'Rupert Bear'.

Stuart Trotter is a British illustrator and publisher of children's picture books, operating through his own Rockpool imprint. He has worked for several popular franchises, including 'Winnie the Pooh', 'Postman Pat', 'Kipper' and 'Thomas the Tank Engine', but is best-known as the official 'Rupert Bear' writer and artist since 2008.

Early life and career
Trotter grew up in the coal mining town Ferryhill, County Durham, where he became a lifelong fan of 'Rupert Bear'. In an interview with the Daily Express on 8 November 2020, he remembered the 'Rupert Bear' annuals literally brought color to his "black and white childhood". Between 1974 and 1978, he studied Graphic Design at Lanchester Polytechnic (nowadays Coventry University), after which he became a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. Over the course of the next decades, he has finetuned his skills in traditional drawing and painting, but also works with digital tools as Photoshop and Illustrator.

Children's books
Trotter's introduction to children's books came when he was asked to draw books based on the TV series 'Portland Bill' (1983-1986) for the Purnell publishing company from Paulton, Somerset. Since then he has worked for most of the leading children's book publishers from the UK and abroad, including Walker Books, David Bennett Books, Reed, Egmont, Heinemann, Victoria House, Treehouse, Parragon, Hodder Children's Books, Usborne, Oxford University Press, Pearson, Scholastic, Ladybird, Azbookvarik, La Coccinella and Random House. He has also worked for the advertising and design agency Saatchi & Saatchi on their NSPCC bullying campaign, which was nominated for best use of illustration in advertising.


'Kipper'.

After taking a "Classic Pooh Course" at The Disney Company's London headquarters, he began working for Reed and then Egmont as an illustrator of 'Winnie the Pooh' books. He illustrated covers for the Enid Blyton story collections 'Five Minute Tales', 'Ten Minute Tales', and 'Fifteen Minute Tales', and made the drawings for Colin Dann's 'The Animals of Farthing Wood' (Egmont, 1993). He spent five years drawing 'Postman Pat' for Hodder, then moved on to illustrate cardboard "press out and play" books with Mick Inkpen's 'Kipper the Dog' in the early 2000s. Other famous characters with artwork by Trotter are 'Wallace and Gromit', 'Noddy', 'Thomas the Tank Engine' and 'Topsy and Tim'. In 2015 Trotter teamed up with Dutch author Vivian den Hollander to illustrate the picture book series 'Rosie & Robin', which was simultaneously published in a Dutch and English edition.

Rockpool Children's Books
In 2006 Trotter took the plunge and began his own, independent publishing imprint, Rockpool Children's Books. Originally based in Warwickshire, the company is specialized in children's picture books, board books, apps and e-books. Rockpool has released Trotter's own books, such as 'Greedy Grumpy Hippo', 'Big Bully Hippo', 'My Perfect Pet', 'Boomerang Bear', 'The Princess Who Couldn't Sleep', 'The Potty Book' and the 'Polar White' and 'Ruby' series, but also work by Heather Heyworth, Sam Walshaw and other authors. Trotter eventually returned to Britain's North East, more specifically the Durham house where he was born, and began a partnership with Albury Books' Print-On-Demand platform in 2017. Rockpool continues as a POD firm, while also managing the worldwide publishing rights of its authors. Rockpool has sold books to Australia, France, USA, South Korea, Bogota and Italy, among other countries.


Front- and back cover for the 2011 Rupert Annual.

Rupert Bear
In 2008, Trotter succeeded John Harrold as the official writer and artist of 'Rupert Bear', one of his favorite characters. By then, the serial in the Daily Express had turned to reprints, so Trotter's output with the famous white bear and his Nutwood friends is dedicated to the Rupert Annuals. He illustrates the covers and new stories for each year's volume. While he adds a personal touch to his drawings, he faithfully continues in the tradition of series creator Mary Tourtel and her legendary successor Alfred Bestall. One of the new characters introduced during his run on the series is Clara Cat, who moved from Nutchester to Nutwood. She was the first new addition to the cast since John Harrold introduced Ottoline in 1993.

On the occasion of Rupert's 100th anniversary in November 2020, Trotter created a special story that payed homage to series creator Mary Tourtel. In 'Rupert And The Time Machine', Tourtel's original 1920 brown bear is transported to 2020, where he meets his modern-day equivalent.

Other activities
Besides his work in the illustration and publishing fields, Stuart Trotter enjoys visiting schools and other interested groups to share his knowledge and enthusiasm about his profession.

Rupert Bear by Stuart Trotter

www.stuarttrotterillustration.co.uk

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