Leo Hartas

Leo Hartas – Designer

I am an experienced illustrator of children's and fantasy books. I am friendly, efficient and offer design and professional quality art.


My work has been published in over a dozen countries. My books The Apartment Book and Haunted Castle are regarded as children's classics. I illustrated the two middle grade series Adventure Island and Sam Silver. I also worked on the Tweenies books for BBC Worldwide. I have worked for many children's magazines including Horrible Histories and Scoop. I also enjoy illustrating fantasy and illustrated the original Dragon Warriors RPG games and the Fighting Fantasy series of game books. I also specialise in creating illustrated maps for fiction and non-fiction.

My clients include, amongst many others: Dorling Kindersley, Random House, Fickling Books, Puffin Books, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Walker Books, Orion Children's Books, Templar, Tango Books, Ilex Press, Award Publications, Parragon, Harper Collins.

I worked in-house for a year at Walker Books which gave me an inside knowledge of how the traditional publishing industry works. More recently I have been working on a series of self-published books with my co-writer, Amanda Boulter, about the adventures of a Viking boy and his dog, Little Moose and Wolfie. We have also built a personalised children's book website where customers can personalise books online and have a unique beautifully printed book sent to them. These experiences have given me an understanding of the process of self-publishing from the initial concept through to design, production, publishing, advertising and marketing.

I am fluent in traditional media, digital art and desktop publishing. I was brought up on the South coast of England and now live in Tintagel in Cornwall, of King Arthur fame.

I find inspiration in exploring the beautiful coastline and secret coves. Occasionally I also enjoy dressing up as a Dark Ages warrior and running around a field in Devon. (LARPing)

Children’s Non-Fiction
Fantasy Middle Grade Picture Books Young Adult Fantasy
  • Macmillan Children's Books
  • Master of Arts Illustration and Editorial Design Distinction
  • BA Hons Illustration 1st Class

Work experience


May, 1983 — Present


How to become an Undercover Pirate...1) Have a pirate captain as your ancient ancestor2) Find a message in a bottle and a magic gold doubloon3) Get whisked back in time to join a pirate crew4)... read more
Apartment Book

Leo Hartas

Illustrates a day in the life of an apartment building by showing activities going on in different units at various times between 7:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m.
Put yourself at the heart of the story… War is brewing between the kingdoms of Sidonia and Glorianne, a war waged for control of the territories of the New World. Galleons laden with gold ply ... read more
When the famous whistling caves fall silent and treasure goes missing from the castle on the cliffs, Scott, Jack, Emily and Drift the dog try to solve the mystery.
Little Moose and his dog Wolfie are having fun and loving life!This unique book contains over 45 delightful black and white drawings and inspirational sayings that will appeal to everyone from... read more
In this heart-warming tale, a lost little mouse finds love, friendship and family for Christmas. A lovely rhyming story with beautiful illustrations and a classic feel. The story begins ... re... read more
Haunted Castle

Leo Hartas

Young readers are in for the fright of their lives as they help Jodie and Johnny search for their Uncle Barnaby in the monster-filled halls of Grizzlemyst Castle, but only one symbol path lead... read more

Leo has 11 reviews





Robert V.

Robert V.

Apr, 2024

I needed detailed ships for my YA Fantasy sequel, Dolphins in the Forest. Leo responded with amazing illustrations and his turnaround time was super fast. I would recommend to all!
Ranille M.

Ranille M.

Apr, 2024

Leo has been absolutely wonderful. He was the first to respond to my query and has been so prompt to respond to any messages and requests throughout the whole process. He has been completely professional, kind, down to earth, and easy to work with. His artistry is exactly what we were looking for and we are so pleased with the finished product. I would absolutely recommend him without any h...
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Lauren B.

Lauren B.

Apr, 2024

So glad I worked with Leo. He is so accommodating and kind, and the result was professional, high-quality work. I've already hired him for the next project!
Susan B.

Susan B.

Mar, 2024

Leo is a pleasure to work with. As a newby at hiring an illustrator, I found him patient, kind and an excellent communicator. When I had changes to one of his illustrations, he was the consumate professional, making the changes cheerfully and quickly. I am very happy with the results!
Lauren T.

Lauren T.

Jan, 2024

Leo was detailed and professional and extremely patient as he worked on both the covers and interior design for my book. I am very pleased with the look of all of my books and the beautiful illustrations Leo created for them.

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