So you want my arts job: Picture Book Illustrator

Artist Van T Rudd tells ArtsHub about creating images that capture the imagination, and his influences including Beyoncé, Black Lives Matter, and Berlin artist EVOL.

Artist and activist Van T Rudd became a picture book illustrator by accident. After more than 20 years working across murals, street sculpture, live protest, painting, and punk music, he made his picture book debut in 2017 with The Patchwork Bike, written by Maxine Beneba Clarke.

In Clarke’s distinctive, lyrical language, The Patchwork Bike tells the story of three siblings who have to make their own fun in their ‘mud-for-walls’ village home, and Rudd uses cardboard, acrylic paints, sticky tape and other found materials to echo the resourceful creativity of the child protagonists.

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Jinghua Qian
About the Author
Jinghua Qian (they/them) is a Shanghainese writer, poet and provocateur living in the Kulin nations. Their work has appeared on stages, pages and airwaves including Melbourne Writers’ Festival, SBS, Popula, Overland and The Guardian. Formerly the Head of News at Sixth Tone, an English-language media outlet based in Shanghai, and a broadcaster with 3CR Community Radio’s Queering the Air, Jinghua currently serves on the board of Asian-Australian arts and culture magazine, Peril. Twitter: @qianjinghua LinkedIn: qianjinghua