About

I am a Scotland based Illustrator and Textile artist, specialising in children’s books, and a 2015 graduate of Somerville College, Oxford University.

My illustrations are inspired by the natural world and focus in particular on the wild and wonderful animals that appear both in reality, and in children’s imaginations. I am particularly interested in the concept of imaginative play, looking at the way children visualise and develop games and stories. Acknowledging that human imagination plays such a vital part to all stages of our lives, I hope to capture some of these moments within my illustrations, and in particular to relate to the magical way that children bring their toys and games to life.

My silk paintings are inspired by the liminal zones between the earth and water; exploring the human relationships with these elements, and in particular our ancestors impact upon them. Using silk and ink I try to capture the colour, vivacity and flow of the countryside, whilst exploring the patterns and shapes that historic settlements have inscribed onto the landscape.

My stylistic influence are deeply affected by my admiration for the stained glass works of the Victorian period, and of the Tiffany and Savoy Studios. Other influences include the Art Deco period, and the vivid landscapes of Jolomo, David Hockney and Erin Hanson.

My background is primarily in History and Archaeology, although I have painted all my life. I gained an Art Foundation degree Distinction, and was awarded their annual sculpture prize before going on to read Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Oxford, excavating in both the UK and Italy. I have since worked with authors from the UK and the US, and with a variety of publishers, illustrating children’s books which are available worldwide.

Find me on Facebook  and Instagram  or drop me an email at backshallr@gmail.com