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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

The Bird King: An Artist's Sketchbook

The Bird King: An Artist's Sketchbook

Author: Shaun Tan Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/10/2019

Award-winning artist Shaun Tan brings his story-making to life in this beautiful sketchbook, now with brand new content. A treasure trove of sketchbook pages, jottings, doodles and drawings from life reveal much about Shaun's personal style and themes in this inspiring collection. Extensive brand new content includes pencil sketches for upcoming books, development work for Eric and cover design ideas for Cicada, along with new oil paint landscape sketches and character studies. This is a must-have for any Shaun Tan fan, particularly art and illustration students, as well as any lover of story and the creative process.

Migrations Open Hearts, Open Borders

Migrations Open Hearts, Open Borders

Author: Shaun Tan Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/05/2019

As the world refugee crisis intensified, back in 2017 two teachers of Illustration at Worcester University had the idea of contacting illustrator friends around the world, asking them to draw and send an original postcard on the theme of Migration, to form an installation at the Biennale of Illustration at Bratislava, Slovakia. The response astonished them, with hundreds of cards and personal messages, forming a visually stunning show. The installation has since been mounted in South Korea and will be displayed at further places around the world, including Amnesty International's London offices in the summer of 2019. Over fifty of the postcards, mailed from 32 countries, are reproduced in actual size in this very special book, to be published on 9 May 2019. All the works have been donated and the book's royalties will be shared between Amnesty International and IBBY (International Board on Books for Youth). Leading children's book illustrators from the UK, including Christopher Corr, Neal Layton, Jackie Morris, Jane Ray and Chris Riddell, have contributed cards, along with illustrators from Argentina to Russia, South Africa to Iran. Australian illustrator Shaun Tan has written the Introduction. Janetta Otter-Barry, publisher of Otter-Barry Books, says: It's an honour to be chosen as publishers of this book. The fragility of a mailed postcard and of a migrating bird come together so aptly to capture the theme of human migration. It is quite literally formed of images and messages of hope, and I think that people will cherish it for that reason as well as for its brilliant variety and heartfelt approach. Migrations: Open Hearts, Open Borders is edited by the International Centre for the Picture Book in Society at the University of Worcester, and will be published on 9 May 2019 by Otter-Barry Books. Hardback GBP9.99

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

The Arrival

The Arrival

Author: Shaun Tan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/07/2014

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. THE ARRIVAL has become one of the most critically acclaimed books of recent years, a wordless masterpiece that describes a world beyond any familiar time or place. Sited as No 35 in The Times 100 Best Books of all time. An imaginative triumph. Every home should have one. - The Times It will fascinate and occupy adults and children alike. - The Observer Read more about The Arrival at www.thearrival.com.au Find out more about Shaun Tan at http://www.shauntan.net

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 - 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 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 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

https://www.shauntan.net/

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