Paul Kidby

Paul Kidby (born 1964) is an English artist. Many people know him best for his art based on Terry Pratchett's Discworld. He has been included on the sleeve covers since Pratchett's original illustrator, Josh Kirby, died in 2001.[1]

Early lifeEdit

Kidby was born in West London in 1964. He drew fine works during his childhood and adolescence, and left school with very few qualifications.

Later Kidby was marked as a dental technician making replacement teeth, but stopped this to become a street artist in 1986. He made artwork for a limited range of products from grocery labels to consumer based plastic kettles.


Between 1991 and 1995, Future Publishing employed Kidby and he helped design and paint more than 20 magazine covers.

In 1996 he started working for Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. Terry's Discworld art, and many other Terry type descriptions of pieces, are included in The Pratchett Portfolio (1996) and The Art of Discworld (2004). These full versions of work and some paintings previously seen in the light of theatre. He also worked and designed an illustrated The Last Hero, a Discworld "fable" and number-five bestseller in the United Kingdom,[2] his "90 beautiful illustrations" described as "augment[ing] the impact of this vividly described magical world."[3]

Kidby's art is in several cases a tribute to (or a parody of) well known paintings such as the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci,[4] Night Watch by Rembrandt (featured on the cover of Night Watch) and An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump by Joseph Wright.

In December 2007 Terry Pratchett used Kidby's website to announce he was suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's disease.[5]

In August 2016 Kidby released "Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Colouring Book" of black and white line drawings.[6] He had been designing the cover of the book in March 2016 when he heard that Pratchett had died.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

Kidby currently lives and works in Dorset.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Alison Flood (18 August 2016) "Terry Pratchett's 'artist of choice' on illustrating Discworld", The Guardian. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  2. ^ Paul Kidby, Archived March 19, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Manveet Kaur (18 December 2002). "Need to fill those stockings?". New Straits Times. Kuala Lumpur. Archived from the original on 21 September 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2014 – via HighBeam Research.
  4. ^ Kidby painted the Mona Ogg, which is on the cover of The Art of Discworld.
  5. ^ Raphael G. Satter (12 December 2007). "Author Terry Pratchett has Alzheimer's". USA Today.
  6. ^ Lisa Campbell (24 March 2016) "Terry Pratchett colouring book coming in August", The Bookseller. Retrieved 29 January 2016.

External linksEdit