Multifaceted British artist based in Sussex, particularly known for
his work as a writer and illustrator in children's publishing, including
two covers for the Harry Potter novels.
He attended Brighton College of Art from 1982 to 1986, where he
graduated in illustration.
In 1989 he published his first work in the UK and USA, a children's book called When the World Sleeps, written and illustrated by himself and which was runner-up in the Mother Goose Award for best debut in the sector. Between 1990 to 2008 he produced a further nine titles, including the drawing manual, The Magic of Drawing and the Little Bear series of children’s books.
See the Bibliography for the full list.
As an illustrator, he has worked on volumes by authors such as Kenneth
Grahame for Ladybird's edition of The Wind in the Willows and Gerald Durrell for the Andrex Puppy books. Other illustrated titles include works by Karen Hayles, Kathryn White, Adele Geras and Ann Jungman.
He has also received commissions to illustrate countless magazine articles, greetings cards, advertising projects and art prints.
In the two-year period 1998-1999 he designed the covers of the original British editions of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, published by Bloomsbury.
From 2002 to 2016 he exhibited at the prestigious Art in Action event near Oxford, England.
See Bibliography for further details.
As a sculptor, for many years he created large caricatures of well-known figures for satirical scenes at the famous Lewes Bonfire Night.
He has now converted this passion for sculpture towards different and new materials and subjects.
Experimenting with clay, wax and plaster he has been finding his own way, slowly but surely, into the three-dimensional world and his early work received good hospitality. The inspiration comes from nature and looking for the fantastic aspect
in the ordinary to explore the places of every day with different eyes.
In 2021 he was commissioned by Criterion films to sculpt a portrait of Tadzio for the cover of their 50th anniversary remastered edition of Lucino Visconti’s Death In Venice.
Photographer and Film-maker
In recent years, he has begun to devote time to his passions of a life in the field of photography and making films, which can be viewed on his website and on his Youtube channel 'Eaglesmirror'.
Over the past 30 years, he has developed an acclaimed series of
workshops, courses and retreats focused on the art of drawing, under the
title of 'Nature of Seeing'. Based on an exploration of the universal truth according to which we all draw that which we think we see, such sessions, honour the value of 'inner stillness' as the true source of creativity.
This nonstop journey has seen Cliff work closely with Healers, Musicians and Qigong masters and includes influences from Native American teachings.
The teachings have inspired many individuals and groups all ages, from beginners to experienced professionals, in the realisation of one's often hidden, but innate creative potential.
Inspired by the quote by W.B.Yeats, according to which “The world is
full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper”, the 'philosophy' of his explorations can be described like this:
When we draw we have the possibility to fully connect with the world around us, not just to see it and represent it on the page, but to feel it, hear it, touch it and become one with it, revealing its true essence. If we explore with our full awareness and consciousness, we find that this 'essence' is the same that resides in each of us.
With some simple drawing experiments, Cliff will lead you on a journey into the magic within yourself. All you have to do is bring an open heart and let the pencil become your wand…
'Nature of Seeing' workshops have been presented on BBC TV, in schools, universities, colleges and museums (including The British Museum) throughout the UK, as well as in Canada, Netherlands, India, Italy, Germany and Switzerland.