of the artist
David Elliot is an award-winning children's illustrator and author. He has written and illustrated six picture-books, including the 'Sydney penguin' books and Pigtails the Pirate (winner of the 2003 NZ Post Children's Picture Book Award). He has illustrated for many other New Zealand children's authors, including Jack Lasenby, Joy Cowley and Janet Frame. In 2009, he illustrated The Word Witch, by internationally acclaimed writer, Margaret Mahy; this won the Honour Award in the 2010 NZ Post Picture Book category. In 2010, he and Margaret again worked together, on The Moon and Farmer McPhee, which won the NZ Post Children's Book of the Year Award for 2011, the same year David also received the inaugural Arts Foundation Mallinson Rendel Illustration Award.
Internationally, David has provided illustrations for Brian Jacques' Redwall and Castaways series and also for U.S. authors, T.A. Barron and Jeffrey Kluger. More recently, he completed illustrations for John Flanagan's bestselling Ranger's Apprentice series. David has just completed his latest picture book, Henry's Map, which will be published by Philomel Books (USA) in 2013.
Since 2008, the Ashburton Art Gallery has been curating and regularly exhibiting David's work.
David was born and raised in Ashburton. He has had a varied career, working at different times as a zoo gatekeeper, an Antarctic dishwasher, an interior designer and a teacher, before becoming a fulltime illustrator in 1998. David lives in Port Chalmers, near Dunedin, with his wife Gillian and Molly, the dog. He has two adult daughters, Mhairi and Jess.
David has won many national book awards including:
- 2011 Inaugural winner: The Arts Foundation Mallinson Rendell Illustrators Award
- 2011 Winner 'Best Picture Book' and 'Book of the Year': New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards for The Moon and Farmer McPhee, with Margaret Mahy (Random House, NZ)
- 2010 Honour Award: New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards for The Word Witch, written by Margaret Mahy (HarperCollins, NZ)
- 2009 Finalist: New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards for Chicken Feathers, written by Joy Cowley (Philomel, USA)
- 2006 Winner 'Children's Book': Spectrum Print Book Design Award for Mona Minim and the Smell of the Sun, written by Janet Frame (Random House, NZ)