About me

At 10 my favourite place was our treehouse, and I wanted to be in the Swallows and Amazons.

When I was little I loved making books. Somehow I forgot this for years and suddenly remembered it as I was about to complete my Masters in Venetian Art History. It felt a bit like finding the missing piece in a jigsaw.

I drew and drew, in between jobs working in galleries, on short films and making children’s fancy dress costumes.

By the time I illustrated my first book, One Lucky Duck by Alison Maloney (Meadowside Books 2005), I had a baby, and I’d paint whenever she napped. Seventeen years on I have two more children and have illustrated several more books … and have begun to write my own stories at last.

In 2019 I was granted ‘Developing Your Creative Practice’ funding from the Arts Council England to spend time focusing on writing children’s books alongside my illustration practice. I was very excited about having some brilliant online writing courses to attend in 2020, and so grateful for the chance to really delve into this more deeply.

The lovely Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (British Isles) asked me to be their Featured Illustrator in September 2020 – you can read the article here, and there are some quick fire questions here.

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12 thoughts on “About me

  1. Fab, properly made me laugh. Loving the balaclavas and also liking the green and orange as colours together. I got some a new orange ink the other day, maybe I’ll have a go.


  2. Hi Martha, It’s been a long time since I last saw you but have been catching up with Tobin regularly over the last few years. I love the pureness of the illustrations. I have my first child due next week so have just purchased the 2 finger puppet books and really looking forward to reading them to the little fella.
    Best of luck for the future and hope to catch up with the whole Florio / Lightfoot clan in the near future.
    Martin Dickson from Wortham fame


    1. Hi Martin of Wortham fame, lovely to hear from you! Very exciting news about your baby. I’d love to send you a picture as a welcoming-baby present if there’s anything you fancy on the website…I don’t have any from the puppet books. Good luck for next week! Love Martha


  3. I love your site. I clicked through when I saw the follow (thanks for that) and fell about laughing at the aardvark story. Your illustrations (& ideas) are wonderful. I wish you had a like button for your posts though.


    1. Thank you Ella! Your comment has only just appeared – it’s so lovely to hear that. Don’t know what’s happened to the like button though – I’ll look into it!


      1. No worries! Glad it got to you end the end. You were one of my Friday favourites last week for those amazing aardvarks. Will tweet you the link now x


  4. Hi Isabelle, just to say I haven’t forgotten but am not online much due to a deadline, I want to take the time to think about my nominations and not rush it! Hope all’s well, Martha


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