As a child
I was born and raised in Kippax, a small town in Yorkshire. I spent half my life climbing trees, splashing in the stream, riding bikes in the woods and playing soccer on the fields with my brother and friends and the other half watching TV shows, reading and drawing. I loved the reading and drawing, disappearing into other worlds. I remember being on the edge of my seat as my teacher read the class The Weirdstone of Brisingamen in the soft corner at school. The books I remember are: When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, Stig of the Dump, The Machine Gunners, The Ghost of Thomas Kempe, Elidor, The Hobbit and The Sword in the Stone.
As an adult
I'd always drawn and enjoyed drawing, I love books and stories and illustration and eventually it dawned on me that the thing I did for fun, I might be able to do as a job. I studied graphic design/illustration at Liverpool Polytechnic. My main interest was in illustration but I rediscovered comics along the way and for my final project created my first comic. It managed to wrap all my interests up in one bundle, stories, drawing, logos, cover design and book design. I'd found a way to make my own worlds, tell my own stories.
As an artist
I work as an illustrator, cartoonist and occasional teacher. My favourite illustrations are in: The Serial Garden: The Complete Armitage Family Stories by Joan Aiken. I love those stories, so it was a real pleasure to illustrate them. I've written and drawn quite a few graphic novels in a variety of genres and for different age groups. My favourite comics are the Glister books because they're a joy to make. The front room at home is "the studio" where I work. It's full of books, stacked two deep on the shelves. I either need fewer books or more bookshelves. It's also where both mine and my daughter's bikes are parked. It looks like a bike shed/library. I mostly work from my "thinking chair" which is a very comfortable brown chair where I scribble onto paper or type into a laptop on my lap. I really should get around to finding another chair so I can also sit at my writing desk.
Things you didn't know about Andi Watson
- Andi is fuelled by litres of milky tea.
- He loves cake, but not cake with fruit in it. He's willing to make exceptions for Lemon Drizzle and Victoria Sponge.
- The brakes once flew off his bike when riding down a very steep hill. ARRRGHHHH!
- He hasn't broken any bones. Yet.
- He is very careful about playing computer games because when he starts he can't stop.
- On a scale of one to six would give a six a one and a one a seven.
- He likes Brussells sprouts but shivers in horror at courgettes. Brrrr ... courgettes.
- He is married with a daughter and lives in Worcester.
- He can't sing for toffee, can't whistle for liquorice, but would happily play the triangle for chocolate.
- He's too busy playing computer games to think of a tenth thing. Come back when he's defeated the end of level boss. Go on shoo ... OHHH, now look what you made him do. He's going to have to start all over again.