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Alan Baker

Alan Baker
Inspired by T Rex, the hippy zeitgeist of the 1970s and the fantasy illustration style that went with it, Alan Baker has some amazing stories to tell. Once, he hitchhiked across Europe with just £35 in his pocket and ended up in Afghanistan. He’s also known to bury dishwashers and washing machines in his garden. These are true stories, but when it comes to fantasy illustration he has an imagination that’s second to none. His awards cabinet is full of honours to prove it.

Training When studying zoology didn’t pan out for Alan – he found himself drawing instead – he switched to illustration, and took a degree at what is now the University of Brighton. He graduated in 1976 and has been an illustrator ever since. Approach Some of Alan’s earliest memories involve colour, and how different shades react to the lighting conditions. Today, he works up his compositions on screen using Photoshop, then hand paints the various elements of the image, layering them together digitally at the end of the process. Style Though his subject matter is often fantastical, there’s a canny realism and high level of detail in Alan’s work. Skin, hair, fur and feathers are all deftly recreated whether they belong to a dragon or a dormouse. Awards Whitbread Award 1979 Benson & Hedges Illustration Awards Gold 1984 Creative Circle Awards 1990 Gold and Silver in Press Advertising YES Award of Excellence 1992 Children's Choices Award 1995 Children's Choices Award 1996
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Butterflies in frame - An illustration by Alan Baker
Water animals illustration by Alan Baker

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