Guy Parker-Rees

One of my earliest memories is of a huge Kudu antelope sticking his neck in the car window to try and gobble up our sandwiches.

I was born in Zimbabwe and I can still remember the smell of the huge, hot granite rocks. My older sister, my two brothers and I came back to a cold grey England when I was three.

I spent a lot of my time at school doodling and painting, then did a degree in English and Philosophy at York University, where I spent a lot of time painting and doodling.

I worked as a mural painter, an arts and crafts teacher and as an art therapist, among other things, before finding out that I really wanted to illustrate children's books.

I've been lucky enough to work with some of the best writers of children's books. When a story is good, ideas just leap into my head and all I have to do is scribble them down.

I am very proud of the fact that "Giraffes Can't Dance", written by Giles Andreae, has gone on to be such an international best seller. It is such a wonderful story. Equally, the fact that several of the books I've illustrated for Tony Mitton have won awards which were voted for by children is very satisfying.

I like to convey feelings in my work by using a vibrant, bouncing line, strong colours and getting expressions just right. I find it very exciting when it all comes together. Oh, and I like drawing lots of animals too.

I enjoy doing school visits to talk about how I illustrate and do some drawing with the audience. I live in Brighton with my wife and three children. It's a half hour walk across the park to get to my studio, which I share with three other illustrators.