Sian Pattenden is an animator, author and illustrator.
At 16 she entered a young playwright competition at the Soho Poly Theatre. The result was a play about a boy who wants to become a feminist and doesn’t do very well – Steven Newman Doesn’t Eat Quiche, which went to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Sian was the youngest fringe playwright ever.
Sian started writing for Smash Hits magazine at 18, interviewing people who were called things like ‘Kylie’ or ‘Robbie Williams’ or even ‘Bobby Gillespie’. She has been a major feature writer for publications including the Face, the Guardian, Word, Select & NME – and has been on telly and radio talking about pop music for years. She wrote and illustrated a book called How To Make It In The Music Business about jobs in the, er, music business. She lectured in arts and music writing at the London School of Journalism for many years.
Sian has written six children’s books. The first, The Awful Tale of Agatha Bilke, was published by Short Books in 2006 and short-listed for four book awards. The latest series, The Peppers and the International Magic Guys, was selected for inclusion in the Richard and Judy Book Club 2013 and was short-listed for the Surrey Libraries Children’s Book award 2014.
As an illustrator she has drawn the playing cards for ‘Unhappy Families’; the artwork for the Agatha Bilke series, the North London Arts Map & Kentishtowner Cultural Map – plus Neil Strauss’ Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead rock anthology. Sian won the Victoria and Albert Museum Inspired by Award for artwork in 2005.
She has done artwork and apps for Art Brut and artwork and photography for Luke Haines. She has exhibited her children’s artwork in London at the Half Moon Theatre, the Hastings Electric Cinema and the One Gallery in Crouch End. May-July 2016 she and friend Pandora Vaughan had a pop up art shop called Grrrr!
As an animator Sian has directed and produced the Luke Haines’ Rock n Roll Animals video, Haines’ Lou Reed Lou Reed promo, the Outsider Music film and has created animations for Caroline Catz’ documentary about musician Jesse Hector.
* Sian appeared in some TV dramas as a kid, including Doctor Who, playing Young Tegan (wearing a wig). Click here for an article about “Ten of the best Doctor Who walk-on parts“.
* Sian was one half of 100% Ponies, signed to Kung Fu Fighting Records in Paris. We have disbanded, amidst a welter of gossip and litigation. Sort of. Here is one of our tracks:
* Here is a film made by the Tate a few years ago with Sian speaking about her favourite artist Stanley Spencer…