Wednesday 14 October 2020

New website and blog


Hi folks, just letting you know that I'll be moving my blog to my refurbished website, and no longer posting here, although this will remain an accessible archive for work pre-2020. You can also follow any news on Instagram @shauncytan

Wednesday 23 January 2019

A new exhibition featuring a cross-section of illustration from the past 20 years at Beinart Gallery in Melbourne. For more info:

Thursday 13 December 2018

Thursday 27 September 2018


Tales from the Inner City, available from late September / early October 2018 in Australia (Allen & Unwin), United States (Arthur A Levine Books), UK (Walker Studio), Canada (Tundra/Penguin Random House), The Netherlands (Querido), and very soon to be released in Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Taiwan, China, Poland and other territories. Huge, huge thanks to all publishers, translators, agents, booksellers and readers for your ongoing support and encouragement throughout the year.

Sunday 26 August 2018

Human co-workers no like cicada. Oil, 40x50cm

From CICADA, published by Hachette  July 2018 (Australia), coming soon in the UK, US and other languages: Danish, Swedish, Chinese, French, Norwegian, Italian, Polish, Czech, Dutch, German... the words may be different, but we all know the workplace.

More notes about the making of this book are now available on my website (under Picture Books). Many thanks from readers who have so enthusiastically embraced – and identified with – the plight of this little bug, a character I've been drawing and sculpting on and off for the past decade.

Sunday 15 April 2018


I have an exhibition of Lost Thing art running through May at Beinart Gallery, Brunswick Melbourne, which marks 20 years since I first sat down and began drawing and writing the rambling tale that eventually became the book and film. The show includes a selection of some of my favourite working drawings, storyboard sketches and new lost thing art, from 1998 to 2018. You can find out more about it here:

Monday 5 March 2018

Cover design, Tales from the Inner City, due October 2018 (Allen & Unwin, Walker UK, Scholastic US)

Monday 22 January 2018

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Circuit (woman with groceries), oil 20 x 15cm
You can also now follow me on Instagram @shauncytan

Thursday 11 January 2018

Thursday 14 December 2017

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Saturday 25 November 2017

Thursday 23 November 2017

People waiting at a tram stop, oil on board 20 x 15cm

Last weekend to see RADIUS at Tinning Street Presents before the works come down. Many thanks to all those who have visited and for the terrific feedback, it's been a pleasure to share this long study of the local neighbourhood with you.

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Tales from the Inner City

Moonfish (detail) oil on canvas, 150 x 100cm

A new collection of illustrated short stories will be published by Allen & Unwin in October 2018, similar in style to Tales from Outer Suburbia (2008), about the fraught relationship between humans and animals. I've been working on this project over the past five years and it's great to see it finally come together. I'll post more about it in the lead-up to its release.

Sunday 19 November 2017

First Editions Re-covered: Sotheby's, London

Some animals are more equal than others, Oil-painted resin sculpture with a re-jacketed first edition copy of Animal Farm by George Orwell (1945). 2017, approx. 40cm high.

Detail: piggy bank
Detail: Animal Farm dust-cover, acyrlic, pencil and ink on paper

First Editions Re-covered is a collection of unique first editions with original dust-jackets created by leading artists and designers. Artists chose a book they felt a strong connection to and then created a new jacket or artwork in response to it. The end result is 33 wonderful lots which will be auctioned to benefit House of Illustration.

House of Illustration is the world’s only public gallery solely dedicated to illustration and graphic arts. It is the only UK gallery commissioning new illustration work for public display and runs the only residency for illustrators and graphic artists. House of Illustration is a registered charity receiving no public funding and rely on fundraising to raise over 40% of our income each year. 

The books and their beautiful new covers will be on public display at Sotheby’s in London from Friday 8 December until the auction on Monday 11 December. They will be displayed on Sotheby’s website ( and our website ( from 10 November, and the printed auction catalogue will be available soon afterwards.

To see the works:

Some animals are more equal than others

My own choice was Animal Farm by George Orwell (1945), a book that has had an immense influence on my imagination as a writer and illustrator.  To refresh, it tells the story of Manor farm, where the animals revolt and take over, only to come undone by their own internal politics. One pig in particular, the cunning Napoleon, proves wonderfully adept and dividing the group, fermenting fear, blaming foreigners and revising historical facts. Sound familiar?

When House of Illustration located a rare first edition and sent to to me, I was amazed at how small and unassuming it was, a tiny book bound in green cloth. Small enough, I thought, to not only fit inside a dust-jacket, but a sculptural shrine of some sort. The idea of a piggy-bank for a valuable book came almost immediately, and then raised the question: what makes a book – essentially worthless printed paper – so valuable? Of course, it's the quiet truth it radiates, the very ability to undermine questions of value. Here is the statement written on the inner jacket about why this book is important to me (transcript below):

I first came across Animal Farm by accident: our mother read it to my brother and I, then about 7 and 8(!), thinking it was just another children’s book. She wanted to stop, but we begged her to continue, all the way to the bleak and strange ending. What was it about? As kids, the answer was clear: schoolyard politics in suburban West Australian. Animal Farm remains the book with the deepest subconscious influence on my own work as a storyteller, the absurd fantasy that tells us basic truths about human nature, regardless of time, place or political colour.

Blue milk carton, oil 20 x 15cm

Saturday 18 November 2017