Constable Wombat - a wonderful illustration by David Murphy
Constable Wombat – a wonderful illustration by David Murphy
Snowy's Christmas cover
Snowy’s Christmas cover

Today is a very special day for me. I have NEVER had an illustrator visit my blog…until NOW!

Talented and modest Dave Murphy is here to talk about being an illustrator, working on “Snowy’s Christmas” with author, Sally Murphy, and some of the personal stuff that’s always interesting to know.

David, seeing as “Snowy’s Christmas” is such a beautiful and unique story, I thought I’d start with some Christmasy questions.

What is your favourite part of Christmas?

Sharing it with my family.

What was your favourite Christmas story when you were a child?

As a child, and even now, my favourite Christmas story is The Night Before Christmas. I read it to my boys every Christmas Eve.

What is your favourite Christmas memory?

Lying awake on hot summer evenings the night before Christmas; listening for the bells of Santa’s sleigh through the noise of the cidadas and crickets.

Dave at work
Dave at work

What was the best present you ever got for Christmas?

Books. My favourite presents were always books. My father once gave me a collection of Henry Lawson stories, which is still pretty special.

I just happen to be a fan of Henry Lawson too (even wrote a book about him), so I can understand exactly how you feel. I have to confess at this point that I’m totally in awe of illustrators, so I’d really like to know how you do it

David, can you tell me what your favourite part about being an illustrator is?

(Aside from being a dad) my favourite thing in the world is when my pencil moves across the page bringing a story to life.

What was your favourite part about illustrating “Snowy’s Christmas”?

Watching the characters spring to life and interact with each other – then watching others interpret my illustrations.

What is the thing you like most about Snowy, the character?

Snowy popped out of my brain and onto the page almost fully formed. Even so, he grew and developed as I led him around Sally’s story. As his character emerged, I saw the sense of joy he had discovered in his own uniqueness and strength.

What is your favourite part about turning a writer’s words into pictures?

Everyone imagines stories differently, no matter how descriptive the text. It is a privilege to be asked for your own particular vision. It is even more gratifying to be able to add to the world created by a brilliant writer like Sally.

Do you have a special tip for aspiring illustrators?

Another great Dave Murphy illustration - Kids from school
Another great Dave Murphy illustration – Kids from school

Bruce Whatley once challenged me to try using my left hand. The results were so amazing it completely changed the way I illustrate. I now do all my sketching exclusively with my left hand, and all my technical work with my right.

Thanks for some wonderful insights David into you and your work.

To find out more about David, visit http://www.davidmurphy.id..au

You can also catch David, and author of Snowy’s Christmas, Sally Murphy at these other great locations on their blog tour.

Week One – October 4 – https://deescribewriting.wordpress.com

(That’s here!)

Week Two – October 11 – http://livejournal.com/users/orangedale

Week Three – October 18 – www.soupblog.wordpress.com

Week Four – October 25 – www.letshavewords.blogspot.com

Week Five – November 1 – http://sallymurphy.blogspot.com

Week Six – November 8 – http://aussiereviews.blogspot.com

Week Seven – November 15 – http://samantha-hughes.blogspot.com

Week Eight – http://www.robynopie.blogspot.com

Week Nine – http://sandyfussell.blogspot.com

Week Ten – http://aussiechristmas.wordpress.com

Week Eleven – http://belka37.blogspot.com


  1. Thanks Dee and Sally and David, looking forward to checking out Snowy’s Christmas. I’m in awe of illustrators too, Dee. But, David – gee, did you have to make us non-drawers feel completely hopeless, by telling us you sketch with your non-preferred hand! Now I’m even more in awe.

  2. Thanks for the compliments 🙂 I really did have a ball working on Snowy. It was made all the more enjoyable because of Sally’s great text. So all you writers… please keep creating wonderful worlds, stories and characters for us illustrators to turn into line and colour.

  3. Thanks for being my inaugural illustrator guest, Dave. It was fun chatting with you.


  4. What fun! Thank you Dee and David. Now I always use my left hand. I’ve tried my right – but all I get is wobbles. In fact I do better with a pencil held between my teeth. I’ll try toes next just for fun … but leave illustrations to artists!

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