Tohby Riddle is an award-winning writer, illustrator, cartoonist, designer and sometime editor based in Sydney, Australia. He has written and illustrated numerous well-loved picture books; written a novel (published as a young adult book); was the cartoonist for Good Weekend (the Saturday magazine of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age) for nearly ten years; and is a former editor of the The School Magazine, a literary magazine for children published by the NSW Department of Education since 1916.
Q: Do you feel the illustrations or the text are more important to a story?
A: If the picture book medium is truly the most appropriate vehicle for a particular story then it would be because the words and pictures are of equal importance in the telling of it. If not, something might be wrong with the choice of medium or the execution of the words and pictures.
Q: Do you start with the illustrations, or the text, when writing a picture book? Which is easier for you?
A: I start with an idea. This could be a word or a picture or both. Both writing and illustrating are challenging – I'm not sure I ever think in terms of "easy", but picture books are definitely a "hard", demanding, challenging medium. The battles seem to be ones worth battling. Picture books are also great fun!