Michael Tomkins grew up in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. He graduated from Sydney University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Design Computing. He went on to study Fine art at Julian Ashton art school where he began his passion and practice of plein air oil painting, capturing the beauty of Australian light. He now lives in the inner west of Sydney with his partner and cat. Michael’s art practice has spanned a variety of mediums including games, animation and illustration, working on projects with the ABC, Warner Bros, SMG games and several indie projects. Michael takes his learnings from these varied visual fields to bring his personal style into the world of children’s book illustration with his first book, Shearer. Michael also brings personal connection to the story of Jackie Howe, with a family history of sheep shearing. His mother grew up on a farm, with Michael’s grandpa, great uncles and great grandpa sheep shearers themselves, working and living near Dubbo in NSW.