Bio

Paul Martin is an illustrator and graphic designer

Paul Martin is an illustrator and graphic designer. Paul lives in Hamilton, New Zealand, where he is the owner of Riverstone Design Studio. He is married with two wonderful sons and this is his debut graphic novel.

The inspiration for this book ‘Flight of the Kiwi’, was drawn from his place of residence at the time of writing, France. Paul played professional rugby for Waikato, the Chiefs and in France for many years, and has had many adventures of his own.

Interview with Paul Martin

1. When did you start illustrating or writing?
I started drawing from a very young age and have always loved reading books.
I first illustrated Bert the Gecko back in 1990 at Wintec. The story of Kory and the Flight of the Kiwi was written in 1996.

2. What type of work do you produce? (This can include work that is not for children)
I have been in the design industry since 1993 and have worked on many different commercial illustration projects, such as cartoons, caricatures, product line drawings, set designs, storyboards, painting, digital illustration and mascot designs. When I get a bit of spare time I draw sporting caricatures, which raise money for varies sporting organisations, where combining my 2 passions is a lot of fun!

3. Where and when do you work?
I have a studio at my home and the hours vary depending on the project. When there is a deadline, you just work until the job is done.

4. What do you find the most satisfying part of your work?
Taking a step back after completing an art piece and thinking, ‘yep’, I am very happy with that!

5. And the most challenging?
Taking a step into the unknown, when you have an idea or concept in your head and you have to keep working on both in the writing and illustrating, to get what you have in your head onto paper. 

In graphic novels and comics, you have to breakdown the process and work on each component individually, other wise it will look like Mount Everest! 
By breaking down the process step by step, you can reach the summit. Time management is a challenge here and sticking to your deadlines is crucial. With ‘Flight of the kiwi’ I missed the final artwork deadline by a week and I just received my shipment of books 2 days before Christmas in 2013. Picking up the books at a very chaotic warehouse in Auckland with forklifts, trucks and containers whizzing by was exciting and hair-raising, but a reminder for me to stick to the deadline! 

It is a challenge and you have to have the confidence and the belief to push through to reach your goal.

6. What are you working on at the moment?
The next adventure of Kory has been written for a younger audience.

7. Do you have any exciting projects planned for the future?
There are ideas bubbling away for another graphic novel in the adventure series. Kory’s new website and an online ebook will be launched mid 2014.

8. Who was your favourite children’s writer or illustrator when you were a child?
When I was 10 years old I was given a book from my primary school teacher about the graphic artist and illustrator M.C Escher and it changed my life. His work is amazing and still inspires me today. 

A couple of years later I found 2000AD comics! Comic artists Brian Bolland and New Zealander Colin Wilson were my favorites, as they drew the characters of Judd Dredd and Rogue trooper. It was then that I knew what I wanted to do with my life…and here I am. 
When I was 10 years old I was given a book from my primary school teacher about the graphic artist and illustrator M.C Escher and it changed my life. His work is amazing and still inspires me today. 

A couple of years later I found 2000AD comics! Comic artists Brian Bolland and New Zealander Colin Wilson were my favorites, as they drew the characters of Judd Dredd and Rogue trooper. It was then that I knew what I wanted to do with my life…and here I am. 
When I was 10 years old I was given a book from my primary school teacher about the graphic artist and illustrator M.C Escher and it changed my life. His work is amazing and still inspires me today. 

A couple of years later I found 2000AD comics! Comic artists Brian Bolland and New Zealander Colin Wilson were my favorites, as they drew the characters of Judd Dredd and Rogue trooper. It was then that I knew what I wanted to do with my life…and here I am. 
When I was 10 years old I was given a book from my primary school teacher about the graphic artist and illustrator M.C Escher and it changed my life. His work is amazing and still inspires me today. 

A couple of years later I found 2000AD comics! Comic artists Brian Bolland and New Zealander Colin Wilson were my favorites, as they drew the characters of Judd Dredd and Rogue trooper. It was then that I knew what I wanted to do with my life…and here I am. 

9. Which illustrator’s or writer’s work do you admire now? 
I think the New Zealand illustrator Donovan Bixley’s work is great, because of his effective use of colour and light.

I have always admired Murray Ball and his ‘Footrot Flats’. The simple Kiwi humour is great. Every now and again I read them and still have a giggle. He was also a rugby player in his time.

10. Where do you live and what do you work at (if you have another job)?
The Waikato has always been my home, as I have lived and played rugby here over the years. Now, I have the pleasure of being able to work in both my passions, rugby and illustration.

11. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to spend time with my family. With 2 young boys there is always something going on. Sometimes now and again I pick up my Fender Stratocaster and blast out a few riffs.

Feel free to contact Paul at: paul@riverstonedesign.co.nz