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" Like all of my previous work - which I also hope is a bit hard to categorise - 'The Oopsatoreum' is an illustrated book, so a combination of words and pictures that tell a kind of story. "
" Perhaps the writer I've read the most of is Haruki Murakami, the Japanese writer, but I wouldn't necessarily say he's a favourite. I read him because I find his work so intriguing, but I don't necessarily feel I would follow this writer to the ends of the earth. "
" The detail adds an element of unexpected something. All fiction is false; what makes it convincing is that it runs alongside the truth. The real world has lots of incidental details, so a painting also has to have that element of imperfection and irregularity, those incidental details. "
" My friend Markus Zusak wrote a story from the point of view of death, 'The Book Thief.' I thought that's a great idea, where your omniscient narrator is death. I'm glad he had that idea because I wouldn't have been able to work so well with it. "
" For myself, I've kind of always been interested in pets because they're not human. "
" I get very creative when I'm trapped in a plane and I can't do anything else. "
" I think 'The Road' is a good example of a book everyone should read, but I wouldn't recommend it to young kids. "
" The text illustrates the pictures - it provides a connective tissue for me. I usually refine the text last, partly because pictures are harder to do, so it's easier to edit words - I use text as grout in between the tiles of the pictures. "
" Sometimes I write captions on the in-flight magazines and then replace them in the seat pocket. "
" Illustrating is more about communicating specific ideas to a reader. Painting is more like pure science, more about the act of painting. "
" You discover how confounding the world is when you try to draw it. You look at a car, and you try to see its car-ness, and you're like an immigrant to your own world. You don't have to travel to encounter weirdness. You wake up to it. "
" Drawing a good picture is like telling a really good lie - the key is in the incidental detail. "
" I became more interested in the idea of being an immigrant and particularly of being in a country you're not familiar with. And so I began reading migrants' stories. The fact that my father is Chinese - he emigrated from Malaysia when he was about 20 - may have had some bearing on my attraction to the subject. "
" I actually started out as a writer and then converted to illustration because I realised that there was a dearth of good illustrators in genre fiction, at least in Australia at that time. "
" By itself, just to draw crazy creatures has limited appeal - if I had to give up one thing, it would be the wild imagination. When the work becomes too detached from ordinary life, it starts to fall apart. Fantasy needs to have some connection with reality, or it becomes of its own interest only, insular. "
" Good and bad ideas both come from the same fountain of speculation and experiment. "
" It was better to be known as the kid who could draw than as the short kid. "
" The more I draw and write, the more I realise that accidents are a necessary part of any creative act, much more so than logic or wisdom. Sometimes a mistake is the only way of arriving at an original concept, and the history of successful inventions is full of mishaps, serendipity and unintended results. "
" Animals represent the abstract notion of acceptance. Living with these funny creatures - you kind of have to accept them. It's like a test in a way. "
" When I was growing up, a lot of books affected me, but I never wrote letters to the author or anything like that. I'm always mindful that there are probably a whole bunch of people reading my books like that, too. "
" Whenever I start a project, I have a broad range of possibilities. "
" I like the idea of contained emotion because I grew up most of my life feeling that way. As an adolescent, people would always say I was not expressive, and they always made the mistake of thinking that I didn't feel anything because I didn't react to things. "
" Seeing your work in print is exciting, especially when you're young. It's that feeling that you have some effect on the world outside of your immediate neighbourhood. "
" The audience for comics has shifted dramatically. And the boundaries between books and fine arts have blurred. Maybe it's the globalization of fine art through the Internet - it's easy for certain groups to coalesce around a certain kind of work or medium. "
" It's only a very small percentage of creative thinking that ends up connecting with a wider audience, and even then, any success is quite unpredictable. "
" I always overwrite - really awful, long bits of script - and then I trim it down to the bare bones and then add a little bit to colour it in. At the end of all of my stories, I test for wordless comprehension. So I remove the text and see if it works by itself. And if it does, I feel that that's a successful story. "