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Inside the Secret Sketchbooks of @graemebase

For more from Graeme’s previously-unseen library of sketches, follow @graemebase on Instagram.

If these images of mechanical, organic and otherwordly creatures feel familiar, it could be because they come from the imagination of beloved children’s book illustrator Graeme Base (@graemebase).

"I’ve been writing and illustrating picture books for something like 30 years, but for every finished piece there are dozens of sketches that have never seen the light of day," he explains. The Australian artist—perhaps best known for the 1986 alphabet book Animalia (1986)—uses his Instagram account to share this trove of beautiful, unpublished pieces.

"The recurring themes in my art are nature and fantasy with whimsical overtones," he says. "I’m slightly shocked to find myself well into my fifties now, but inside the 11-year-old schoolboy is alive and kicking."