One of the UK’s leading children’s book illustrators, and a highly accomplished animator as well, Alan Baker brings realism, character and a true sense of narrative to the projects he works on. Throughout his career he has collected awards for his top-flight work. He’s written and illustrated over 40 books, and created dozens of animations for both commercial and broadcast clients.
The texture and tactility of the creatures Alan paints heighten their appeal, drawing viewers helplessly into the imaginary journeys he creates. Inspired by the hippy zeitgeist of the 1970s and the glorious heyday of fantasy illustration, Alan is a creative rover and explorer with vast experience and plenty of fascinating stories to tell – both real and imaginary – and clients love him because he’s fun to work with. He has a degree in Illustration from the University of Brighton, and has taught the subject as well.
Alan often 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. He’s strong conceptually, able to animate using puppets and stop motion as well as digitally.
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.
1979 – Whitbread Award 1979
1984 – Benson & Hedges Illustration Awards Gold
1990 – Creative Circle Awards – Gold and Silver in Press Advertising
1992 – YES Award of Excellence
Some of Alan’s clients include The Guardian, The BBC, Kingfisher Books, Greys, Oxford University Press, World Wildlife Fund, Harrods, Penguin Random House and The Sunday Times.