Gus Gordon

Andrew Daddo

Gus Gordon is an illustrator and sometime author. He lives with his wife and three kids on the Northern beaches of Sydney. It can get very glarey. Despite this, Gus has illustrated over 60 books for children.

Gus grew up on a farm in northern NSW and, after leaving school, worked on cattle stations all over Australia before deciding to pursue a drawing career. He moved to Sydney and studied at the Julian Ashton School of Art. He illustrated his first children’s book, The Trouble with Parents by Dianne Bates in 1996 and has since illustrated many books for many publishers. Some of these books include; The ‘S’ Word by James Roy, To The Moon and Back by Jackie French, The Dirt Experiment and The Joke Trap by Richard Glover, the ‘So Series’ by J A Mawter, various ‘Aussie Bites and Nibbles’ including Ruff and Tumble by Mary Small, Born to Bake by Phillip Gwynne, Sing, Pepi Sing by Jen Storer and A Home For Gnomes by Margaret Clark. His latest books are;ABC’s Sing 2008!The Undys; a series of books by Michael Wagner and The Baked Bean Bandit by Simon Mitchell.

Gus also does a bit of writing. His first book was a picture book called A Day With Noodles, released in 2008. Gus then created a wonderful picture book about a chicken named Wendy called, funnily enough, Wendy. This was released in August 2009.

Herman & Rosie was an honour book in the Picture Book category of the 2013 CBCA  Awards, and was the chosen title for Read for Australia 2013, read in schools, libraries and homes across Australia on Wednesday 31 July 2013.

In 2016 Gus illustrated My Life and Other Exploding Chickens by Tristan Banks. This is the fourth book in the semi-autobiographical My Life Series about Tom Weekly and asks all of life’s big questions… ‘Have you ever done a runner from the dentist? Are you petrified of clowns? And have you come up with genius ways to never do homework again?’ 

Written and illustrated by Gus in the same year was Somewhere Else. A story about a duck called George who never wants to leave his home, until one of his friends manages to find a way to get George to open up as to why.

Gus’s most recent picture book, The Catawampus Cat, is expected to be published on the 21st of March of 2017. It is a tale about a cat that sees the world from an unusual point of view.

Gus has visited over 800 hundred schools around Australia speaking to kids about illustration, humor and visual literacy. In his workshops, he uses a number of techniques and exercises to show students the various aspects of illustration simply and effectively. They learn tips and tricks, how to draw faces, expressions, heads, bodies and animals. There is lots of student interaction and each session is fresh and entertaining.

Gus also speaks about the process of writing and illustrating a picture book, believing that it is important for kids to understand what happens behind the scenes so they can better appreciate the final product.

When Gus is not writing or drawing he’s usually at the beach doing stuff you do at beaches like surfing, chasing seagulls with his kids or digging the biggest hole on the eastern seaboard. As hard as he has tried, Gus has never caught a seagull.

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