Elizabeth Fuller was born in Hastings, Hawke’s Bay. After primary school in Havelock North, she went to Karamu High School in Hastings, where she was taught art by her father, who apart from being a teacher (now retired) was also a painter and designer. Her parents always encouraged Elizabeth and her sister to be creative – to draw and paint.
She attended the Wellington Polytechnic School of Design, where she did a three-year Diploma course in Graphic Design. After specialising in illustration in her final year, she accepted a job at the Avalon Television Studios, working in the Graphics Department. After that, Elizabeth worked in an advertising agency. These were interesting experiences, but she was often frustrated that her hours of drawing or graphic design were used or shown on television so briefly, and then never used or seen again.
As luck would have it, at that time Wendy Pye was putting together a series of educational readers under the Storybox label, and she asked Elizabeth to do some trial illustrations. Her first two readers for children were published in 1980: Poor Old Polly
and the phenomenally successful Mrs Wishy-Washy
, both written by Joy Cowley
After those first two publications, she was asked to do more, and decided to become a freelance illustrator, a decision she has never regretted. With her new freedom, Elizabeth travelled through Asia, the United Kingdom and Europe for two years, always managing to do some illustration en route to earn an income. Elizabeth has continued to work independently ever since, and enjoys being able to work her own hours from home.
- My Brown Bear Barney text by Dorothy Butler (Reed Methuen 1988).
- My Brown Bear Barney in Trouble text by Dorothy Butler (Little Mammoth 1993).
- The Best-Loved Bear text by Diana Noonan (Ashton Scholastic1994).
- My Brown Bear Barney at School text by Dorothy Butler (Reed 1994).
- Song of the River text by Joy Cowley (Ashton Scholastic 1994).
- Mrs Wishy-Washy text by Joy Cowley (Penguin 2000).
- Apple, Banana, Cherry text by Joy Cowley (Scholastic 2000: NB this is the first trade edition).
- My Brown Bear Barney at the Party text by Dorothy Butler (Reed 2001).
- The Best-Dressed Bear text by Diana Noonan (Scholastic 2002).
- O’Reilly and the Real Bears text by Dorothy Butler (Puffin 2002).
- Mr Wishy-Washy text by Joy Cowley (Penguin 2003).
- Mrs Wishy-Washy Makes a Splash text by Joy Cowley (Penguin 2003).
- Mrs Wishy-Washy’s Farm text by Joy Cowley (Puffin 2003).
- What Arnie Saw [Kiwi Bite] text by Cheri Pinner (Puffin 2004).
- Mrs Wishy-Washy’s Scrubbing Machine text by Joy Cowley (Philomel Books 2005).
- Mrs Wishy-Washy’s Christmas by Joy Cowley (Puffin 2005).
- Mrs Wishy-Washy’s Splishy-sploshy by Joy Cowley (Penguin 2006).
- AIM Children’s Book Awards 1995 Picture Book Winner for The Best-Loved Bear.
- Storylines Notable Book Awards 2001 Picture Books List for Apple Banana Cherry.
- Storylines Notable Book Awards 2002 Picture Books List for My Brown Bear Barney at the Party.
- Russell Clark Award Shortlist 2003 for The Best-Dressed Bear.
- Storylines Notable Book Awards 2003 Picture Books List for The Best-Dressed Bear.
- Storylines Notable Book Awards 2004 Picture Books List for Mrs Wishy-Washy’s Farm.
- Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award 2008 for My Brown Bear Barney.