Julie Vivas







Julie Vivas was born in Adelaide and moved to Melbourne and then to Sydney with her family, where she studied interior design at the National Art School.

Julie began to draw as a child. At design school she developed her sense of controlling shapes in a space and her understanding of the energy of line in a drawing. Her first work using drawing was on an assembly line producing cells  for an animated film.

When she was in her early twenties, Julie married painter and fellow student Luis Vivas. During a four-year period living in Spain she completed a body of work based on street life in Madrid and Jerez de la Frontera, concentrating specially on the people who worked in the food markets. On returning to live in Sydney with Luis and daughter Ana, she exhibited these paintings. Libby Hathorn saw an exhibition of the work and suggested that Julie might illustrate a story she had written, The Tram to Bondi Beach. This was Julie’s debut in the world of Australian picture books. The Tram to Bondi Beach was Highly Commended in the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Picture Book of the Year Award of 1981.

Julie’s second picture book was Possum Magic, a story that started life as a manuscript by Mem Fox called ‘Hush the Invisible Mouse’.

Since Possum Magic, Julie has brought her particular style to many other picture books, tackling a broad range of subjects with great skill and sensitivity. Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, another text by Mem Fox, appeared in 1984, and Julie’s own interpretation of the Christmas story, The Nativity, was first published in 1986.