Hamish Vigne Christie Paul – AKA Korky Paul (b.1951)
Korky Paul was born in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, enjoying an outdoors and exciting childhood in the African bushveld. He attended Estcourt High School before graduating from Durban School of Art in 1972 and then working at in advertising agency in Cape Town.
He subsequently travelled to Greece, where he was commissioned to illustrate a series of English language books (his first book), and then moved on to London and subsequently Los Angeles, where he studied Film Animation at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. His first children's book was a pop-up called The Crocodile and the Dumper Truck, published in 1980, with paper engineering by Ray Marshall.
In 1986 Paul met the editor, Ron Heapy, at Oxford University Press, who commissioned him to draw several pictures for a short book about a witch written by Valerie Thomas. He liked the story enough to turn it into a complete picture book and the resulting book, Winnie the Witch, went on to win the Red House Children's Book Award in 1988.
Since then it has been published in over 10 languages. Korky Paul has gone on to illustrate a further nineteen Winnie the Witch titles that have sold over 7 million copies. His work is characterised by his bright use of watercolour and now increasingly Apple Mac, as well as his loose pen and ink style. He has been compared to that of Ronald Searle and Ralph Steadman.
Korky Paul lives in Oxford, England and continues to illustrate books.