I've based my career on all the stuff I was interested in when I was seven — particularly robots and telepathic space travel. As a child, I loved to draw, and spent hours drawing robots. I was also good at making things. After high school, I decided to study art at the Cleveland Art Institute. Before my Miss Spider books, I made toys — all sorts of colorful, one-of-a-kind toys packed in little hand-painted boxes. One day, my toys caught the attention of a book packager. He encouraged me to write and illustrate a children's book. So I did. It wasn't hard to find the perfect subject for my first book — bugs. My daughter, Violet, loved insects. I also found a small copy of The Gnomes' Almanac by little-known Viennese author Ida Bohtta Morpugo. The pictures and verse about bugs, butterflies, and mice really came to life in that book. That inspired me to start drawing and writing.... Whatever I end up doing next, I know I love making stories. The bookmaking process is a liberation for me from the years I toiled to produce handmade items. I think the life of a children's book author is bliss. David Kirk has been making toys and art for children for over 15 years. He also designs furniture that, together with his one-of-a-kind toys and paintings, are treasured by collectors. He is currently working on a feature-length animated film for Universal that is based on a new character in an upcoming picture book.