Welcome to Mike Spoor Illustrator

Introducing Mike Spoor

I’ve had two careers, first I was a ceramicist and teacher for 17 years followed by children’s book illustrating from 1991 to the present. I think there are numerous connections and transferable skills across most artistic practices in addition to other influences such as interests and demands of media specific imagery in clay, drawing, painting and in my case, photography too. The outcome is an inevitable variety of style that I’ve enjoyed for different reasons.

Illustrating – Inspiration

I’ve always needed to draw, fuelled by an interest in the world, influenced by personal dispositions. As an illustrator I work best when an author’s story includes characters, mood,  scenes and storylines that connect with my particular imagination – Its a stimulating process, visualising the variety of possibilities arising from a simple set of words is such a satisfying creative challenge, though its more like a time to play with ideas and alternatives.  

Education

I offer demonstrations and workshops for everyone aged 6 to 90, bringing personal experience, educational clout, practical and organisational skills. I trained in ceramics and education and taught in schools and colleges for my first career. I ran workshops in ceramics for Primary, Secondary, Degree levels and In Service training for teachers. After becoming established as an illustrator of childrens books I toured schools and libraries giving talks and demonstrations in the UK, in Bulgaria and Australia.

Professionalism, Reliability and Experience

Prior to becoming an illustrator of Children’s books I taught Art & Ceramics in primary, secondary levels I lectured to BA level. I also worked in Libraries, Teacher Eduction and prisons as well as contributing to academic conferences and book festivals in the UK, Europe and Australia.In short, I’m used to dealing with people in a whole range of environments. My artistic practice in ceramics, computer (various Adobe applications , 3D computing in Cinema 4D, and some animation) gives me an understanding of numerous client requirements. My dealings with people include all ages from 6 to 80 in many contexts, equipping me with flexibility and an accommodating approach.

Workshops and Demonstrations

I never expected to become a teacher, but in developing my own art and craft skills I also gained confidence and enjoyment through the process of sharing art’ with children and adults. Once my illustrations became known I began to deliver popular demonstrations and workshops in libraries and schools, in Australia, here in the UK and also in Europe. More details forthcoming in the School Visit section of this website.

My Latest Work

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My Styles

I’ve always enjoyed variety, new processes and media, work influenced by interests in humour, history, photography and much more besides. In illustrating a text I will try to complement the meaning and feeling of the words with a technique I think expresses that visually. Inevitably my own preferences will come through in the way I work.

My Current Plans

I’m currently working on a new book for Mark Carthew ( Australia) featuring an exciting unique process using materials from an entirely different craft to create a first in the world of childrens books. I’m also developing a range of characters for licensing, TV, animation and puppet show proposals for a new development company – more news as it grows. For myself and this website I’m now able to develop my photography to create instructional videos, stop frame animations with some use of 3D modelling in computer apps.

General Info

I have been a professional illustrator for over twenty years with over 400 books published worldwide including 30 books for the series Dinosaur Cove published by Oxford University Press. Other international publishers include amongst others, Hachette, Pearson, Macmillan, Ladybird, Usborne, Andersen Press, Harper Collins, Random House, Benchmark USA, Queensland University Press. My work has been chosen for numerous awards including World Book Day (UK) choice and in Australia, National Sim.

Video Gallery