Winner of Sir Arthur Clarke Award for 'Best Written Presentation', 2005

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In the beginning...
I'm David A Hardy (Dave to my friends), and produced my first space art in 1950 at the age of 14.

Much later I discovered this was the same year as Alexei Leonov, the Russian cosmonaut/artist and Kasuaki Iwasaki, the leading Japanese astronomical artist.

I illustrated my first book ~ Suns, Myths and Men, for Patrick Moore (now Sir Patrick...) ~ in 1954 at the age of 18.

I had five days to produce eight black-and-white illustrations before joining the RAF for National Service, and tight deadlines seem to have been the story of my life ever since!

Right: David with one of his 'portals'


I worked at Cadbury's near my home in Bournville, Birmingham, UK~ literally painting chocolate boxes ~ while I learned my trade as an illustrator, then became freelance in 1965 after being asked to work on the film 2001 ~ though for various reasons I never did. (See Hardyware.)



When I started, the only space artists I knew of were Chesley Bonestell in the USA and Ralph Smith in the UK (whom I met), and of course I was influenced by both of them. In September 1996 I became President of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA), which has over 120 members world-wide. (My term ended in June 2000, but I'm still European Vice President) Please do take a look at our Web site. There's loads of information and images, and you can join from within the site.


IAAA logo

I have illustrated and produced covers for dozens (maybe hundreds) of books, both fact and fiction, including many by Patrick Moore, some by Arthur C. Clarke and Carl Sagan, all of whom own (or owned) my originals, along with Werner von Braun, Isaac Asimov and even Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones and Brian May, among many others!

In 1974 I started writing my own non-fiction books for both children and adults. I've also written a published novel, Aurora: A Child of Two Worlds(Cosmos). I've worked on SF mags (Fantasy & Science Fiction, Analog, etc.), factual mags (New Scientist, Focus, Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, etc.), movies (The Neverending Story, for example), TV (Blake's Seven, The Sky at Night, Cosmos, Horizon, etc.), computer games (Kristal, etc.), record covers (from Hawkwind to Holst's The Planets Suite), video ~ in other words, I don't like to get in a rut...

Tools Used
Which is why, after getting an Atari ST with 512K of RAM in 1985, I've worked my way up to a 27" iMac 2.8 GHz Intel Core 17 with 8 GB RAM, and Photoshop CS5 - though I still paint, using acrylics and airbrush, or oils, or whatever, when commissioned or for fun; a recent piece, 'Neighbours', was sold via e-mail to a lady in Mexico City. Prints of most of my work are available - see my Sales page.

Books which bear my name as author (or co-author) as well as illustrator include the following: Challenge of the Stars with Patrick Moore (1972/1978 as New Challenge of the Stars), which I've been delighted to find seems to have inspired quite a few of today's younger space artists, just as Chesley Bonestell's Conquest of Space inspired me: Galactic Tours (1981) with the late Bob Shaw ~ a sort of interstellar travel brochure, which led to my becoming Thomas Cook's consultant on space tourism some ten years later: and Visions of Space (1989/90), in which I collected nearly all the space artists of note at the time ~ 72 in all, many of whom I now count as my friends.

In 2001 Hardyware was published by Paper Tiger; and 2004 saw the publication in the UK and USA of a new art book with Sir Patrick Moore, entitled Futures: 50 Years in Space, which celebrates our unique half-century as author/artist team and compares our ideas about the unverse and space travel in the 50's and 70's with today's reality ~ and future possibilities. Details at link above. See also my first novel, Aurora. There is a separate, full Bibliography page, and a list of magazine covers here.



Go to the Publications page

View David's appearances on BBC TV's THE SKY AT NIGHT with Sir Patrick Moore (February, July and August 2003).


29 March 2003:"Minor Planet (13329) was named Davidhardy = 1998 SB32. Discovered 1998 Sept. 20 by Spacewatch at Kitt Peak. David A. Hardy (b. 1936) is a pioneer astronomical artist whose work has appeared in numerous books and magazines, as well as on stage and in film. . . (snip)"

The Artist in Space!
The background is my painting for the cover of Stephen Baxter's Reality Dust (PS Publishing). The bike is a Kawasaki W650; "More like a Triumph than a Triumph". I rode Triumphs in the 1960s, but never had a Bonneville, so in 2001 just had to try to recapture my youth. Great!

(Like to know the full story? WARNING: it's quite long!)

e-mail: AstroArt Tel/Fax: 0121 777 1802 (intl: +44 -0)