Artist Profile - Eva-Marie Welsh of Eva's Books

Artist Profile QLD

Eva grew up in a suburb of Hamburg, Germany not too far from multiple parks and opportunities for discovering wildlife. Later, when her family moved to the more rural Schleswig- Holstein she seized the opportunity to spend as much time as possible outside, indulging her love for animals and the outdoors– in particular horse riding (Eva still rides today). She was also very creative, spending hours drawing, painting and making craft from as long back as she can remember. ”I always loved to create things and enjoyed sewing, knitting, drawing, and all manner of arts and crafts” says Eva from her home studio in Mission Beach, Far North Queensland  - a world away from where she grew up. 

“Once, I rescued frog eggs from a drying puddle and placed them into our small back yard pond. I watched over them vigilantly, and in the end all the neighbours were over-run with frogs!” Eva recalls. An adventurous spirit, Eva decided she wanted to explore Australia, “I was intrigued by Australia from the age of 19 and always wanted to visit. I finally got here when I was 22 years old. I hadn’t actually planned to live here, but then I fell in love with the place – and I’m still here! The friendly people, great weather and laid back life style are just so attractive – and then there is the amazing native flowers, birds and animals – I’m just so lucky to live where I do!”

The beautiful native wildlife made a distinctive early impressions on Eva, and the idea of writing stories for children about our unique wildlife developed from the high praise her letters home received. “Family and friends loved my letters and looked forward to each instalment of my Australian adventure, and descriptions of the amazing landscapes, birds and animals I encountered.” Eva was inspired to share stories and teach young people about our unique wildlife, and she still takes her camera everywhere, in order to capture inspiration for the next story.

Having worked in hospitality and management all across the country,  Eva finally settled in Far North Queensland. Now a citizen and mother of four, Eva pinches herself at where she has ended up – surrounded by the most beautiful birds and animals, and occasionally stumbling across a cassowary in her back yard! Eva stopped working to focus on raising her four children, turning her hand to writing and illustrating stories. She also love adding in a lot of educational content, “I think it’s important that children learn about our native wildlife – but in a fun, accessible way.”

Eva publishes her books independently, covering all editing, type-setting, and publication costs herself. “I’ve had incredible feedback about my insistence on publishing books here in Australia – its certainly been more difficult and a lot more expensive, but it was really important to me that they are made here in Australia.”

How has your creative practice changed over time?

“I am certainly more confident now, then when I started out. I now know how to composes images for illustration, rather than trying to make my illustrations fit the constraints of a book, and know what I want with regards to the story, typesetting and the overall look of the book.”  

What is your dream project?

“I would love to extend my book range and include even more wildlife characters for children to enjoy.”

What does ‘Australiana’ mean to you?

The unique flora and fauna, friendly people and laid back life style.  I am just truly fascinated with Australian animals and really love them.

native Australian birds children's books

What is your favourite thing about where you live?

I live at Mission Beach, in Far North Queensland. I just adore the tropical air, the Coral Sea, the rainforest and its wildlife.  

What material do you love and why?

“I love anything you can make things out of, but of course my paper, paint and brushes. I generally start with pencil and paper then move to acrylics for my illustrations. Also my camera - I love taking photos for inspiration to use for my paintings.”

What piece of advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Enjoy the journey of life and choose a career that you are passionate about. Don’t worry about negative people’s advice. 

 

You can find Eva's books in our Kids Collection here:

Paddles the Platypus

Who is Laughing?

Cassy's Tale

 


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