Morag Kelly, Author & Illustrator (Galway, Ireland)
My love for nature and the outdoors stems from growing up in the Limerick countryside and being part of a big family.
Playing outside was a must in rain, hail or shine, there were mushrooms to be picked, puddles to be splashed, trees to be climbed and the popular choice of walking miles along the railway tracks with my four older brothers to play pitch and putt in Murroe.
From a very young age I loved to draw and make things. There was the sun and moon tapestry cushion for my sister, the rug for our hearth, the coloured in poster of the signs of the zodiac, the wooden bedside locker and the welded plant holder in transition year plus many many more creations!
I have always had an absolute love for books, especially pop up books with lots of colour and imagery. I will always remember when my father used to travel with work and he would arrive home with either a new magazine or book without fail! there was great excitement! He was and still is an avid reader.
One book I still cherish dearly is ‘The Butterfly Ball and The Grashopper’s Feast’ given to me by my Dad when I was nine years old. There is fantastic imagery, poetry and general quirkiness! The Kingfisher fishing with his top hat, vibrant colours, and knapsack and his friend the beetle smoking his pipe and waiting in the wings with fish net in hand.
Why I chose to do my maths homework on the back of the book I do not know, probably because there were some spare blank pages and why not put to good use!
There was always (and sometimes still is) muck on my face and some problem to solve! Growing our own fruit and vegetables was part of life growing up in rural Limerick. I can still smell the fresh peas in their pods, raspberries, gooseberries, spuds and carrots, straight out of the ground, yum! The chickens gave the most delicious eggs, and it was great fun searching for them.
Having an exceptionally creative mother with an insatiable appetite for making things, and a wonderfully resourceful father who can figure out almost anything, led me to developing both creative and analytical skills at a young age.
This picture was taken when i was seven years old and helping out with the new house extension. Coming from a big family, it was all hands on deck!
I still love to work things out and get my hands dirty!
As an adult I developed an interest in computers and gained a degree in Computer systems. However, being forever free spirited has always lead me to thinking why not give it a go! I am a self-taught potter and felt maker.
This all changed in 2009 on completion of a diploma in Garden Design in Dublin. How wonderful it was to finally concentrate my efforts completely on design, drawing and creative thinking! These skills were especially stretched when being a team member for these two medal winning Bloom
This is what has led to Greenieland! I am passionate about sustainability and decided to come up with a new fun, fresh idea using my existing and new skills that would inspire our children and their associated adults!
I do hope you and your children enjoy my work and do in fact become inspired. I have had great fun putting my first book together, and I look forward to doing a lot more. Happy reading and growing!