Ian Falconer

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Ian Woodward Falconer (born August 25, 1959)[1] is an American illustrator, children's book author, and costume and set designer for the theater. He has created 30 covers for The New Yorker as well as other publications. Falconer is best known for the Olivia series, which features a young pig and her many adventures, which was inspired by the birth of his first niece and his desire to give her a special "first" present. Born in Ridgefield, Connecticut, Mr. Falconer, who graduated from The Cambridge School of Weston, studied art history at New York University and painting at Parsons School of Design and Otis Art Institute.

Children's books[edit]

In the Olivia series:

  • Olivia, 2000 - winner of 2001 Caldecott Honor
  • Olivia Saves the Circus, 2001 - 2002 Booksense Illustrated Children's Book of the Year
  • Olivia's Opposites, 2002
  • Olivia Counts, 2002
  • Olivia...and the Missing Toy, 2003
  • Teatro Olivia, 2004
  • Olivia Forms a Band, 2006 - 2006 Child Magazine's Best Children's Book Award
  • Dream Big (starring Olivia), 2006
  • Olivia Helps with Christmas, 2007 - 2008 Falconer won the Illustrator of the Year in the Children's Choice Book Awards for this title
  • Olivia Goes to Venice, 2010
  • Olivia and the Fairy Princesses, 2012
  • Olivia the Spy, 2017


  • Caldecott Honor for Olivia, 2000
  • Parent's Choice 2000, Gold Award Winner
  • Nick Jr. Best Book of 2001
  • ALA Notable Children's Books 2000 & 2001
  • Child's Best Book of 2001
  • Los Angeles Times Best Books of 2000 & 2001
  • Publishers Weekly, Best Books of 2000 & 2001
  • BookSense Illustrated Children's Book of the Year for Olivia Saves the Circus, 2002
  • Voted "Favorite Illustrator" for Olivia Helps with Christmas by over 50,000 children at the Children's Choice Book Awards, 2008

Theater designs[edit]

Ian Falconer is active in the world of theater design. He teamed up with artist David Hockney and together they collaborated on the costume designs for the Los Angeles Opera production of Tristan and Isolde (1987); he served as co-designer (sets and costumes) with Mr. Hockney on the Lyric Opera's production of Turandot (1992); and designed the costumes for The Royal Opera's production of Die Frau Ohne Schatten at Covent Garden. In 1996, Mr. Falconer designed the sets for The Atlantic Theater's production of The Santaland Diaries, written by David Sedaris. In January 2008, Mr. Falconer completed the set design and oversaw the installation for the operetta Veronique at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris. The sets were widely hailed for their use of classic stage sets married with complex moving film images that impressed audiences with innovative theatrical optical illusions.

For the New York City Ballet, Mr. Falconer designed scenery and costumes for Scènes de Ballet (1999), and Variations Sérieuses (2001), which were both choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. In 1999, he designed scenery and costumes for the Boston Ballet's production of Firebird, which was also choreographed by Mr. Wheeldon. In 2003, Falconer designed sets and costumes for Stravinsky's Jeu de Cartes, which was choreographed by Peter Martins.

Starting with the 2015 season, the Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker will feature costumes and sets designed by Mr. Falconer.

Personal Life[edit]

Ian Falconer is openly gay.[2][3] Falconer's boyfriends have included the designer and filmmaker Tom Ford[4][5] and the artist David Hockney.[6] Ford has said in interviews that he and Falconer are still good friends; decades after their breakup, Ford lent Falconer's last name to the title character of his first movie as a director, A Single Man[7] (in the source novel the character originally had only had a first name).


[8] [9]

  1. ^ Library of Congress Authorities cites for full name and date of birth Cataloging in Publication data provided in 2000 [1]. Retrieved 2015-09-28.
  2. ^ "'StageStruck' Exhibit Featuring Gay and Lesbian Broadway Design Talent Begins Nov. 14" by Adam Hetrick, Playbill Magazine, November 14, 2007, http://www.playbill.com/article/stagestruck-exhibit-featuring-gay-and-lesbian-broadway-design-talent-begins-nov-14-com-145399
  3. ^ "He's a Pig Success: Illustrator Ian Falconer Dazzles Children with His Best-Selling Books Starring Olivia the Pig" by Michael Glitz, The Advocate, October 14, 2003, p. 82: "Unlike children's book authors of previous generations, Falconer has always been out."
  4. ^ "Tom Ford, The Marquis de Sex" by Michael Hainey, GQ, October 31, 2004, https://www.gq.com/story/tom-ford-gucci-designer-book
  5. ^ "The Mourning After" by Peter Bowen, Filmmaker, http://filmmakermagazine.com/archives/issues/winter2010/a-single-man.php
  6. ^ "Tom Ford: Immaculate Conception" by Mick Brown January 18, 2010, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/7020492/Tom-Ford-Immaculate-Conception.html
  7. ^ "Tom Ford Tells All" The Advocate, November 9, 2009, https://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/film/2009/11/09/visionary-tom-ford
  8. ^ "Ian Falconer". Kidsreads. Retrieved 2015-09-26.
  9. ^ Minzesheimer, Bob (October 6, 2003). "Oink if you love 'Olivia'". USA Today (usatoday.com). Retrieved 2015-09-26.

External links[edit]