Aśka is creative dynamite.

She’s a short-listed graphic novelist, an ex-quantum physicist, and a big fan of the little doovalacky above the ‘s’ in her name (which you pronounce ‘Ash-ka’).

A hugely engaging and popular presenter, Aśka is passionate about visual literacy. She has published more than ten books and graphic novels. Her recent titles include the CBCA Notable and ALIA Graphic Shortlisted YA graphic novel Stars in Their Eyes, (with Jessica Walton), which will be released in the US by Scholastic in June 2023. She is also a recipient of several government Arts grants, prizes, and the May Gibbs Fellowship.

Aśka has been a judge for the Make Your Own Storybook Competition five years running, is an organising committee member for the Perth Comic Arts Festival, contributes regularly to The School Magazine, volunteered as Illustrator Co-ordinator in the WA branch of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for four years, has singlehandedly run an animation festival, once won a grant for a solo art exhibition, and has been featured in an ABC TV documentary.

When she’s not creating children’s books, Aśka is travelling across Australia teaching drawing-as-a-language to anyone who’ll listen. Sometimes, she sleeps.

PHOTO CREDIT: Emanuel Rudnicki

PHOTO CREDIT: Emanuel Rudnicki

100% True Facts about Aśka

  • I’ve lived in 5 countries, travelled across 5 continents and speak, (sometimes questionably), 4 languages.
  • I have musical-space synaesthesia, which means when I hear music, I feel different-sized spaces and I like to move through them. A great excuse for my strange dancing style.
  • In my mid-20’s, as one of 8 cast members in a children’s stage show, I danced and painted on a spinning easel, whilst the rest of the cast sang about fruit and rainbows.
  • When I was younger and nimbler, I learned Flamenco, Egyptian Belly Dancing and Capoeira.
  • I worked on a cruise boat, island hopping in North Queensland, stepping onto dry land only an hour at a time. (One of my duties was – yep, you guessed it – dancing!)  When I finally left, I had ‘land-sickness’ for 2 days!
  • I have a first-class Honours degree in Science (Physics), complete with a shiny university medal.
  • I worked for several years in quantum optics laboratories in Australia, Germany and Denmark, tickling atoms till they gave up their secrets and glowed fluorescent green.
  • I have researched and written publications on quantum teleportation. Yes, it’s real! (Unfortunately, teleportation only works for tiny particles, not for us, massive humans.)
  • I also have a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and as a result, some very big art books for propping up things.
  • For an entire season, I played the French-speaking character Colonel Moutarde in the English Dramatic Society’s production of ‘Patience’, in Germany.
  • I love heavy metal music, learning new things and bread, equally.