David Roberts

Photo of David Roberts
David Roberts was born in Liverpool. He always loved drawing from an early age and couldn’t wait to escape high school and go to art college. There he developed a keen interest in pottery and fashion and went on to study a degree in fashion design at Manchester Metropolitan University. After university he worked as a milliner and began to get work as a fashion illustrator but always felt his true calling was in children’s book illustration. So after working as a shelf stacker, egg fryer, hair washer, film extra and coffee-maker David finally realised his dream of becoming a children’s book illustrator when his first book Frankie Stein’s Robot was published in 1998 and was shortlisted for the 'Mother Goose Award' for emerging illustrators.

Since then he has illustrated works by some fantastic authors such as Philip Ardagh, Daren King, Julia Donaldson, Jacqueline Wilson, Tom Baker and Chris Priestley. David considers himself privileged and lucky to be doing a job he loves. David is also the creator of the Dirty Bertie character about a little boy with bad habits such as picking his nose and burping loudly!

Author's Comment: Q: You're young, but from your drawings, I half expected a beardy old Edward Gorey-style man. Is he an influence? And do any other illustrators influence your work?

A: People often think I'm 200 years old and work with a quill, and indeed I do work with a dip pen and ink the old fashioned way – no computers for me! My illustrator friend Dom Mansell introduced me to the work of Edward Gorey and I instantly became a fan. His work has been and continues to be a huge influence on me and I have learned a great deal from studying it. As I never trained as an illustrator I have learned a lot of techniques from looking at other artist's work. I greatly admire Dore, Errol Lecain, Maurice Sendak, Quentin Blake, Lisbeth Zwerger and Chris Riddell amongst others.

Nationality: British