Ben Newman is a freelance Illustrator based in Hastings, UK. He is a fan of animals and likes both cats and dogs as can be seen in his art. His most famous character is Professor Astro Cat.
Ben’s art features a distinct aesthetic fusing bold shapes, bright colours and playful characters being described as ‘bauhaus fuzzy felt.’ He has produced work for a large range of clients, and outside of commercial work his practice extends into worldwide exhibitions, paintings and three-dimensional collaborations. He currently spends most of his time on the ‘Professor Astro Cat’ children’s books. Ben also work as a freelance artist and lectures on illustration at various universities and conferences in the UK and Europe.
The Professor Astro Cat concept was originally created by Ben, backed up with scientific know-how provided by his friend and quantum physicist, Dr Dominic Walliman. Professor Astro Cat features in several educational books for children about science and space. He even has his own app for children to learn about the solar systems.
This character design works well for children’s books with is warm, soft and fuzzy feeling. Ben uses simple shapes, soft lines and pastel colours that matches well with the educational illustrations shown throughout the book, illustrative diagrams such as solar system, atoms and other scientific symbols. The Professor Astro cat character incorporates sciency and space symbols into his various outfits and looks too.
Ben was inspired to create a space book after seeing the dull offerings in the bookshop where he once worked, and by “the sense of fascination and wonder” in the illustration-heavy books produced before man walked on the moon. Ben worked with his physicist friend Dominic Walliman to create Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, and spoke about the challenges of making something both scientifically robust and simple enough for his target audience. Borrowing the four-colour print process from the space books of old, his became a huge hit and has been translated into nine languages.
quote taken from It’s Nice That