Martin Handford spent much of his childhood drawing and his earliest influences were cinema epics and playing with toy soldiers. After art college, he began working as a freelance illustrator specialising in drawing crowd scenes for numerous clients. Martin now gathers his inspiration from a huge variety of sources; films, visiting museums and art galleries, reading comics and books, and collecting ephemera and trivia. He is fascinated by crowds, and is attracted to their vibes, patterns and details – especially humour; "I love their movement and energy." Gradually, from all this meticulous research, the inspiration for a picture emerges, which Martin embellishes with his own ideas to create astonishing scenes. Each picture takes Martin many months to draw. "As I work my way through a picture, I add Wally when I come to what I feel is a good place to hide him," he explains.