I was born in Hounslow, Middlesex in the south of England. As a child, I loved drawing and took private art classes with a wonderful teacher called, Pearl Lee. She had an abundance of Disney magazines, and I would paint the characters on wood, card, canvas or anything else I was allowed to use, including walls.
When I was nine, my mum took me on holiday to Majorca. I clearly remember being fascinated by how other people lived outside of England. Travelling became my new obsession.
After Sixth Form College, I intended to go to art school, but my travel bug got the better of me and chose to work as a holiday representative in Greece instead. This was followed by seven years working on cruise ships, two years in Israel and Palestine, and six years in Russia and Armenia. Although I lapped up the different cultures, I found my work over the years very unfulfilling. I decided to dig out my Caran d’Arche pencils, and do something about it!
I enrolled in The College of Cartoon Art and was mentored by the renowned caricaturist, Steve Chadburn. I created a character called Ronaldo and decided to write a short story about him. Before I knew it, my head was spinning with ideas and the first book, The Reindeer Flying Academy, went from a small picture book into a fully blown chapter book … but more importantly, I loved every minute of the writing and illustrating process.
Nowadays, I live in Bali, Indonesia, with my amazing partner, Mark, (Bristol born and bred) and am currently illustrating the third book for the Ronaldo series, Rudi’s Birthday Extravaganza.
I am still a self-confessed Disney geek and get excited as a five-year-old whenever a new Disney animated film comes out. I love the Disney theme parks and have visited Orlando, Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo – California and Shanghai are next on my bucket list.
I have an unhealthy fondness for pizza and chocolate but a healthy love of Pilates – I like to think they balance each other out.
And finally, I am a lifelong Arsenal supporter … although sometimes I wish I wasn’t.
One thought on “Maxine Sylvester”
Thank you for this Josh, it is much appreciated