Describe Foxly’s Feast in ten words or fewer…
Fox goes in search of some food to eat.
Why did you choose a fox as your central character?
I’ve always liked foxes, the fact that they’re a ginger animal. I’m not ginger myself but my father is and I’ve always had friends that are ginger. Maybe that has something to do with why I like foxes so much…
There are no words in your book, why?
I chose a wordless format so that parents and children have to make decisions themselves. It would be too easy if I told you everything.
How did you come up with your colour scheme?
Often it seems like everything is competing to be the brightest and most garish, and in the end nothing stands out. So I decided to use a more muted colour scheme for Foxly’s Feast. I draw inspiration from all those old-fashioned books when colours were necessarily more limited.
What are your favourite children’s books?
I loved Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman, which doesn’t have any words either. And I also loved Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins. People have pointed out the similarities between it and Foxly’s Feast. It’s not surprising because it’s a book I really admire, although I'd consciously imitate it.
What would bring to your own picnic?
My favourite picnic foods are freshly made bread, olives, humus and raw carrots.
If you could invite anyone to a picnic, who would you choose?
I’d invite Stephen Fry – he’s a funny man and so intelligent.
What are your style influences?
I love iconography and I’m obsessed with symbols on old beer bottles and packaging. I also really love those old Parisian circus posters from the Twenties.
What would you like your next book to be about?
I’d love to write a book about goats! The goats in Prague Zoo had me utterly captivated recently. I spent ages petting them and feeding them cereal. They have these really weird mesmerising eyes, with bars in the middle of them…
Did your drawing talents show themselves early?
Definitely. I was always giving pictures to members of my family. And when I little, my mother sent off to build a sandcastle at the beach. She came to find me a little later and instead of building one, I’d drawn a really elaborate one in the sand with a stick.
What’s you’re top tip for budding you illustrators?
Draw what you see, not what you think you see. You’re taught that a banana is yellow. But if you really study, you see that it’s not just yellow, but brown, orange and green. Never make assumptions.
Owen Davey was the winner of our Junior Design Award for Most Promising New Talent