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Markus Motum - Author

About the Author

Markus Motum is a half-English, half-Norwegian up-and-coming illustrator. He studied Illustration at the University for the Creative Arts, graduating in 2012, and it was during his studies that he re-discovered his love of picture books. He really enjoys creating big colourful books and illustrations for readers to get sucked into. Markus is currently based in Brighton, UK.

As a child

I was born in Wiltshire, though my family moved away from there when I was very little. In fact we moved about quite a lot growing up. From Nottingham to Reading, to Somerset, and even Belgium and Berlin, I went all over the place as a child! This all meant changing schools a lot, and each time I left behind a great set of friends (this was before Facebook so it felt pretty permanent!) but my brother and I always landed on our feet and made great new friends. My love for drawing definitely began in my formative years – I would spend hours drawing until my pens rang out. My brother was the more natural academic!

As an adult

I started drawing at a young age like a lot of children – these drawings were overwhelmingly of either dinosaurs or super heroes – but admit I stopped as I got older. I never altogether stopped being into art and creativity, but I didn’t quite know how to channel it. Fast forward a decade and I was working in a job I really wasn’t enjoying, and remembered how much fun I had all those years ago drawing and just creating things. I wondered if I went back to uni and worked really hard, if I could somehow turn that into the job, surely that would be the best job ever? I ended up studying Illustration at the University for the Creative Arts, Maidstone and graduated in 2012.

As an author-illustrator

Nothing too crazy or off the wall here – I’m quite traditional in that I like to work at home in my studio (which also happens to be the living room), listening to music, accompanied by a tea or coffee, surrounded by books and other inspirations. Curiosity is my publishing debut.

Ten things we didn’t know about Markus Motum

1. Favourite colour has to be blue – the kind of blue you see in the sky on a nice sunny day. Living in England I don’t get to see it much!

2. Even though Curiosity is about space and science, my science grades in school weren’t very good!

3. Favourite food is pizza. I think I could probably eat it every day for the rest of my life if I tried. Though I should probably leave that to be the subject of a fictional picture book down the road, rather then try it myself…

4. Technically, Curiosity isn’t the first story I’ve sold. When I was young, I would draw entire comics on A4 pieces of paper stapled together, then set up a stall outside my house on the pavement and sell the issues to other children in the neighbourhood for 50p an issue. I’m not sure if that was a bargain or a rip-off.

5. After I had finished writing and drawing the initial draft for this book, I put it on my bookshelf and left it there for over a year, believing no one would be interested in reading it!

6. My first name is spelt with a "k". This is the Norwegian way to spell Markus. The other name my parents considered for me was Magnus, which definitely sounds more Norwegian!

7. I’ve lived all over the UK, in Belgium, and even Berlin prior to its re-unification.

8. At a young age I’d convince my cousins to draw alongside me. One time we used a massive roll of paper to draw one continuous 10 metre long drawing.

9. I’m not very good at finishing lists!



Featured books by Markus Motum

Other books by Markus Motum

Ducks Overboard!: A True Story of Plastic in Our Oceans

Ducks Overboard!: A True Story of Plastic in Our Oceans

Author: Markus Motum Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/02/2021

Discover the pollution crisis in our oceans through the eyes of one lost plastic duck in this engaging and stylish picture book. When a shipping container filled with thousands of plastic ducks spilled into the Pacific Ocean, where did all those ducks go? Based on a true story, this innovative take on the plastic pollution crisis follows one duck as it travels on ocean currents to meet sea life and discovers the rubbish from humans that endangers our oceans. A highly accessible and stylish picture book with a positive message about environmental issues, from the author-illustrator of Curiosity, which was shortlisted for the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize.

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