Simon Brooksby Drew (born 1952)
Simon Drew has combined his zoological training, his skill as a draughtsman, and his inventive approach to languages to create a unique and highly popular comic art.
Simon Drew was born in Reading on 9 October 1952, and was educated locally at Bradfield College, Berkshire. After reading Zoology at Exeter University from 1971 to 1974, he trained as a teacher at Reading University and taught for five years at Manhood High Comprehensive School in Selsey, West Sussex. In 1981, he established his own gallery in Dartmouth for the sale of illustrations, paintings and the work of studio potters, which – since 1985 – has been short-listed by the British Crafts Council for its high standards.
A Book of Bestial Nonsense appeared in 1986 and set the tone for a series of books that marry delightful images of mainly wildlife subjects with quirky, punning captions.
Simon Drew’s first exhibition at Chris Beetles Gallery was held in 1987 and his illustrations have been a regular feature in the annual Illustrators exhibition ever since. He has held solo exhibitions across the UK, as well as in the United States in Cape Cod and Chicago.
He has regularly produced work for Friends of the Earth, including posters and stage designs. In 2000, Simon was commissioned to make designs and murals for the walls of a restaurant in the Millennium Dome. In 2001, he produced a mug design for Alan Titchmarsh products, which expanded the following year to include a wide range of gardening related items. In 2012, Simon was commissioned to produce a large quadtych for the drawing room of the National Trust house, Cotehele, in Cornwall, representing a visit of King George and his wife to Cotehele. The following year, he produced a large Spot drawing for the Spring edition of The Wall Street Journal.
The latest of Simon Drew’s many books, The Philosophy of Food, was published in 2017.
For each of the last eight years, Simon has produced the 'Spot Puzzle' in the Christmas issue of 'The Spectator'. In 2020, he produced the double page 'Lockdown Conundrum' for the Daily Mail and two more of The Spectator.