ob Dunlavey was born in 1955 in Elgin, Illinois. His father was an electrical engineer and his mother a professional singer and music teacher. His parents' dream was to homestead in the suburbs of Chicago. Country living appealed to Rob and his seven siblings: he remembers keeping chickens, geese and rabbits and climbing trees with his twin brother, making forts in the grass and looking for snakes, salamanders and mice under old scraps of wood that surrounded the house that his father seemed to be constantly adding to.
Rob was the artist of the large family and was encouraged by his mother and his teachers who commissioned his first illustration: a program cover for the Plum Grove School 4th Grade Thanksgiving Pageant! An illustration career eventually blossomed after many diverting studies in painting, sculpture and printmaking (Southern Illinois University and Claremont Graduate University) and varied jobs as a busboy, naturalist, archaeologist, scientific illustrator and art teacher.
Rob's first free-lance illustration assignments were for the Boston Globe, the Christian Science Monitor and Businessweek. His digitally created images have also been published in textbooks and electronic media including computer games. In 2005, he completed many illustrations and murals for the Miami Children's Museum. This was followed by similar work for the Children's Museum of the East End (Long Island, NY) and the New York Hall of Science. His illustrations have received special notice from PRINT Magazine, The Society of Illustrators, American Illustration and 3 x 3 Magazine. Rob has exhibited his work in local, regional and international settings.
His latest work is "sophisticated and humorous, simple, graphic, sincere with attitude, casually oblique and direct". A prolific diarist, Rob has filled nearly one hundred black sketchbooks at an increasingly alarming rate with many designs of his own invention: doodles, castles, owls, herons, crows, frogs, snakes, small birds, foxes, landscapes, contraptions, animals driving cars and a race of elves he calls The Pointy People. This material is now with the help of many people finding its way into stories for children.
Rob lives in suburban Boston with his wife Stephanie, two teen-age daughters, a tuxedo-clad cat named Cupcake and Bruce, a self-reliant tropical fish.
Rob Dunlavey is represented by Elena Giovinazzo.