Jess Racklyeft


1/ Tell us more about your passion for the Bilby and the work you do for them... 

Through my working life, I've always wanted to work out a way to support causes I believe in but as a small biz owner its not always easy to donate large amounts of money. Over the past year I've been designing and selling pins, and I thought it was a great opportunity to fundraise design some beautiful animal pins! So this year I have done a Bilby (raising $1000 for Save the Bilby Fund), a Leadbetter Possum (raising $500 for Friends of Leadbetter's Possum) and I have some more in the pipeline.


2/ Who's your favourite children's book character you've illustrated to date? 

My favourite book character would have to be this little bunny (see 2nd image on right) for a book that just came out, called Love Was Hiding. Really it represents my kids - as its about a kid feeling their parent's love even if the parent isn't there. It's not always easy to explain that to a 2 year old, so I loved drawing it and had lots of fun with the characters and representing love as a bit of a mystical rainbow swirl!


3/ You do a lot of bird work… where did the fascination with birds come from?

I've always had an affinity with birds. When I was a kid we had canaries, budgies and finches, and my mum became the local bird refuge lady - taking in hurt parrots and ducks, and keeping them warm under her lamps, feeding them hourly with droppers. They are (typically) gentle, curious and delicate - such beautiful qualities, and Australia has some incredible ones.


4/ If you were going out for coffee and cake with any children’s book character, who would it be?

Oh that's tough! I'm a bit in love with all of Anna Walker's books and characters, maybe I would sit quietly with Mr Huff, or go on a walk with Peggy. But then again, I'm sure I could have a fun adventure with Quentin Blake's illustrated characters, and would happily sit on the shoulder of the BFG.


5/ If you had to choose 3 colours to use for the rest of your life, what would they be? 

At the moment I'm a bit in love with teal, pink and a mustard. I think that would be it the ones!

About Jess:

Jess is an illustrator who works on children’s books, client projects, pins and painting birds. 

Jess creates works for card companies, picture books, original paintings, prints and all types of different client projects.