Freya Blackwood

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Freya Blackwood (born 1975) is an Australian illustrator and special effects artist. She worked on special effects for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy from 2001 to 2003 and won the Kate Greenaway Medal for British children's book illustration in 2010.[1][2][3][4][5]

Early life[edit]

Blackwood was born in Edinburgh, Scotland during a tour of the United Kingdom by her parents. She grew up in Orange, New South Wales. Before becoming a full-time illustrator, she lived in New Zealand and worked on the Lord of the Rings films, specifically the special effects for the hobbits' feet.[6] She finished a Bachelor of Design at the University of Technology, Sydney, and finished two short films during her work in the Sydney film industry.[7]

Film industry career[edit]

Blackwood worked in the film industry between 2001 and 2008, producing the film Blackspot (2008), acting as an extra in the short film Zombie Movie (2005). She was a special effects artist for all three Lord of the Rings films: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King.[1]

Children's books[edit]

As of June 2010, Blackwood has illustrated eleven books, three of which have been published in the United Kingdom by Scholastic.[clarification needed] As of June 2013, WorldCat libraries report holding more than fifteen titles in 2003 to 2012 editions, written by Blackwood herself, Alan Bagnall, Nick Bland, Chardi Christian, Rosie Dickins, Roddy Doyle, Libby Gleeson, John Heffernan, Heiwari Johnson, Cecily Matthews, Kyle Mewburn, Jan Ormerod, A. B. Paterson, and Margaret Wild.[8] Half a World Away by Libby Gleeson is held by the greatest number of libraries[8]

Blackwood both wrote and illustrated (in watercolour and pencil) Ivy Loves to Give (US edition: Scholastic, 2010), a 24-page picture book about a toddler, for ages two and up. The story features the "well-intentioned mistakes" of a "toddler who is learning where things belong".[9]

Blackwood won the annual Kate Greenaway Medal from the professional librarians for her part in the picture book Harry & Hopper, written by Margaret Wild and published by Scholastic in 2009. The award recognises the year's best-illustrated children's book published in the U.K. Her illustrations of Hopper were inspired by a dog she had as a child.[2][3][5][10] The story features a boy and puppy who are "inseparable" until the puppy is killed while the boy is at school. "Blackwood's beautiful illustrations—laser print with watercolour, gouache and charcoal—add an appropriate layer of melancholy to Wild's clean, economical prose."[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Freya Blackwood". IMDb. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  2. ^ a b (Greenaway Winner 2010). Living Archive: Celebrating the Carnegie and Greenaway Winners. CILIP. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
  3. ^ a b "Freya Blackwood Wins 2010 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal: Prize-winning illustrations are inspired by the memory of a beloved pet dog". Press release 24 June 2010. CILIP. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
  4. ^ "FREYA BLACKWOOD: CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal Winner 2010". Press release 24 June 2010. CILIP. Retrieved 2012-11-29.
  5. ^ a b "Australian Illustrator Freya Blackwood wins 2010 CLIP Kate Greenaway Medal". Lee(?). Fantasy Book Review. 28 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  6. ^ Linda Morris (21 August 2015). "Three times lucky for Freya Blackwood in Children's Book Council of Australia awards". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  7. ^ "BOOKED OUT Speakers Agency- Freya Blackwood". Booked Out Speakers Agency. Retrieved 2010-08-26. Archived 27 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ a b "Blackwood, Freya". WorldCat. Retrieved 2013-06-08.
  9. ^ "IVY LOVES TO GIVE by Freya Blackwood". Kirkus Reviews, 1 August 2010. Retrieved 2012-08-31.
  10. ^ "Inside the world of Kate Greenaway winner Freya Blackwood" (gallery). theguardian 24 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  11. ^ "HARRY & HOPPER by Margaret Wild". Kirkus Reviews, 15 December 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-29.

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