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Q&A with Chris Haughton

Illustrator living in London and author of picture books

I am an illustrator living in London. I have written three picture books A BIT LOST, OH NO GEORGE! and SHH, WE HAVE A PLAN. They have been translated into more than 20 languages.

In 2011, together with Akshay Sthapit i co-founded a fair trade company in Nepal called 'Node'. It operates as a non profit and aims to connect the worlds best designers with fair trade organisations to produce high quality designed products while empowering co-operatives and the economically disadvantaged. For our first exhibition we asked 18 artists to each design a rug, well known artists such as Jon Klassen, Beatrice Alemagna, Geoff McFetridge and Donna Wilson, each had a 2m sq rug made and displayed at the Design Museum in London. They are currently being sold online and through the Design Museum Shop. We are organising another exhibition as part of ILUSTRATOUR in Spain this summer.

© Chris Haughton

Software / hardware

I work in pencil and paper and sometimes cut paper, on the computer i work almost entirely in Photoshop. Occassionally After Effects if I need to animate something

Ideal work environment

Actually i travel quite a lot as i only need a laptop and some scraps of paper and i often find i do my best work on the road, i feel more inspired when i am in a new place. Other than that i just need a table and chair, maybe some electricity and coffee. Internet is a big distraction.

Work inspiration

Its always a surprise where it comes from. I like anything new to me, i have gone through phases of different things, recently clowning and physical theatre. Folk art is always inspiring to me, several of the most inspiring exhibitions are the MUSEUM of EVERYTHING shows. Often I visit those shows several times. i also like textiles, and all sorts of traditional folk artwork. The British Museum and the V&A are amazing.

Creatives you admire most

I love all the artists we invited to the NODE show Jon Klassen, Beatrice Alemagna, Geoff McFetridge and Donna Wilson. Also Kitty Crowther and Benjamin Chaud… there are too many to name I follow a lot of them on twitter. I recently discovered an amazing performer called Doctor Brown. He won the Edinburgh comedy festival two years ago. Although our work is very different i found it so inspiring because actually he is mainly communicating without words which is what i am trying to do with my books.