Saturday 21 April 2012

Chris Mould in the Quick Fire Cannon!

Smashing Illustrator Chris Mould and a few other un-named London Book Fair survivors stopped in at Book Sniffer Towers between events and VERY important meetings  for a whistle stop brew and some "snap" (pork pies).
Yorkshire man Chris requested a few home comforts for his visit including his favourite brew Sneck Lifter which seemed quite fitting as it turns out a Sneck is a nose - all the better for sniffing with!  
Happy as a sand boy with his cup of Sneck Lifter
Although the visit was of an all too fleeting nature we took the opportunity to fire Chris out of the Book Sniffer Quick Fire Cannon...
He looks good in a unitard eh!
RIGHT - Here goes .. 3....2.....1......BOOM!
What do you listen too when you are working?

I actually really do like silence alot when I’m working. But sometimes if I’m writing I like to listen to a film score. That’s because music without words is great at creating an atmosphere and allows me to sink into a text without being distracted by a voice/ words. And if I’m painting or drawing I sometimes have a film on, listen to the radio, OR I might be spending time in a studio with other artists and having a chat or I might be on the phone.
Describe your dog in three words

Long Nosed Pest!

King Alfred!

Write us a short ode to your favourite pork product

Aha, you’ve heard about my preffered meat based start to the day! OK!

I put my favourite shoes on

And went out for a walk

I heard the lark, sing in the park

And dreamed of bits of pork

At home, the fridge door opened

And then my heart was taken

I saw a most delightful sight

Behold, the joy of bacon

Ta daaaaaaaa…! That took four minutes of my life so I hope you appreciated it ;-)

List your top three drawing/writing/painting implements

Black and White : Black biro, Black auto/car spray, Tippex pen

Colour: Acrylics, Fingers, Thumbs (I like being messy)

Writing: Sketchbook, Laptop, Small but MAD brain

Give us a piece of advice for getting into the world of illustration

Know your subject. Don’t send samples to publishing houses unless you’re aware of what’s going on in the market place and have an idea of where you might fit in and who with. Research your chosen field before you approach people

Tell us a secret...

Ok, here’s a secret. This is Edmund and Cecilie. Shhhhh…I can’t tell you too much right now but you’ll be seeing them again soon…POSSIBLY on the App puppy site if that’s ok with your liddl cuz?

Hit us with your best joke?

That would have to be the Cheese Joke !!!

Mould: My favourite cheese begins with the letter G but I can never remember it.

Book Sniffer: Gorgonzola?

Mould: No

Book Sniffer: Goat’s?

Mould: No, no,

Book Sniffer: Gruyere?

Mould: No, no, no……..oh hang on, I’ve got it….

……it’s Grated! 

Well, you did ask!

*Tumble weed*

Which other authors / illustrators would you like to collaborate with?

Well, just immediately, myself and good chum Mr Melling are in discussion about a project. It’s difficult because he is busy and I am too but there are creative rumblings. AND it gives us an excuse to go to the pub !

Tell us what’s on your desk in your studio?

A well-thumbed, threadbare copy of a Richard Scarry picture book dictionary
One of my sketchbooks
A cuppa, of course
A packet of polo mints
A stack of Daler Rowney Heavyweight Cartridge paper
An arrangement of delicious pens
Lots and lots of tubs n tubes of Acrylic colours
A million paintbrushes
And underneath, a thousand random scribblings on the desktop
He's a looker! ... the one on the right, natch!  !

What can you see out of the window of your studio?

The sprawling metropolis that is Dean Clough Mills, formerly the largest carpet mill in the world and now home to over 150 business in West Yorkshire, aswell as a colony of art studios, one of which I am luckily enough to hold a key to!
Is there an existing fairy tale which you would like to illustrate?

I’ve always had an Alice in Wonderland fixation. It’s a well trodden path so it’s a tricky one but it would be a real self indulgent, gift of a commission!

In a fight Octopus vs. Hare who would win?

Ooh, a fight. Hmmm…Quadruped versus Octopod. It depends on the arena . I’m backing the Hare, naturally but under sub aqua conditions I fear that lack of oxygen and sustained pressure might be overwhelming. HOWEVER…an open field would see the hare on home territory and that would DEFINITELY end in Octopus tears!

How do you take your tea?
That's not tea! It's beer!

First things first, quality china only (oh…go on then… maybe a plastic vending machine cup if it’s a desperate circumstance). If tea is made in the pot it’s milk in the cup first, if it’s a teabag in the mug, milk goes in afterwards. No sugar, that’s what the cake is for. Semi-skimmed milk is a must. Full fat milk destroys the flavour of tea! And last of all…it must all prevail amongst good company and tall tales.

What’s in your Pack-up (lunch box) today?

3 cherished left over mini pork pies from the expertly choreographed Book Sniffer Tea Party which I shall eat slowly, half a pack of jammie dodgers, a cheese sandwich, and…I’m sorry to say, some fruit (Don’t worry, I don’t eat that. I use it to prop the door open whilst I’m wheeling in a box of kit-kats) !

Even his fruit is arty! .. what a legend!

Choose 5 toppings for your pizza….

This would have to be a meat fest. Pepperoni, Spicy Beef, Bacon, Extra Cheese AND to top it off, a smiley face made from Jalapenos

Have you ever moved your books to the front of the shelf at a book shop?

Of course, although I’m slightly more shameless than that, I usually start re-arranging the window display.

What’s the funniest question a child has ever asked you at an event?

There was a funny one recently, but I have to give you the background info for it to make sense. I did some development artwork on a film called Flushed Away (that’s the Aardman film about a world of sewer rats beneath the streets of London). I think the child concerned must have been reading something about me online and got a little confused.
His question was ‘Which one were you in Flushed Away?’
Oh dear….errrrrum….I was the big fat rat with the huge ears that ate all the cheese!’

Where is the furthest palace you travelled to to do an event?

So far, that would be Dover Middle School, New Hampshire, United States and it was worth every second of a very long journey. BRILLIANT!
NB: Chris has recently won ANOTHER book award and will be jet setting off to Geneva next week! Well done Chris, I hope they give you a nice trophy!

What are the three things you most frequently sketch?

Easy!…..Hares, Skulls and Dragons

Which other Illustrators / artists have influenced you?

Oooh now you’re digging into my brain deeply. You’d have to go as far back as early pen and ink masters like George Cruikshank, Thomas Rowlandson and James Gillray. And then to people who carried on that tradition of pen and ink through the ages. Arthur Rackham, Honore Daumier, Ernest Shepherd, Carl Giles. And then contemporary equivalents such as Ronald Searle (R.I.P), and Ralph Steadman. In amongst the pen and ink types I’d also have to include the work of painters that I obsessively pored over like Hieronymous Bosch and Peter Brueghel because I loved their ability to fill a scene with crazy details of crowds of people all doing mad things. They were the kinds of scenes that made me want to draw. Eye popping stuff. And that’s before I get onto all the amazing work that’s out there these days that I love to constantly get my head around.

What are you working on at the moment?
Captain Beastlie - Publishing with Nosy Crow later in the year !
I’m working on a picture book for Nosy Crow called Captain Beastlie about a dirty, grubby little pirate who constantly lets down his squeaky clean crew with his filthy habits. He is quite cute though!
Tell us about that secret Lego project!

You mean the Dean Clough one?
Which will ‘possibly’ be the largest lego model in the world( but that’s unconfirmed). It’s a replica of the Dean Clough Mill complex where my studio is based and is on a huge scale. The real life version is around two thirds of a mile across so it’s a massive site and the lego model is currently under construction and can be viewed whilst ‘in progress’ in the Community Education Gallery at Dean Clough.
Check out for more info or link up to them on Facey B for pics of the model in progress. Or check the bbc news link below.

Get that down your neck fella!
Visit and follow Chris's blog here! Tasty Treats  including these swoonsome labels - Stirling work

Thanks for popping by Chris - you are a legend!
Can't wait to sniff Captain Beastlie!
From cradle to grave!
ALSO - Thanks again to Chris for the Awesome new Twitter and Facebook profile picture!

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