A guest post from Gavin Scott, illustrator of Everything You Know About Sharks is Wrong! - Nosy Crow Skip to content
Posted by Lisa, June 16, 2023

A guest post from Gavin Scott, illustrator of Everything You Know About Sharks is Wrong!

This month we’re absolutely delighted to have published Everything You Know About Sharks is Wrong! – an informative, inventive and entertaining take on an animal book, written by Dr Nick Crumpton and illustrated by Gavin Scott. And today, we’re very excited to be sharing a guest post from Gavin!

When I was at primary school, the absolute best thing my teacher could say was ‘today we’re going to work in our topic books’. This meant learning about science, history, and nature. But most of all, I knew it usually meant drawing pictures to illustrate my writing.

I was really obsessed with animals and nature. My mum loves to tell the story about me wandering into the kitchen at an early age proudly clutching a grass snake that I’d just found in the garden (the snake was unharmed). I would draw things I’d found in the garden and endlessly copy the illustrations from my books about animals and wildlife.


One of Gavin’s childhood books about sharks that he still owns.


I later went on to study illustration at art college, specialising in Natural History. This work tended to be super detailed and quite scientific. While I did enjoy this, I soon felt the need to develop my illustration in new ways. Since then, my career and art style have taken several different avenues. At one point I worked on branded character design, and then began illustrating young children’s books, which I’d always wanted to do. I eventually decided that I needed to get back to what I loved doing, which was drawing and painting nature. My style now combines illustrative elements that I’ve picked up along the way, combined with the more detailed scientific illustration techniques from earlier in my life. My animals still tend to be quite realistic, but with a little bit of ‘character’ thrown in. You could say I’ve now found a happy balance in my work.

When Nosy Crow first approached me to illustrate Everything You Know About Dinosaurs Is Wrong! I couldn’t believe my luck. Every so often I get to work on projects that make me run to my desk in the morning and lose myself in my work completely. This was one of those jobs! I also learnt so much from Nick’s text – it was totally fascinating.

The latest book I’ve worked on in the fantastic series is called Everything You Know About Sharks Is Wrong!, which helps to show readers how incredible sharks and rays are, while clearing up many misconceptions about the creatures that have caused their persecution across the years.



My first experience of sharks was a visit to The Sea Life Centre, in Weymouth, when I was 8 or 9 years old. I remember watching the nurse sharks and I even got to stroke the back of a ray, which, to my surprise, wasn’t smooth and slippery as I had imagined, but rough like coarse sandpaper. One of my school topics around this time was about the Arctic – not a place that immediately springs to mind when you think about sharks – but we learnt all about the Greenland shark and what was known, and not yet known about this amazing animal (they can live for hundreds of years!). I still have my topic book with my own Greenland Shark drawing, and I dug it out when starting work on this new book.

Gavin’s topic book drawing, featuring a Greenland shark among other Arctic animals. 


My working process with Everything You Know About Sharks Is Wrong, as with any other project, was to begin collating all the reference I need. Then I started cutting out shapes to create a rough composition. Tina, the designer I worked with on Sharks, had already given me a rough layout of all the text that needed to be included, so at this stage it was more about discovering where the text would fit in relation to the illustrations. I often end up moving things around quite a lot, a bit like a jigsaw, to find the best placement. The final stage is always adding the detail and colour, and making sure all of the species shown are completely accurate.

There are lots of fun spreads in Sharks but personal favourite is probably Megalodon Lives, which sees a colossal extinct Megalodon shark hunting sea lions. The sea lions were a good tool to give some scale to this huge shark that lived in the Cenozoic Era, about 20 million years ago. Adding the dark, brooding, water made this scene quite dramatic – you have to feel for those poor sea lions!



I’ve always been really passionate about teaching my children, and all children, about the natural world. We’ve lost our connection to nature, and this has meant our planet and our own health has suffered as a result. Illustrating these books feels like going a little way to redress the balance, and to do my bit for nature. I try to show my children that humans are not separate from nature – they are a part of it – and they will hopefully live their lives with this in mind.

I’m currently working hard on another book, which is filled with some amazing mega(!) animals, and beyond that, another book in the Everything You Know About series, so look out for those coming your way in the future.

Thank you, Gavin!


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