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. This experience has given me a deep 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
  • 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) When you get home DON'T TELL ANYONE. Remember - you're undercover!A... read more
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 the seas, and in their wake sail pirates and privateers eager for pl... 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 toddlers to Zen masters. It's a perfect book to share with young ch... 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 ... read on ...Twas the night before ChristmasAnd all through the houseWas... read more
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 leads to Barnaby, the others to ghouls, drudges, mutants, and other scar... read more

Leo has 5 reviews





Kevin K.

Kevin K.

Feb, 2021

Leo is a wonderful artist. He's quick to respond and delivers on time. He's very patient and willing to create multiple drafts until the final draft is just how you like it.
Patrick B.

Patrick B.

Oct, 2020

Some times you get lucky first time out, and this was certainly the case for me when it came to finding an amazing illustrator. Every picture that Leo created brought life into the stories characters, as well as plenty of laughs and beaming smiles to those who saw them. Leo is not only professional he is generous with his advice and knowledge which made things so much easier for me. He's an inc...
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Penny B.

Penny B.

Jul, 2020

Leo was awesome to work with. He offered great guidance during the process and his work was just beautiful! He really brought the story to life and captured exactly the look and feel I was looking for. I would definitely work with him again.
Leo H.
Thank you Penny, I loved working with too, it was fun and the book turned out great. I hope we can work together again.
Kevin K.

Kevin K.

May, 2020

Leo is very responsive and easy to communicate with. He adjusts his work according to the specifications of his client and is supportive in sharing the work afterwards. Would highly recommend
Leo H.
I really enjoyed working with Kevin. He had a clear vision for the project which we were able discuss openly to arrive at the finished cover.
Terri D.

Terri D.

Nov, 2019

Working with Leo was a dream. He understood my brief and produced a top quality cover for my book. He was quick, professional and easy to work with. I highly recommend him.

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