Ben galbraith

“I Spy” Annual 2

I grew up at Makorori Beach on New Zealand’s East Coast. As a kid, I spent lots of time playing in the rock pools, snorkelling, fishing, and surfing. Looking back, it’s no wonder the ocean plays a strong hand in my work.

My family are creative. Growing up, our friends were artists, school teachers, and carpenters. When I was younger, I loved Roald Dahl. My favourite stories were James and the Giant PeachDanny, the Champion of the World, and The Twits. I also loved Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series and The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis.

Over the years, I’ve done illustration for everything from wine labels to kids’ picture books to surf-wear to interactive websites. I use water colours, oil paints, lino cuts, found objects, and photography, then I digitally piece it all together while trying to retain a sense of whimsy and the hand-made.

I have a Bachelor of Design from Massey University, Wellington. I have illustrated several children’s books, including Fandango Stew and The Three Fishing Brothers Gruff, which won Best First Book 2007 in the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

I currently live in Sydney, Australia, where I work as a graphic designer (mostly designing wine labels). I take on the occasional illustration commission in my spare time.