Petr’s first book was Strawberries Are Red , published by Walker—now available as a board book:
Last year Petr published The Best Place In The World 
and read the book aloud on his YouTube channel.
Coming next year from Walker will be A Best Friend For Bear
and The Perfect Present (Otter-Barry), a book that is still being worked on.
Petr tells us (below) that he is working on a big book of poems by Nicola Davies, which will also be published by Otter-Barry.
As a child, what were the first illustrations you remember admiring?
I used to draw horses quite well. I enjoyed being praised and I would draw a horse for anybody who asked for one.
Who/what inspired you when you were young?
My granddad who gave me postcards with illustrations by Josef Lada. He would ask me to do him a copy of the pictures, which I did. It was a great introduction to the world of illustration.
Who inspires you today?
Did you study art/illustration?
I studied Fine Art at the Academy of Fine Art in Prague.
What is your favourite artist tool/product?
Acrylic paint and pencil.
Where do you buy your art supplies?
A local art shop PSW and I use Cass Art.
What software/apps do you use?
I don’t use a computer for my illustrations. Everything is handmade.
What was your first commission?
I painted a poster for a bank in Prague and a leaflet for Kellogs. They wanted illustrations in a children’s drawing style. I did such a good job that they gave me an extra £500.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m just finishing a picture book called The Perfect Present and I am working on a big book of poems by Nicola Davies.
Twitter or Instagram? Instagram because it’s visual.
Coffee or tea? Good strong coffee.
Dog or cat? Definitely a dog.
Grape or grain? Grain. Whiskey.
Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise. I like both, but I’ve seen more sunsets than sunrises. Sunrises are special.
What do you listen to when you are working? Lots of radio and lots of music. From classic music to alternative and rock music. Jimi Hendrix is jamming as we speak.
Where can we follow you on social media?
Here is another reading from the illustrator’s YouTube channel:
This is a regular weekend feature, publishing every Saturday.