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Amanda Hall

Amanda Hall is an award-winning contemporary illustrator, particularly renowned for her wonderfully decorative and colourful children’s book illustrations, as well as her work for educational publications both in Britain and America.

 

Amanda Hall was born in Linton, Cambridgeshire, on 4 October 1956. Her father, a painter, taught Art and Design at the Cambridge School of Art (now Anglia Ruskin University) and her mother was a published author, who also worked as a medical secretary at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. Amanda was educated locally in Cambridge and went on to study graphic art and illustration at the Cambridge School of Art, where her father had taught.

 

Since embarking on her career as an illustrator, Amanda has been published in 26 countries and celebrated for her unique style. She was awarded the Silver US Parents’ Choice Award in 1997 for her illustrations for Madhur Jaffrey’s children’s picture book Robi Dobi: The Marvellous Adventures of an Indian Elephant.

 

More recently The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau, written by Michelle Markel, was included in About.com’s Best Illustrated Children’s Books of the Year 2012 and won the Parents’ Choice Gold Award Spring 2013 Picture Books. Amanda’s work for this book was also exhibited at the Society of Illustrators ‘The Original Art’ Annual Exhibition 2012.

 

She has illustrated publications for Harper Collins, Lion Hudson, Barefoot Books, Frances Lincoln, Templar Publishing, Little Tiger Press, Pavilion Books and Dorling Kindersley, as well as many other trade and educational publishers.

 

By using a combination of coloured pencil and watercolour ink, Amanda has developed a technique which allows her to produce illustrations that are brimming with colour and decorations, and she is now further extending her skills as an illustrator by adding other media.


Her work is characteristically vivacious, bright and full of movement, overflowing with designs that take on an almost three-dimensional quality. 


She cites the myths, legends and fairy tales of cultures from all over the world as her inspiration for the fantastical and magical creatures that she produces. Indeed, the powerful artistic and historical inheritance of India, North and South America and Europe, is evident in much of her work, which often has an inherently indigenous quality. Over recent years Amanda’s work has achieved great success with her illustrations for artist’s picture-book biography collaborations with renowned US author Michelle Markel.


Amanda lives and works in Cambridge, creating her illustrations in a timber shed at the bottom of her garden that she has named ‘The Shadowhouse’. She has launched her e-commerce website
www.amandahall-illustration.com with a range of her illustration products under the heading ‘Art of Illustration’.


Her many recent successes include:

The Lion Classic Aesop’s Fables, retold by Margaret McAllister, Oxford: Lion Children’s Books, 2011

 

The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau, written by Michelle Markel, Grand Rapids MI: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2012

 

The Barefoot Book of Jewish Tales, written by Shoshana Gelfand Boyd, Oxford: Barefoot Books, 2013

 

Brother Giovanni’s Little Reward: How the Pretzel Was Born, written by Anna Egan Smucker, Grand Rapids MI: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2015

 

Babushka, written by Dawn Casey, Oxford: Lion Children’s Books, 2015

 

Out of This World: The Surreal Art of Leonora Carrington, in collaboration with Michelle Markel, is a gorgeously illustrated picture book biography published by Balzer + Bray in March 2019. The original drawings comprised a major feature of The Illustrators in Autumn 2019.


Over the last two years, Amanda has produced an abundance of new work. Little Bear: An Inuit Folktale, published in 2022 by Wisdom Tales, is her latest illustrated picture book; her second collaboration with children’s author, Dawn Casey (following Babushka in 2015). It is a deeply sensitive story based on an Inuit folktale; Amanda Hall has captured the warmth of the characters in the story, whilst also exquisitely depicting the snow-covered arctic landscape through the mediums of watercolour ink and soft pastel pencil. 


Amanda Hall has recently completed the illustrations for Jennifer Berne’s book How the Sea Came to Be, an evolutionary tale of sea. The book was published in April 2023 by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. The Chris Beetles Gallery launched this beautiful book and displayed all the remarkable artwork in a selling exhibition in April 2023.

 

Biography courtesy of Chris Beetles Gallery and the artist.