Briony May Smith

Briony studied Illustration at Falmouth University, and was highly commended for the Macmillan Children’s Book Prize in both 2013 and 2014. She takes her inspiration from the fairytales and folklore of UK and Ireland, where she spent much of her childhood. Briony is the illustrator of Imelda & the Goblin King.

To find out a little more about her work, we asked Briony the following questions:

What inspires your work?

All sorts of things, but mainly narratives, whatever it is I sit down to draw, having a story to buffer me along is really important so that I can engage with the characters and scene that I am drawing. Whether I am working on a children’s picture book or a comic, my main inspirations are fairy tales, history, folklore and the natural world.

Interests and inspirations: John William Waterhouse, Pre-Raphaelite artists/Victorian Fairy painters, the illuminated manuscripts, British and Scandinavian folk art, being in nature.

Favourite books as a child: Cicley Mary Barker ‘Flower Fairies’, Graeme Base ‘The Eleventh Hour’, Lucy Cousins ‘Portley’s Hat’

Tell us a bit more about your process

I try to keep everything as free and rough as my sketchbook work, which is why my main tools are some pencils, a rubber, and a sharpener. I carry my sketchbook everywhere to note down ideas and to draw from life.



A Castle in England

Becky Palmer, Briony May Smith, Isaac Lenkiewicz, Isabel Greenberg, Jamie Rhodes, William Exley