Shaun Tan - Author

About the Author

Shaun Tan was born in 1974 and 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, concentrating mostly on writing and illustrating picture books.

Shaun began drawing and painting images for science fiction and horror stories in small-press magazines as a teenager, and has since then he has received numerous awards for his picture books, including the CBCA (Children’s Book Council of Australia) Picture Book of the Year Award for The Rabbits with John Marsden. In 2001 Shaun was named Best Artist at the World Fantasy Awards in Montreal. He has recently worked for Blue Sky Studios and Pixar, providing concept artwork for forthcoming films.

Shaun Tan on himself and Eric:

"Drawing a good picture is like telling a really good lie – the key is in the incidental detail," says Shaun Tan.  (interview with Guardian Online, 2009)

“A recurring theme in my sketchbook are characters carrying a suitcase. I’m not sure why. Sometimes it arises because I’ve drawn a character and they look silly standing there without anything in their hands, so I’ll often add a suitcase or a box. This constantly suggested a story.   The story ‘Eric’ in Tales from Outer Suburbia was suggested by a similar drawing of a little character with a pointy head and the word Eric written underneath.

I do rarely give names. 'Eric' is an exception, but even then the name is a substitute for something we can’t hear or pronounce properly, so we never know his real name.”   (interview with Write Away, 2009)

Featured books by Shaun Tan

Rules of Summer

Rules of Summer

5+ readers 7+ readers

Author: Shaun Tan Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/10/2013

Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal Combining humour and surreal fantasy, Shaun Tan pictures a summer in the lives of two boys. Each spread tells of an event and the lesson learned. By turns, these events become darker and more sinister as the boys push their games further and further.

Other books by Shaun Tan

Cicada

Cicada

Author: Shaun Tan Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/11/2018

A stunning new picture book for anyone who has ever felt unappreciated, from Academy Award winner Shaun Tan. Cicada work in tall building. Data entry clerk. Seventeen year. No sick day. No mistake. Tok Tok Tok! Cicada works in an office, dutifully working day after day for unappreciative bosses and being bullied by his co-workers. But one day, something truly extraordinary happens . . . A story for anyone who has ever felt unappreciated, overlooked or overworked but dreams of magic, from Australia's most acclaimed picture book creator. This is Shaun Tan's first author-illustrator book in five years, and his most important and moving fable since The Arrival.

Tales from the Inner City Limited Edition Gift Box

Tales from the Inner City Limited Edition Gift Box

Author: Shaun Tan Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/10/2018

This limited gift box edition includes an exclusive signed and numbered print. A stunningly presented collection of twenty-five illustrated short stories exploring the relationship between humans and animals, from award-winning visual storyteller Shaun Tan. Where can we live if not in each other's shadow? World-renowned artist Shaun Tan applies his extraordinary talent to a reflection on the nature of humans and animals, and our urban co-existence. From crocodile to frog; tiger to bee, this is a dark and surreal exploration of the perennial love and destruction we feel and inflict - of how animals can save us, and how we are entwined, for better or for worse. Tales from the Inner City is a truly masterly work, bearing all of Shaun Tan's trademark wit and poignancy in both its prose and exquisite illustrations. This limited gift box edition includes an exclusive signed and numbered print.

Pictura Prints: Metropolis

Pictura Prints: Metropolis

Author: Shaun Tan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/05/2017

Pictura is a stunning range of black-and-white art to collect and colour for all ages. This large poster book format includes 12 prints, which can be removed from the book, coloured in and displayed on your wall. In this title from the urban strand, industry is born from an egg as other animals and plants look on. As it grows, metal trades metal, towns march and skyscrapers smoke, until all converge in a powerful, violent Metropolis. This mind-blowing creation myth from the inimitable Shaun Tan is yours for the colouring.

Rules of Summer

Rules of Summer

Author: Shaun Tan, Shaun Tan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/09/2016

Rules of Summer

Rules of Summer

5+ readers 7+ readers

Author: Shaun Tan Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/10/2013

Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal Combining humour and surreal fantasy, Shaun Tan pictures a summer in the lives of two boys. Each spread tells of an event and the lesson learned. By turns, these events become darker and more sinister as the boys push their games further and further.

Guys Read: A Day In the Life

Guys Read: A Day In the Life

Author: Shaun Tan Format: eBook Release Date: 17/09/2013

An artist takes us through his day, from his own particular perspective. A short story from Guys Read: Other Worlds, edited by Jon Scieszka.

Sketches from a Nameless Land The Art of The Arrival

Sketches from a Nameless Land The Art of The Arrival

Author: Shaun Tan, Shaun Tan Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/06/2012

Shaun Tan Notebook - Koala (Blue)

Shaun Tan Notebook - Koala (Blue)

Author: Shaun Tan Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/06/2011

Shaun Tan Notebook - Snow Owl (Grey)

Shaun Tan Notebook - Snow Owl (Grey)

Author: Shaun Tan Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/06/2011

Shaun Tan Notebook - Bee Eater (Yellow)

Shaun Tan Notebook - Bee Eater (Yellow)

Author: Shaun Tan Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/06/2011

Shaun Tan Notebook - Tea Ceremony (Orange)

Shaun Tan Notebook - Tea Ceremony (Orange)

Author: Shaun Tan Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/06/2011

The Bird King

The Bird King

Author: Shaun Tan Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/04/2011

What do the bird king, the thing in the bathroom and the paraffin-oil koala have in common? They all inhabit the unique world of renowned artist, author and illustrator Shaun Tan. Collected from his working sketchbooks, with commentary by the artist, these ideas, studies and doodles offer a special insight into the imagination of this internationally acclaimed storyteller. The Bird King is a collection of sketches, random jottings, preliminary designs for book, film and theatre projects, sketchbook pages and drawings from life. Each of these represent some aspect of a working process, whereby stories generally evolve from visual research and free-wheeling doodles. They are also 'unfinished' pieces created in a single sitting, not originally intended for publication, and for that reason perhaps more revealing of a personal style (and particular obsessions) than other more polished artwork.

The Arrival

The Arrival

Author: Shaun Tan, Shaun Tan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/09/2010

The Rabbits

The Rabbits

Author: Shaun Tan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2010

The Red Tree

The Red Tree

Author: Shaun Tan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/08/2010

Lost Thing

Lost Thing

Author: Shaun Tan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/04/2010

The Arrival

The Arrival

Author: Shaun Tan, Shaun Tan Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/11/2007

What drives so many to leave everything behind and journey alone to a mysterious country, a place without family or friends, where everything is nameless and the future is unknown. This silent graphic novel is the story of every migrant, every refugee, every displaced person, and a tribute to all those who have made the journey.

Author Info

Author's Website

http://www.shauntan.net/

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