Kelly Canby is an award-winning, internationally published, illustrator and author of over two dozen books for children. Kelly was born in London, England, but has lived in Australia since the age of three, which is probably around the same age she started playing with pencils and crayons, and it was probably only a few years after that that she decided playing with pencils and crayons was something she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
Canby’s second picture book The Hole Story won the prestigious 2018 Western Australian Premier’s Book Award for Writing for Children, while Littlelight was shortlisted for the same award in 2019. Rodney, The Hole Story and Littlelight have all been Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Notable books for Picture book of the year. Kelly is also well known for her illustration work on writer Jaclyn Moriarty’s Kingdoms and Empires series of books. Together they have made four books which have either won or been shortlisted for several awards.
Canby is on the judging panel for the City of Subiaco’s annual Shaun Tan Illustration Awards and Regional Advisor for The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Australia West. Over the last few years Canby’s artwork has been seen on the windows of local stores such as Dymocks, Jacksons, The Painted Teapot, Abbey & Co Hair among others, particularly around Christmas time when Canby has hand drawn Christmas themed art directly onto the shop windows.
In 2021 Subiaco Museum ran an exhibition of Canby’s work called ‘Kelly Canby – The Art of Illustration’. Canby has also run art and illustration workshops at Subiaco Library, and has been involved in the Scribblers Festival held annually at the Subiaco Art Centre. Kelly Canby lives, works and plays in Subiaco and has been a local for over fifteen years.
Kelly’s Walmsley Windows Piece
The artwork, created with ink and color pencil, consists of one large central piece costing $500 and measuring 524 x 731mm, and six smaller surrounding pieces costing $200 each and measuring 234 x 220mm.