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Meltham-born artist Darren Baker sells book illustrations for Prince's Trust

Darren Baker supports charity that supported him as struggling artist

Artist Darren Baker is selling illustrations from his wife Abigail's book Albert the Handydog in aid of the Prince's Trust.

Artist Darren Baker is to sell illustrations from his first ever children’s book to support a charity that once supported him.

The book, Albert the Handydog, has been written by his wife Abigail.

Meltham-born Darren, a former student at Honley High School, is one of the UK’s most acclaimed artists.

Sale of the artwork will go to the Prince’s Trust, which helps young people.

The book tells the story of Albert, a pug with DIY skills who unwittingly wreaks havoc.

Famed for his portraits of the Royal family and professional sportsmen, this is Darren’s first foray into book illustration.

The 12 pastel drawings, 12 working sketches and limited edition prints will be available to order online from www.darrenbakerfineart.com from Saturday March 1, followed by a week-long exhibition at M1 Fine Art Gallery in Greenwich, South London, from March 6.

The Prince’s Trust helps disadvantaged young people aged 13 to 30 to get their lives on track.

Meltham-born artist Darren Baker.
Meltham-born artist Darren Baker.
 

Three in four young people supported by the Prince’s Trust move into work, education or training.

A long-standing supporter of the Trust, Darren initially approached the charity in 2000 when he was establishing his own business.

Struggling to make ends meet, he was loaned £1,500 as part of the Enterprise programme.

He said: “Before getting help from the Trust I was living at home and I didn’t have a lot of money.

“It was a very difficult time and I didn’t have much confidence so it was hard trying to make a name for myself. All I wanted was to be an artist.

“When I applied to the Prince’s Trust they helped me to buy materials and market myself.

“The advice they gave with networking was invaluable and really opened doors for me.”

Since receiving support from the Prince’s Trust, Darren has received Royal commissions and has won numerous awards.

In recent years Darren has regularly given back to the Trust.

“The support I had from the Prince’s Trust has enabled me to do some wonderful things in my career and this project is the most personal thing I’ve been able to pursue,” he said.

Artist Darren Baker is selling illustrations from his wife Abigail's book Albert the Handydog in aid of the Prince's Trust.
Artist Darren Baker is selling illustrations from his wife Abigail's book Albert the Handydog in aid of the Prince's Trust.
 

“My wife wrote the book, it was based on our own dog and it’s the first opportunity I’ve had to illustrate.

“I’m very proud of my relationship with the Trust so it was only natural for the proceeds to be donated to directly help more young people.”

Tara Leathers, the Trust’s director of fundraising, said: “It’s been a pleasure to watch Darren’s career flourish over the years.

“We are very grateful for Darren’s ongoing and unwavering support.”

Albert the Handydog, priced £12.99, is available for pre-order from www.darrenbakerfineart.com .

All proceeds will go directly to the Prince’s Trust.

Darren has an exhibition called From Huddersfield to Her Majesty at AC Gallery at 11 Byram Street, Huddersfield, from March 28 until April 12. It will feature more than 30 of Darren’s original paintings.

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