Ian Woodward Falconer (born August 25, 1959) is an American author and illustrator of children's books, and a designer of sets and costumes for the theater. He has created 30 covers for The New Yorker as well as other publications. Falconer wrote and illustrated the Olivia series of children's books, chronicling the adventures of a young pig, a series initially conceived as a Christmas gift for his young niece. Born in Ridgefield, Connecticut, Falconer graduated from The Cambridge School of Weston, studied art history at New York University, and studied painting at Parsons School of Design and the Otis Art Institute.
Falconer is active in the world of theater design. In 1987, he assisted the artist David Hockney with the costume designs for the Los Angeles Opera's production of Richard Wagner's Tristan and Isolde, and in 1992, assisted Hockney with the Chicago Lyric Opera's production of Pucinni's Turandot. In 1992, Falconer designed the costumes (Hockney designed the sets) for The Royal Opera's production of Richard Strauss's Die Frau Ohne Schatten at Covent Garden.
In 1996, Falconer designed the set for The Atlantic Theater's production of The Santaland Diaries, written by David Sedaris. Of this, the theater critic for The New York Times, Ben Brantley, wrote, "The cartoon cutout set by Ian Falconer looks totally chic in its monochromatic grayness."
In 1999, Falconer designed scenery and costumes for the Boston Ballet's production of Firebird, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. That same year, he designed the sets for Igor Stravinsky's Scènes de Ballet, and in 2001, the sets and costumes for Felix Mendelssohn's Variations Sérieuses, both choreographed for the New York City Ballet by Wheeldon. In 2002, Falconer designed the sets and costumes for Stravinsky's Jeu de Cartes, choreographed for the New York City Ballet by Peter Martins.
In 2008, Falconer designed the sets and oversaw the installation for the operetta Veronique at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. The critic Francis Carlin noted that, "...Ian Falconer’s clever play-off between background film and lavish sets climaxes in a stunning society ball."
Starting with the 2015 season, the Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker features costumes and sets designed by Falconer.
Falconer is openly gay. According to the designer and filmmaker Tom Ford, Falconer's former boyfriends include the artist David Hockney, and Ford himself. Ford has said in interviews that he and Falconer are still good friends. Decades after their breakup, Ford used Falconer's surname for the title character of A Single Man, his 2009 film (a film based on Christopher Isherwood's novel, in which the title character has no surname).
In the Olivia series:
- Olivia (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2000).
- Olivia Saves the Circus (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2001) - winner of the 2002 Booksense Illustrated Children's Book of the Year.
- Olivia's Opposites (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2002)
- Olivia Counts (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2002)
- Olivia...and the Missing Toy (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2003).
- Teatro Olivia (New York: Rizzoli Universe Promotional Books, 2004).
- Olivia Forms a Band (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2006) - winner of the 2006 Child Magazine's Best Children's Book Award.
- Dream Big (starring Olivia) (New York: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2006).
- Olivia Helps with Christmas (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2007) - winner of the 2008 Illustrator of the Year in the Children's Choice Book Awards)
- Olivia Goes to Venice (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2010).
- Olivia and the Fairy Princesses (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2012).
- Olivia's ABC (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2014).
- Olivia the Spy (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers , 2017).
- Caldecott Honor for Olivia, 2000
- Parents' Choice 2000, Gold Award Winner
- Nick Jr. Books, Best Book of 2001
- American Library Association, Notable Children's Books of 2001, for Olivia.
- Child's Best Book of 2001
- Los Angeles Times Best Books of 2000 & 2001
- Publishers Weekly, Best Books of 2000 & 2001
- American Library Association, Notable Children's Books of 2002, for Olivia Saves the Circus.
- BookSense Illustrated Children's Book of the Year, 2002, for Olivia Saves the Circus.
- Voted "Favorite Illustrator" for Olivia Helps with Christmas by over 50,000 children at the Children's Choice Book Awards, 2008
- Library of Congress Authorities cites for full name and date of birth Cataloging in Publication data provided in 2000 . Retrieved 2015-09-28.
- Edward Rothstein, "For a new 'Turandot,' Sets by Hockney," The New York Times, January 4, 1992.
- John Rockwell, "The Talk of London," The New York Times, November 30, 1992.
- Ben Brantley, "Reluctant Elf Adrift in Macy's Yule," The New York Times, November 8, 1996.
- John Leland, "At Home with Ian Falconer," The New York Times, December 6, 2001.
- Francis Carlin, "Véronique, Châtelet, Paris," Financial Times, January 24, 2008.
- "'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
- Giltz, Michael (October 14, 2003). "He's a pig success: Illustrator Ian Falconer dazzles children with his best-selling books starring Olivia the pig". The Advocate. p. 82. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
Unlike children's book authors of previous generations, Falconer has always been out.Alt URL
- "Tom Ford: Immaculate Conception" by Mick Brown January 18, 2010, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/7020492/Tom-Ford-Immaculate-Conception.html
- "Tom Ford, The Marquis de Sex" by Michael Hainey, GQ, October 31, 2004, https://www.gq.com/story/tom-ford-gucci-designer-book
- "The Mourning After" by Peter Bowen, Filmmaker, http://filmmakermagazine.com/archives/issues/winter2010/a-single-man.php
- "Tom Ford Tells All" The Advocate, November 9, 2009, https://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/film/2009/11/09/visionary-tom-ford
- "Ian Falconer". Kidsreads. Retrieved 2015-09-26.
- Minzesheimer, Bob (October 6, 2003). "Oink if you love 'Olivia'". USA Today (usatoday.com). Retrieved 2015-09-26.