Mitch Vane is a Melbourne-based illustrator who works in a variety of mediums but is at her happiest drawing with a good old-fashioned dip pen and Indian ink. She grew up watching her mum at work as a painter and fashion illustrator, and doodled her way through school, never imagining she'd end up drawing for a living.
She often collaborates with her partner Danny Katz – her cartoons have appeared with his weekly humour column in The Age for over twelve years. They have created many children’s books together - including the YABBA award-winning Little Lunch series and No Thanks Hanks & Other Unmannerly Tales - and two children who inspire them, Talia and Jordie.
Mitch paints in her studio at home, overlooking the backyard, and has illustrated many other children’s books with publishers both in Australia and the US.
Q. What themes are recurring in your work?
I seem to be happiest, and at my most natural, when I am drawing things that are funny, or at least slightly whimsical. Animals make me laugh, especially dogs and cats, so they seem to pop up a lot in my work.
Q. What have been the highlights of your career?
Creating the “Little Lunch” series with Danny Katz (& receiving the Yabba Award for Little Lunch 3). Having my series of 12 Zodiac stamps published by Australia Post was definitely a highlight. My dad would have been SO proud! Judging the Children’s Youth & Group Art for the Cancer Council Arts Awards for the past 3 years.
Q. What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about doing the things in life that make you happy. I strongly believe that art, in all forms, is an important part of a child’s learning and development . Expressing our thoughts and feelings and fears through an artistic medium really helps us cope and make sense of the crazy world around us. It also gives us lovely things to look at!
Q. Anything else you’d like to share with us?
I have two very cool teenagers who think I am a complete dag, and one very lazy cat called Patchy . I work in a studio at the back of my house that overlooks the garden. Bliss.