What sparked the idea for the Barnabus Project?
I was 19 years old when I first made a little paper cutout illustration of Barnabus sitting on a box of OXO cubes. I had a rough idea for a story based on this little character that was half-elephant and half-mouse. 30 years and many projects later the spark re-ignited and we started to bring it to life. My brother Eric even managed to find the original Barnabus I made, he was hiding in the bottom of a pasta pot in the back of his storage locker!
What was your favourite book as a child?
I had so many books that shaped my childhood that it’s almost impossible to choose, but I’d have to say D’Aulaires’ book of Greek Myths, I was just transported every time I opened it.
What is something you’ve always wanted to write about?
My first love in writing was poetry. One day I’d like to do an illustrated poetry journal. Probably not a million dollar idea though!
What is something that you’d never write about?
I’d never write about anything that didn’t celebrate being different.
Describe what it was like to collaborate with your brothers. Any secrets you’d like to share with us?
We’ve collaborated on so many projects that for us it’s second nature. The most important thing is to take your ego out of the way and focus on what’s good for the project. We’re all able to be honest about what’s working and what’s not without hurting each other’s feelings. A sense of humour helps!
What fictional character would you like to be friends with?
Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web! Wilbur cried, the animals cried, we all cried...
Tell us the story behind an object at your workspace.
My wife Sarah and I met and became friends in grade 9. The little tin on my desk contains every letter she ever wrote me, every card and every note we passed in class. We just celebrated our 30th anniversary.