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Q&A with Clive McFarland

Childrens Book Illustrator from Northern Ireland

I am an illustrator living and working in Northern Ireland. My debut children's picture book, 'A Bed for Bear', is being published in 2014 with HarperCollins.


Everything starts with sketches and drawings in my sketchbooks or sometimes on scrap pieces of paper.

I create everything by hand before scanning in and working digitally using Photoshop to complete the illustrations. I like the 'oddness' and unpredictability of working with cut-out illustration combined with the control working digitally provides.

I use Mac and a Wacom tablet. I work with Caran d'Ache crayons and watercolours quite a lot, often on Canson Mi-Teintes paper and usually carry a Scout notebook in my pocket.

Ideal work environment

A sunny studio with lots of space. Unfortunately, my current home studio is the opposite of that.


I like nature and am inspired by the natural landscape. Also by music, books and films. I find inspiration in all sorts of places, often when I am not looking for it.

Admire most

Some of my favourite children's books are by Tomi Ungerer; I discovered his work as an adult and feel I would have loved his books when I was a child. I admire the work of illustrators Roger Duvoisin, Edward Gorey, Tove JanssonOliver Jeffers, Jon Klassen, Leo Leonni and Kevin Waldron, to name a few.

An Island

![Clive McFarland illustration](/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/picture 2.jpg?itok=0NozOWw6)
© Clive McFarland illustration

Fox, Bird, Squirrel

Clive McFarland illustration
© Clive McFarland

Clive McFarland
© Clive McFarland