I'm David A Hardy (Dave to my friends), and produced my first
space art in 1950 at the age of 14.
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
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
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...
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
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
consultant on space tourism some ten years later: and
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
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,
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)"
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.
Artwork by David Hardy
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
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.