On the Couch with Scott Stuart

Colin-and-Scott-Stuart-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Scott Stuart?
Scott is a bestselling children’s author and illustrator who is passionate about dismantling gender stereotypes and empowering children to follow their own unique path. He has worked on projects with companies like Disney, Warner Bros and DreamWorks, and his uplifting online presence has attracted over 250K followers. His books My Shadow is Pink and Alone have both hit the bestseller lists, and he is currently working on a animated film adaptation of My Shadow is Pink.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be an author and an athlete. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have been a professional dancer (a swing dancer), and now am enjoying every single second of the author journey, so I wouldn’t change a thing.

Who inspires you and why?
I am constantly inspired by my son, who beams pure joy into the world on a daily basis. His ability to be so completely true to himself continually reminds me that I can do the same. That is something that I hope he never loses, and it drives me to help create a world where kids can grow up being fully accepted for exactly who they are.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I’m extremely fortunate to be doing something that I believe is making a difference in the world, but I would love to lean even further into helping kids feel empowered and accepted, and helping parents learn to accept and empower their kids. I have been working on it by creating stories for kids, but also through creating content that helps parents break through discomfort and conditioning that stops them from doing that. There is so much work to do in that area, and so much tragedy that can be avoided through the simple act of acceptance.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I used to travel as part of my dance career, so I have been to LOTS of places. Hawaii (Kona) and the south of France are definitely up there for some of the best times I have had. But my favourite holidays (so far) have been on the Gold Coast, where we get sunshine, adventures, fantastic friends and family all in the one trip (and the inevitable sunburn).

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
As a local, I almost never go to the attractions, so having a friend come to visit is the perfect time to visit places I have always wanted to go. But exploring Melbourne city at night, and going down the Great Ocean Road are two that I always try to do.

What are you currently reading?
I’m just about to start The Two Lost Mountains by Matthew Reilly. I have been a huge fan of his for a long time, with his incredibly fast-paced action and amazing ability to keep you reading – there’s been many nights where I suddenly realise the one chapter I was going to read has turned into 10!

What are you currently listening to?
Is it weird if I say I don’t really listen to music much? My wife bought me a record player last year with some incredible Vinyl, so that’s been getting played a fair bit.

Happiness is?
Waking up to my son crawling into our bed, asking that we wake up and play, and instead getting to steal a few brief minutes of relaxing and laughing with he and my wife before the day gets started.

What does the future hold for you?
I am so so excited to be working on the My Shadow is Pink short animated film, as well as in the early stages of bringing other empowering stories to the screen. I’m also currently working on My Shadow is Blue, the sequel to My Shadow is Pink, which hopefully will be ready to go early next year.

Away from the Shadow series, I have some more picture books coming out with Hardie Grant (How to be a Real Man in January), as well as diving into a whole lot more stories for young readers that I’m really excited to announce soon.

A massive passion has always been longer-form storytelling, so I’m currently working on a book series for a young audience, as well as my first novel. And, away from fiction, I’m really excited to be sharing more content around empowering our kids, and looking to move into some speaking and education series around that.

I’m also attempting to cut down on chocolate (but that doesn’t look like it will last long).

Scott is the Author and Illustrator of My Shadow is Pink – published by Larrikin House – and available from Booktopia and Amazon. For more information, visit: www.scottstuart.co for details.

Image: Scott and Colin Stuart (supplied)