Illustrator Toby Allen’s whole life has been about drawing and he’s had a pen in his hand since he can remember. With a zest for the fantastic and an ability to create worlds no one has ever seen, he brings new life to children’s books.
As the illustrator, otherwise dubbed "The Grand Architect," Toby helps craft the worlds and characters that you see in the Land of… Children’s Books®. Working hand in hand with Katie, he offers ideas, support and motivation in a visual format to help create the unique representation of each book's theme. This collaboration results in the fantastic characters and lands you now see.
“It’s a joy to help create these unique worlds and fill them full of interesting and sometimes bizarre characters,” says Toby. “Character and concept design is my passion and thankfully each book calls for a lot of that. I have loads of creative freedom in how I interpret Katie's words and it feels great to work on projects with such positive and helpful messages. And working with Katie is a big part of the fun.”
Toby believes these books are important for readers young and old. They help remind us about the simple things we often forget; little things that can make for a friendlier and more hospitable community. He knows that these lands can also help on a personal level, building confidence and self-awareness. Plus, with Toby’s illustrations, they are also beautiful to look at and a joy to read!
Toby holds a BA Honors Degree in Illustration from Plymouth College of Art located in Plymouth, England. He has pursued a creative education since high school, with that pen always in hand. Since he has started working professionally, he always takes the opportunity to learn a new skill along the way.
Other works by Toby include “Real Monsters,” his physical representations of mental illnesses aimed at educating and reducing stigma surrounding mental health issues. He also illustrated Charlie's Choices, a children's book that aids selectively mute children and their parents. Find out more at Toby’s website: http://zestydoesthings.tumblr.com/