Shaun Tan grew up in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia. In school, he became known as the ‘good drawer’ which partly compensated for always being the shortest kid in every class.
Shaun began drawing and painting images for science fiction and horror stories in small-press magazines as a teenager, and has since become best known for illustrated books that deal with social, political and historical subjects through surreal, dream-like imagery.
His unique style translates well into film, with Tan providing concept artwork for the movie WALL-E. He also wrote and directed the short film The Lost Thing, from his book of the same name. The Lost Thing won the 2011 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. In the same year, he received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, a prestigious international prize for children’s and young adult literature.