Briony May Smith!

Briony May Smith is a British illustrator who specialises in children's books, concept art and character designs in Animation and Advertising. She was highly commended for the Macmillan Children’s Book Prize in 2013 and 2014, and was shortlisted for the Emerging Talent Category of the British Comic Awards in 2014. Briony's favourite colour is yellow, her favourite film is A Room with a View and her favourite animal is a deer! 

You can find many of her illustrated works here.

1. Are you more productive in the mornings or the evenings? 

The mornings - not that I have more energy in the morning than in the evening - I think it's evenly spread - but I have more a mind for getting things on the to-do list completed in the mornings!

2. Where is your favourite place to read or listen to audiobooks? 

To read: In the evenings, in bed or by the gas fire in the living room. To listen to audiobooks: When I'm working on the final artwork for a project, in my studio.

3. What're you having for dinner tonight? 

Honest answer? Indian takeaway leftovers!!

4. What do you like to do when you're not busy with work? 

If I'm making plans at the weekend, it's usually to go somewhere for a walk or somewhere for a shop. I am not a bad cook, but I don't enjoy it - I prefer baking, and being able to wrap up a slice of cake to scoff at the top of a hill with a flask of hot chocolate is a quick way to make me as happy as can be. 

5. What book did you read that changed the way you thought about life?

I think this quote from The Confession by Jessie Burton is an instance where a line has really struck a chord with me. In the book she is talking about a character who is a writer. "Because if you rely on something you love to feed you, pay your bills, put a roof over your head, I think it complicates your relationship with it. That's how it seems with her, anyway. You have to be practical around something that's impulsive, sometimes elusive. If you turn your soul into a business, you have to be ready for that to hurt sometimes."

6. What was you favourite book as a child? 

I had three favourite books. The Eleventh Hour by Graeme Base, Portly's Hat by Lucy Cousins and The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Baker.

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Briony's most recent book, Margaret's Unicorn, was published by Schwartz and Wade Books on 15th September 2020. Margaret’s Unicorn is a tale about a little girl who is sad to move home, but one day finds a baby unicorn, trapped and tangled in the weeds, left behind accidentally by his family for the winter. She takes him home to take care of him through the colder months, showing him how magical winter can be, and learning to love her new home herself. It is both written and illustrated by Briony.