Errol McLeary's Signature

Errol McLeary and books by Errol McLearyBeanie's UmbrellaI was born in 1951 in New Zealand, the youngest of five children, and have been drawing for as long as I can remember – art was my escape, my world.

Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s comics and books were the mass media of the day – and so was formed my love for illustration. It’s a passion that continues today.

Winning prizes and accolades at school set me on a path to a life in art. I illustrated my first children’s book at the age of 19 and haven’t stopped since.
In my daily work (we all have to eat) I set out to gain experience in all areas of art – working as a magazine designer, advertising visualizer, art director, graphic designer, newspaper editorial artist, cartoonist and, for many years, a book designer – while all the time I continued illustrating books.

Over the years I have enjoyed working with many interesting people, often creating series of books around central characters. One such collaboration was The Adventures of Dr Duffer, with the former Prime Minister, Sir John Marshall. Drawing on my work background I extended my children’s book illustration into character development and related merchandising, such as toys and games, adding
an extra dimension to many publications.

Errol McLeary and There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Weta

I have illustrated over 100 books of all kinds of subjects, and today just illustrate for children. If my readers get to laugh, then I am happy.

In 2002 I moved to Australia to concentrate on my children’s book work – especially to find the time to write. To me the creation of a children’s book is the conscious embrace of all the elements – words, pictures, design and market. And that view lead to me teaching modules in Children’s Book Illustration.

Today I live and work on Tamborine Mountain, in the Gold Coast hinterland, Queensland. If I’m not illustrating, writing or tutoring, I’m off painting – but that’s another story.