Cate James was born in Sheffield and grew up in the East Midlands, surrounded by a creative family of artists, photographers, knitters and a jeweller. Her favourite childhood memories always include her grandparents and in recent years those happy times have informed her illustrations for the 'Lollipop and Grandpa' picture book series.
As a child Cate was always drawing or reading (or ill in bed with tonsillitis) and apart from a brief dedication to becoming a ballerina, she has always wanted to be an artist. Her favourite picture book from childhood is Kate's Christmas Present by Inger and Lasse Sandberg. She also remembers reading The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and absolutely loving it.
Edinburgh has been her home since 1992
when she moved to study Printmaking at Edinburgh College of
Art and then, after a year of travelling and
living in Sydney, she returned to ECA to
study for a Masters degree in illustration. She is now a full time
illustrator and in
addition to drawing for children's books, she creates CD
artwork for bands, advertising for shops, and posters for cocktail
competitions. Cate uses a wide range of media; a process combining
Photoshop with traditional printmaking and painting.
She is also currently artist-in-residence at the Sick
Kids Foundation working on a variety of projects with
writer-in-residence Linda Cracknell at the Royal Hospital for Sick
Children in Edinburgh.
Cate's first picture book was published in March 2012 - 'Lollipop and Grandpa's back Garden Safari' is written by Penelope Harper and published by Phoenix Yard Books. There are now 4 stories about the two intrepid explorers and the fifth story 'Lollipop and Grandpa's Dinosaur Hunt' will be published in May 2013. Underpinning the series is the relationship between an intelligent, inquisitive little girl and her mischievous grandparent who understands the workings of a child's mind brilliantly.
"This is a triumph for Harper and James; a combination of beautiful wording and perfectly accompanying illustrations makes this an example of great storytelling for 4-6 year olds." Inis Magazine