The Amazing Artwork of Shaun Tan

Aside from reading and watching movies with the girls for Girls Film Nights, and the odd bit of writing novels and short stories, I like to do the odd little bit of drawing. I’m not very good, so when I find someone who IS good it knocks my socks off. On the tick box list of wonderful things people can do that inspires and thrills me, being good with a pencil is way up there.


So imagine my delight when a really good friend of mine introduced me to a certain Australian artist called Shaun Tan.


I have pinched this next info from Shaun’s own website (which you must visit. That’s an order).


Shaun Tan grew up in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia. In school he became known as the ‘good drawer’ which partly compensated for always being the shortest kid in every class. He graduated from the University of WA in 1995 with joint honours in Fine Arts and English Literature, and currently works full time as a freelance artist and author in Melbourne.


Shaun began drawing and painting images for science fiction and horror stories in small-press magazines as a teenager, and has since become best known for illustrated books that deal with social, political and historical subjects through surreal, dream-like imagery. Books such as The Rabbits, The Red Tree, Tales from Outer Suburbia and the acclaimed wordless novel The Arrival have been widely translated and enjoyed by readers of all ages. Shaun has also worked as a theatre designer, and worked as a concept artist for the films Horton Hears a Who and Pixar’s WALL-E, and directed the Academy Award winning short film The Lost Thing with Passion Pictures Australia. In 2011 he received the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, honouring his contribution to international children’s literature.


One of my favourite sets of his illustrations comes from a little book he wrote and illustrated called Eric.


Eric is a foreign exchange student who comes to live with a typical suburban family. Although everyone is delighted with the arrangement, cultural misunderstandings ensue, beginning with Eric’s insistence on sleeping in a pantry cupboard rather than a specially prepared guest room.


It’s a wonderful little set of illustrations and I really love Eric. I want him as a little pet.


Shaun has illustrated many other books, so make sure you visit his site to find out more and to marvel at his amazing talents.

I have added some extra pictures to a Shaun Tan album on my Facebook page. Please drop by to have a look.