Interview with Martin Handford
As a child Martin Handford was born in Hampstead, London, in 1956 and spent most of his childhood drawing. “My earliest influences,” he says, “were cinema epics and playing with toy soldiers. I attempted to recapture the excitement in my drawings, which started out as crowds of crude stick figures.”
As an adult Martin worked for three years in an insurance office in order to finance his degree at art college and continued to draw “what were always busy and militarily correct battle scenes”. Following art college, Martin worked as a freelance illustrator specialising in drawing crowd scenes for numerous clients.
As an artist Each Wally picture takes Martin eight weeks to draw. “As I work my way through a picture, I add Wally when I come to what I feel is a good place to hide him,” he explains. Martin describes his pictures as “full of both activity and entertainment. I have a love of situations which contain visual puns.” His own favourite Wally picture is ‘A Tremendous Song and Dance’ from Where’s Wally? In Hollywood.