Martin Handford spent most of his childhood drawing. "My earliest influences," he says, "were cinema epics and playing with toy soldiers. I attempted to recapture the excitement in my drawings, which started out as crowds of crude stick figures." He spent three years at art college and continued to draw "what were always busy and militarily correct battle scenes". After college, Martin worked as a freelance illustrator specialising in drawing crowd scenes for numerous clients. Each Wally picture takes Martin over eight weeks 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.