Vaughan Duck

Vaughan is an illustrator and an extreme introvert. This is the perfect combination for an illustrator. His happy place is hibernating in his small studio in Adelaide, where he illustrates all sorts of books. But even grumpy bears can get tired of their own company. If you catch him as he emerges and offer him coffee and hot cross buns, you can be assured of more than a passing grunt. Given the chance, he will in-fact talk your ear off about his passion – Illustrating picture books

He is an illustrator so, naturally, he uses a lot of pictures to explain this process.

Based on ‘The Whole Book Approach’ developed by 'The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art' Vaughan encourages kids to read the pictures behind the text to discover what an illustrator does. His recent picture books celebrate nostalgic Aussie family life.

But be quick before he goes back into hibernation and starts on his next project.

Vaughan has a Bachelor of Arts (Visual Communication) which means he is qualified to be an art director at an advertising agency, but he hates advertising and loves drawing pictures. As a child, he learnt to draw by copying Peanuts characters. As a uni student, he was introduced to picture book illustration by Ron Brooks. Ron encouraged the class to enter an illustration competition. As a result, Vaughan’s first picture book The Ant Explorer was shortlisted for the Lothian Centenary Children’s Picture Book Award. That’s right! He didn’t win, so he can’t claim to be an award-winning illustrator. But he can claim to be a hugely successful illustrator working on over 300 books over a 30-year career.

It’s hard to earn a living as a picture book illustrator, so you spend most of your time doing other things. For Vaughan, this included time as a toy designer for Moose Toys and as a product designer for Décor’s range of back-to-school products. But Vaughan’s versatility as an illustrator shines in the hundreds of primary and secondary textbooks he illustrated for educational publishers.

A lot of Vaughan’s work now comes from the US where he is represented by Lemonade Illustration Agency. A little-known fact about Vaughan is that he creates step-by-step props for photography used in children’s craft books.

Short story achievements:

2017    Lydig and Shinko        Shortlisted for the Elyne Mitchell Awards.

2020    The Cerulean Rose     Shortlisted for the Goodreads SIA Murder Mystery Comp.

Future Titles

Tortoise’s Home, CKT Publishing, written by Georgie Donaghey

Published works:

Facing the Wave, Larrikin House,  2022

Written by Bec Marshallsay

Big Beach BBQ, Larrikin House, 2020

Written by Carly Taylor