Hi there!

Thank you for visiting the Oskar and Nanuk website.
The book and products were created by me, Justin Plunkett. 

Who am I?

Like most people I wear many hats. I’m dad to a beautiful 3 year old. I’m husband to a wonderful Swiss who inspired me to leave the country of my birth, to join her in the land of hers.

I’m a South African designer, illustrator and artist. Today I call the sweet little city of Schaffhausen, in Switzerland, home.

I grew up in a family of avid explorers, every school holiday became an expedition to deserts, jungles and the African bush. I learned to drive a Land Rover at 11 and watched my dad fix them on beaches, salt pans and mountain passes. When I tell stories of my wild childhood to Europeans, they sound far fetched, torn from the adventure books I loved to read during the hours and hours of driving. I had time to imagine and can’t remember being bored as a kid.

In my career I’ve zigged and zagged. I had terrific mentors and hopped from advertising to animation to design. I could always draw.

As a restless 5 year year old with pneumonia the only way my mother could keep me in bed was sitting in bed with me. She taught me to draw birds. She was an illustrator and as a kid I remember looking up through our glass dining room table littered with markers, papers and french curves. With my mom’s help I won art competitions at school and my hungry ego found a steady source of approval and admiration.

Decades later, I picked up awards and professional recognition and created work I’m still very proud of. If you're interested you can visit my professional website [ here ]

When I became a dad, the wonderful world of childrens’ books reopened like doors to the past, and this is the reason you are reading this now.

CREATIVE PROCESS

When my son was born, I knew that I would start making something for kids. I didn’t exactly know whether it would be furniture, clothing or something else. I decided to develop a kids brand using two names I’d resonated with during the process of naming future babies. Oskar and Nanuk.

I chose the sloth and llama as they both had really distinct characteristics and they could play off each other well. They were a funny combo, opposite in so many ways.

To know them better I drew cartoons and developed lots of little vignettes that helped me clarify who they were and what they wanted. I thought a lot about the structure, the conflicts and character arcs a then I wrote the story. I loved it when it was done and shared it with a few people. It became clear very quickly that it was far too long. It rhymed a some places and not in others. 

But it was way too long. I think I ended up writing 4 or 5 versions, with each one getting shorter. By the second version I felt ready to start illustrating and over about three months I went from sketches to finished work. The illustrations were done on my iPad Pro with the Apple pencil and the software I used was Procreate. Even after the drawings were complete I kept editing and tweaking the writing. The rhyming spread.

It was getting really hard towards the end. When I learned that the process of getting a publisher on board could take 6 months to a year I decided to self publish. After all that work, waiting 6 months for a response was too great an anticlimax. I want to get this book out into the world.

Much of my careers has been focussed on branding and marketing so, equipped with a relevant skill set, I feel optimistic about building brand awareness.

You are here. Thank you for visiting.