Lane Cove Illustrator Serena Geddes Kicks a Goal with Her Matilda’s Book

Serena Geddes is a local writer and illustrator.

Serena has just illustrated a book written by Shelly Ware called We Are Matildas.

The book is about a girl called Jazzy who dreams of being a football star and playing for the CommBank Matildas one day. She has a plan to get there . . . now all she needs is a team.

This determined leader soon realises that being on the field with her friends is one of the best parts of the game.  Jazzy realises that Together, We Are Matildas.

ITC asked Serena some questions about her life as a writer and illustrator.

How Did your Involvement in the Book We Are Matildas start?

My publisher Penguin Random House approached me asking if I would be interested in illustrating a picture book as part of the CommBank Matildas and the FIFA World Cup.

I was excited by the story, which follows Jazzy, who dreams of playing for the CommBank Matildas one day.

Author Shelley Ware is an indigenous author, football media personality and educator.

I loved that all twelve girls and Toby (the only boy) were based on young girls Shelley knows.

Turning them from photos into characters without knowing them was a highlight. I do hope I get to meet Jazzy and the team one day.

How Long Did It Take You to Illustrate the Book?

How long did it take me, or how long did I have to illustrate We Are Matildas?

I was given four months to rough and illustrate the book, which isn’t a lot of time, but I was so excited to be working on the project.

I kept bringing myself back to these young girls whenever I felt overwhelmed with the work.

Not only is a 32-page picture book a lot of work to create, there were twelve in the team, and several pages needed them all on a spread. It all came together, and I am really proud of this book.

Do You Think the Matildas Have Read the Book?

I would love to know if they have seen it or read it! The story follows Jazzy, not the Matildas, which are mentioned in the book. I hope the story inspires other young girls and boys to follow their dreams and to know that anything is possible.

Come and Meet Serena at the Lane Cove Library

Thursday, 10 August, 4:00 pm – 5.00 pm. Meet illustrator Serena Geddes

The Lane Cove Library will explore the world of creating awesome football books in celebration of the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

Bring your imagination, ideas and creativity as you create your own football characters inspired by Matildas and Socceroos stars. Come dressed in your favourite football colours and jerseys to win prizes on the day!

Signed books can be purchased at the event.

For children aged 5 – 12 years. Free event. Bookings essential.

Book here.

Book on Sale at Burns Bay Bookery

You can also purchase the book at Burns Bay Bookery – great book for Book Week!!

How Many Books Have Your Written or Illustrated?

I began illustrating picture books in 2009 and have illustrated over seventy titles. These include the middle-grade series Lulu Bell, Totally Twins and Pepper Creek Ponies.

Some picture books I have illustrated include Hope is a Spark, Dad I Love You, and Why I Love My Mum.

I have written and illustrated two of my books, Rosie and Rasmus and Where the Dragons Live. You can borrow these books from the Lane Cove Library.

How Long Does it Take to Write or Illustrate a Book?

Each project is different and depends on the level of detail involved. I usually take three to four months to finish a book. This is from character development to roughs, to finish line work and then colouring the artwork.

Illustrators who work with more detail can take up to twelve months.

The artwork for chapter books, which are in black and white, are a little faster for me and usually takes between two to three months.

I am about to write and illustrate a series of graphic novels, and I hear they can take one to two years to create.

How Long Have You Lived in Lane Cove?

I moved to Lane Cove when I was twelve and went to school in Hunters Hill and Chatswood. I moved to Melbourne and returned to Lane Cove over two years ago.

What Are Some of the Things You Like to Do in Lane Cove?

I love people-watching and wandering through the markets once a month. We are lucky to have an excellent and resourceful library where I will pop in and work from time to time. I love exploring the recycled clothing shops we have here and, lastly, catching up with friends and their dogs around the area’s numerous parks.

What Is your Favourite Coffee Shop?

I have two – Pottery Green Bakers and Story on Birdwood Lane. Great coffee, food and staff who remember your name is always a plus for me!

Serena Geddes – Contact Details

Instagram:  serenageddes_illustrator
Facebook: Serena Geddes 

Help Support Local and Independent News

You can support us in three ways:

  1. If you own a local business or a Lane Cove resident who owns a business, you can advertise with ITC – our packages start from a $30 monthly fee (for a 12-month commitment). Could you email us here for our rates card?
  2. Buy the ITC  team a coffee – our office is nearly every coffee shop in Lane Cove, and we regularly meet locals at coffee shops – buy the ITC team a coffee (or two) here.
  3. Become an ITC reader sponsor –  Feel free to be a reader sponsor if you have enjoyed our local news coverage – no amount is too small or too big. Thank you thankuch to the people who have already supported us via our press Patreon account. Help Us Here.