Martin Springett

Martin Springett is an author, illustrator, and musician. He has performed in musical groups in Canada, England, and Europe, and he has worked as a freelance illustrator, beginning in the 1970s.

Recordings include The Gardening Club (1983) and (with band Freefall) Rough Magic and Bright Weaving.

LifeEdit

Born in Crayford, Kent, England, in 1947, Springett grew up in Appledore, where his family ran the local pub. He took up the guitar in his teens and studied art for two semesters at the Brassey School of Art in Hastings, Sussex.

 
Martin with baritone guitar

Springett emigrated to the West Coast of Canada in 1965, and pursued illustration, designing posters, doing work for the Uvic Martlett, and creating an iconic bookmark for Munro's Bookstore.  He also formed two bands, The Iliad and Rain, then moved to Vancouver and was hired as a songwriter for Studio 3 where he worked with  Robbie King, Wayne Kozak, Duris Maxwell, Ann Mortifee, Tom Northcott, Howie Vickers and others, and recorded an album of Lord of the Rings songs which was not released for copyright reasons.

In 1973 he returned to the UK to pursue music and spent time in Germany and touring through Europe with his band Gateway Driver with Rob Burns, John Darnborough, Thomas Kretchmer (Carola Kretschmer), and Jim McGillivray. While in London Martin illustrated and designed record covers for Columbia records, including ones for Stravinsky's Firebird Suite, Ian Hunter, and an interior for Argent's Circus album. He also worked for the children's magazine Look and Learn, a favourite of his growing up.

Upon his return to Canada's west coast, Springett found illustration work with the publisher, Douglas and McIntyre, and with Potlatch's Canadian Children's Annual, where he produced comic strips and posters. In 1978 he moved to Toronto, where he did editorial art for the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and various magazines, including Heavy Metal and On Spec, and worked on album covers for Coney Hatch (1982) and Heads in the Sky (1983). He released his own album, “The Gardening Club”, in 1983.

In 1984 he was commissioned to illustrate the cover of “The Summer Tree” by Guy Gavriel Kay. This and the subsequent volumes of The Fionavar Tapestry Trilogy were published around the world along with Martin’s covers.Martin continued his interest in fantasy with illustrations for “The Traveller In Black” by John Brunner and in  1990 he illustrated his first children's book, “Mei Ming and the Dragon’s Daughter” written by Lydia Bailey. Over the years he continued to produce illustrations and covers for many children's and young adult titles, taught courses at Sheridan, and visited schools and libraries across Canada leading presentations and workshops on creating an illustrated book. Martin has been nominated for various awards, including the Governor General's Award for Illustration and has won the Blue Spruce Award, Shining Willow Award, Aurora Award For Excellence in Fantasy Art, two Silver Awards from the Art Directors Club of Toronto and Best Classical Record Cover of The Year Award (UK) among others.

Continuing his work within the fantasy genre, Springett illustrated the covers for Caitlin Sweet's Telling of Stars in 2002 and Pattern Scars in 2011, and Heather Dale's songbook, Legends of Arthur in 2003. He did album covers for David Lanz's Christmas album (2014) and Rick Wakeman's Christmas album (2017), and continues his musical interests with his band, The Gardening Club, which was first formed in 1983 and has produced several CDs of Martin's songs along with contributions from his co-musicians, currently Norm McPherson, Kevin Laliberte, Drew Birston and Sari Alesh.

Martin Springett lives in Toronto, Ontario with his wife Hilary. Their daughters, Rebecca, and Miriam also live in Toronto.

Highlights
In 1971 Martin designed the iconic bookmark for Monro's Bookstore in Victoria, BC. It is still in use today.
 
Monro's Bookmark
In 1984 Martin was commissioned to illustrate the cover of “The Summer Tree” by Guy Gavriel Kay. This and the subsequent volumes of The Fionavar Tapestry Trilogy were published around the world along with Martin’s covers.
 
The Summer Tree
25 Years of Children's Book Illustration
 
Books for Children
Martin Springett's first album, released in 1983, rediscovered for a new audience in 2016!

https://nowtoronto.com/music/features/martin-springett-s-the-gardening-club/


'Just a gorgeous inimitable eternal album. An album that deserves to live forever'. Julian Ryan - Discogs.com

 
Gardening Club LP

WorkEdit

Art

SELF-WRITTEN ILLUSTRATED BOOKS

  • Jousting with Jesters: An ABC for the Younger Dragon, Orca Book Publishers (Custer, WA), 2006.
  • Breakfast on a Dragon's Tail, and Other Book Bites, Fitzhenry & Whiteside (Markham, Ontario, Canada), 2011.
  • Kate and Pippin: An Unlikely Love Story, photographs by Isobel Springett, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2012.

BOOKS ILLUSTRATED FOR OTHER AUTHORS

  • Nicholas Stuart Gray, The Sorcerer's Apprentices, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1965. (With Paul McCusker) Paul Kropp, Dirt Bike, EMC Pub. (St. Paul, MN), 1982.
  • John Brunner, The Compleat Traveller in Black, Bluejay Books (New York, NY), 1986.
  • Lydia Bailey, Mei Ming and the Dragon's Daughter: A Chinese Folktale, North Winds Press (Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada), 1990.
  • John Strachan Anderson, Witch What and the Wye of Time, Napoleon Publishing (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1992.
  • Welwyn Katz, Come like Shadows, Coteau Books (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), 1993.
  • Richard Thompson, Who, Orca Book Publishers (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada), 1993.
  • Yoshiko Uchida, reteller, The Wise Old Woman, Margaret K. McElderry Books Maxwell Macmillan International (New York, NY), 1994.
  • Julie Lawson, Too Many Suns, Stoddart (Buffalo, NY), 1996.
  • Karleen Bradford, Dragonfire, HarperCollins (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1997.
  • Mary Alice Downie, Bright Paddles, Fitzhenry & Whiteside (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1999.
  • Richard Thompson, The Follower, Fitzhenry & Whiteside (Markham, Ontario, Canada), 2000.
  • Richard Thompson, The Night Walker, Fitzhenry & Whiteside (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2003.
  • Caitlin Sweet, The Pattern Scars, ChiZine Publications (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2011.

Music

Awards

  • ‘KATE AND PIPPIN’ Winner of the Blue Spruce Award 2013 Ontario

Winner of the Shining Willow Award 2013 Saskatchewan

Winner of the Colorado Children’s Book Award

Nominated for the Norma Fleck Canadian Children’s Non Fiction Award

Nominated for the 2013 Information Book Award

  • ‘BREAKFAST ON A DRAGON’S TAIL’ Winner of a Storytelling World Award. 2013.
  • “JOUSTING WITH JESTERS” An Ontario Library Association “Best Bet” designation for 2006-2007
  • “JOUSTING WITH JESTERS” nominated for an Aurora Award 2007
  • Winner of the 2007 Aurora Award for Artistic Achievement
  • Nominated for 2006 Aurora Award for Artistic Achievement in the S F and Fantasy field
  • Winner of the 2005 Aurora Award for Artistic Achievement in the S F and Fantasy field
  • Winner of the 2003 Ruth Schwartz Award for “THE NIGHT WALKER” Illustration
  • Nominated for the 2003 Shining Willow Award, Saskatchewan for “THE NIGHT WALKER”
  • Runner up for the I O D E Book Award, 2002, for “THE FOLLOWER”
  • 2001 Our Choice Award from the Canadian Children's Book Centre for “THE FOLLOWER”
  • 1996 Our Choice Award from the Canadian Children's Book Centre for “TOO MANY SUNS”
  • Nominated for the 1994 Governor General's Award in Children's Literature in Illustration for “WHO”
  • 1994 Our Choice Award from the Canadian Children's Book Centre for “WHO”
  • Winner of the 1992 Aurora Award for Artistic Achievement in the S F and Fantasy Field
  • 1991 Notable Book Award from the Canadian Library Association for “MEI MING AND THE DRAGONS DAUGHTER”
  • Silver Award from the Art Directors Club of Toronto 1984
  • Best Classical Record Cover of the Year Award 1983 ( U K )

ReferencesEdit


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