Paul Kidby

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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 life[edit]

Kidby was born in West London in 1964. He drew a lot during his childhood and adolescence, but left school with few qualifications to his name.

Later Kidby was trained as a dental technician making false teeth, but abandoned this to become a freelance artist in 1986. He produced artwork for a variety of products ranging from video film sleeves to computer game packaging.


Between 1991 and 1995, Future Publishing employed him and he designed and painted more than 200 magazine covers.

In 1995 he started working exclusively for Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. His Discworld art, and many descriptions of the pieces, are included in The Pratchett Portfolio (1996) and The Art of Discworld (2004). These showcase full versions of work and some paintings previously unseen. He also illustrated The Last Hero, a Discworld "fable" and number-one 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 life[edit]

Kidby currently lives and works in Dorset, England.[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 links[edit]