David Gardner's middle-grade picture book The Harvey Milk Story (Two Lives Publishing) is enjoying great renewed interest this year with the release of the Sean Penn film MILK and its flurry of awards.
David knew he wanted to be an illustrator at the age of seven when he won first place in the Delano Elementary “Clean up, Paint up, Fix up” poster contest. After graduating from Northwestern University, he worked as a touring puppeteer for Vagabond Marionettes. While studying at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, his work was chosen for the student exhibition by the Society of Illustrators in New York City.
He began his professional career working as a background artist and designer for Calabash Animation, whose clients include Lucky Charms and Trix. Since then, he has worked for Walt Disney Productions and Universal Pictures, designing for films such as Beauty and the Beast and Hunchback of Notre Dame. During this time, he studied with Marla Frazee at the Art Center College of Design and with Deborah Norse Lattimore at UCLA. In 1995, he pursued his love for children’s books with Alfred Publishing, illustrating Books 1 and 2 of the Time Traveler’s Guide to Music History. This led to various magazine and educational assignments for Cricket, Cicada, Zaner-Bloser, Harcourt.
David especially enjoyed his most recent project for Harcourt/Achieve: A Ship’s Boy, about the Jamestown settlement in 1607. He loves to illustrate realistic and historical subjects with a touch of whimsy. He would like to create artwork for the educational market and is developing several projects for the trade picture book market as a writer/illustrator.
A longtime member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, he lives in Santa Fe with his life partner and is currently seeking representation and fun, interesting projects.
Member since 1990
Region: New Mexico
Published In Children's Market:
Available for Speaking Engagements?