Paul Martin is an illustrator and graphic designer. Paul lives in Hamilton, New Zealand, where he is the owner of Riverstone Design Studio. He is married with two wonderful sons and this is his debut graphic novel.

The inspiration for this book ‘Flight of the Kiwi’, was drawn from his place of residence at the time of writing, France. Paul played professional rugby for Waikato, the Chiefs and also in France for many years, where he had many adventures of his own.

When did you start illustrating and writing?

I started drawing from a very young age and have always loved reading books.

I first illustrated Bert the Gecko back in 1990 at Wintec. The synopsis of Kory and the Flight of the Kiwi was written in 1996.

I have been in the design industry since 1993 and have worked on many different illustration projects, such as cartoons, caricatures, product line drawings, set designs, storyboards, painting, digital illustration and mascot designs. When I get a bit of spare time I draw sporting caricatures, which raises money for varies sporting organisations. Combining my 2 passions is a lot of fun!

What inspires you to write and draw?

It is the challenge of getting my ideas down on paper, I get inspired by what I create and how an idea can develop. I am always learning and working on making the story or illustrations better. I am inspired by other illustrators and writers’ work.

There is nothing more motivating than children reading your book and then them saying, with a big grin “Wow, that was cool, I loved your book!” You know it is time to illustrate and write another one.

What do you find the most satisfying part of your work?

Taking a step back after completing an art piece and thinking, ‘yep’, I am very happy with that!

And the most challenging?

Taking a step into the unknown, when you have an idea or concept in your head and you have to keep working on both the writing and illustrating, to get what you have in your head onto paper.

In graphic novels and comics, you have to break down the process and work on each component individually, otherwise it will look like Mount Everest!

By breaking down the process step by step, you can reach the summit. Time management is a challenge here and sticking to your deadlines is crucial. With ‘Flight of the kiwi’ I missed my final artwork deadline by a week and I only just received my shipment of books 2 days before Christmas in 2013. Picking up the books at a very chaotic warehouse in Auckland with forklifts, trucks and containers whizzing by was exciting and hair-raising, but a reminder for me to stick to the deadline!

It is a challenge and you have to have the confidence and the belief to push through to reach your goal.

To find where to Paul’s book and more information, please go to Kory’s website