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Elise Hurst


Elise Hurst has illustrated more than 50 books over the years in collaboration with a range of wonderful authors, and also some that she has written herself, such as The Elephant’s Big Day Out, A Dream of Bunyips Dancing, Maximilian Jones and her book The Night Garden CBCA shortlisted in 2008.

Elise Hurst’s training in traditional art has given her a wide range of skills and influences to draw on when constantly changing styles and techniques to complement the texts she works on. She enjoys the process of being able to create a book entirely herself, and finds the synthesis of writing and illustrating incredibly satisfying, although with its own set of problems. She is also takes on picture books written by other authors as she enjoys the liberty of working on someone else’s story.



  • Primary
  • Secondary
  • Festivals

As Elise is both an illustrator and author of picture books she is in the position of being able to talk about the whole process from first ideas to final illustrations.

Creating a Picture Book: For older students. Elise talks about the process of creating a picture book from the first ideas through to the finished product. She also talks with students wanting to get into illustration and about her experiences in infiltrating this industry.

Picture Books & Characters: This exciting 50-60 min session deals with the process of creating a picture book and includes a demonstration where she creates a character, as well as lots of drawing tips. The demonstration artwork is retained by the group.

Demonstrations: Informal demonstrations are a great way of engaging people at festivals, talking to little groups and passers-by. With a set up at a table, Elise discusses her work and answers questions while working on an illustration.

For some activites for students, check out Elise’s website

“Children aged 8-12 years thoroughly enjoyed listening to Elise. They were kept interested and engaged throughout the sessions and absolutely loved it when she demonstrated the art of illustration at the end of the session.  Elise’s use of the whiteboard was great. She knew how to connect with her audience. She was generous with her time.  This was an inspiring session for the kids.”

Narelle Stute – Librarian, Endeavour Hills Library