I’ve always loved drawing.
And I’ve always loved animals.
Luckily for me, I get to surround myself with both every day.
My ‘day job’ (which is actually night shifts) is as a graphic designer and art director in news media, but my passion lies in illustration and surface design. My artwork is colourful, a bit silly and most of the characters I draw seem to be slightly confused and wondering how they got there. A bit like me really. You see, I was really meant to be a Park Ranger. I even did a science degree and worked in the field for a little while.
But art won over in the end. Sort of. I still spend every day with animals as a volunteer wildlife carer. My backyard is filled with wildlife as well as a bunch of crazy chickens and ducks who inspire me endlessly. So I really got the best of both worlds in the end.
1. Rebel Challenger is my real name. I’ve had it all my life.
2. When I was little, my parents took my sister and I on a two-year trip around Australia. We have lots of old movies, photos and newspaper clippings of the trip. The picture you see here is from a newspaper story. I'm the littlest one.
3. I have always known I wanted to be an artist.
4. I’ve always known I wanted to work with animals, too.
5. When I left school I went to art college, then studied science at Uni.
6. I told my art teacher I wanted to be an artist at National Parks and Wildlife and she laughed at me.
7. My first job was as an artist at National Parks and Wildlife. Boom.
8. I moved on to work as a graphic designer in newspapers and I still work there today.
9. That Australia trip all those years ago? I ended up working with the journalist who wrote about us!
10. I once rode a bike to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa and the locals laughed at how bad I was at it.
11. I draw and write left-handed but I use a computer mouse right-handed.
12. With that in mind, I actually have trouble telling left from right.
13. I canoed down a river in the Northern Territory and survived. They have crocodiles there, you know.
14. I was head-butted by a wild seal once when I was snorkeling in New Zealand.
15. Watching or listening to true crime in the middle of the night while illustrating kids books is my happy place.
16. Years of working alongside journalists and subeditors in newspapers has made me very quick-witted but has probably also messed me up a bit.
17. Garden hoses are my arch nemeses. Can't work them properly without spraying myself in the face.
18. I'm an introvert in most situations, but when I'm comfortable, I'm a bit of loudmouth and I think I'm hilarious.
19. I'm terrible at reading instructions. I think I know better. But I don't.
20. I am very good at growing lavender. Obviously it needs no instructions.