David A. Hardy
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David A. Hardy
Space Artist

David and Grandchildren

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. This date is to be celebrated in a new book, Futures ~ see below.

I had five days to produce eight black-and-white illustrations before joining the RAF for National Service, which seems to have been the story of my life ever since! (In April 2002, at its 45th Anniversary celebration, I discovered that it was this book which led to The Sky at Night in 1957.) 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 my book Hardyware for details!).

When I started, the only space artists I knew of were Chesley Bonestell in the USA and R.A.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 well over 120 members world-wide. (My term ended in June 2000, but I'm now European Vice Prez.) In December 2001 I was honoured by being presented with the 'Lucien Rudaux Memorial Award' for service to space art. Please do take a look at our Web site. There's loads of information and images, and you can join from within the site, whether an artist or collector etc.

I have illustrated and produced covers for dozens of books, both fact and fiction, including many by Patrick Moore, some by Arthur C. Clarke and the late Carl Sagan, all of whom own (or owned) my originals, along with Wernher von Braun, Isaac Asimov and even Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, among many others! In 1974 I started writing my own non-fiction books for both children and adults. I've also written a novel, Aurora. I've worked on SF mags (Fantasy & Science Fiction, Analog, etc.), factual mags (New Scientist, Focus, Astronomy Now, etc.), movies (e.g..The Neverending Story), 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 PowerMac G5 2 GHz, and now do the majority of my art using Photoshop CS2~ though I still paint, using acrylics and airbrush, or oils, or whatever, when asked or for fun; one of my recent pieces is 'Neighbours', which I sold via e-mail to a lady in Mexico City.

Of the books which bear my name as author (or co-author) as well as illustrator, the ones of which I'm most proud are 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. Next, Hardyware was released in 2001.  My book with Patrick Moore, FUTURES: 50 YEARS IN SPACE, was published in 2004, was nominated for a Hugo and won the Sir Arthur Clarke Award. It is almost out of print, but a few copies, signed by both of us, are still available from my website. And in October 2006 a paperback edition is due out from AAPPL (Sterling in USA), re-titled: 50 YEARS IN SPACE (What We Thought then. . . What We Know Now). See also my first novel, Aurora.

David's appearances on BBC TV's THE SKY AT NIGHT with Sir Patrick Moore (February, July and August 2003) are online here: The Sky at Night.

STOP PRESS! 29 March 2003:"Minor Planet (13329) 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!



Artwork by David Hardy

Exploring Mars. Whether or not President Bush's promise to put human on Mars within the next 15-20 years bears fruit, it will happen some time in the future. Here we see two astronauts with their Mars Rover, equipped with grappling arms; this can travel over a variety of terrains including rock fields and dunes, as seen here.

From book Futures


This lunar base was painted for The Newsround Book of Space, which in 1992 was voted 'Book of the Year' by children on BBC television. This base is constructed of cylindrical modules also to be used to build the 'Freedom' space station in Earth-orbit.

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