Colin West

“Colin West has considerable comic talent as a writer and an illustrator.” Wendy Cope for the Daily Telegraph.

Colin West was born in 1951 in Epping, Essex. He showed an early interest in drawing and was relieved to leave school at the earliest opportunity to study Art full-time. After a foundation course at Loughton College of F.E., he studied Graphic Design at Wolverhampton Polytechnic from 1969 to 1972. Here he spent much time producing prints, his favourite medium being etching. In his final year Colin became interested in children’s book illustration and realised it was this field in which he wished to work.

He gained a place at the Royal College of Art to study Illustration and gained his M.A. in 1975. At his degree show he met his future publisher, Dennis Dobson, who published Colin’s first book, a collection of his nonsense verse, the following year on his 25th birthday. Since then Colin has worked for many publishers and has written and illustrated over 60 titles. These include picture books, early readers and collections of his nonsense poetry. His stories about Monty, the dog who wears glasses, was made into an animated cartoon series for the BBC, voiced by Griff Rhys Jones, who went to the same junior school as Colin.

For many years Colin lived and worked in a house on Epping High Street which in earlier times had served as a laundry. His ever growing book collection (mainly poetry and illustrated ones) meant that a move was in order, and in 2012 together with his wife Cathie, he moved to Battle, East Sussex. Here, in a house with its own library and spectacular views, he continues to work, now often for his own amusement.

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