Born in the South of France, Alain Vaes studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Montpellier and the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Nice. A painter as well as an international volleyball player, he had gallery exhibits in Paris and Honfleur. His work is in the collection of the French Government.
Since moving to the United States in 1981, he has worked as an artist, a set and costume designer, and as an author and illustrator of children’s books.
He has published with Little, Brown, and Company: The Porcelain Pepper Pot, The Wild Hamster, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Princess, and the Pea, and Puss in Boots, which was in collaboration with Lincoln Kirstein. Reynard the Fox and 29 Bump Street were published by Turner Publishing.
He has designed sets and costumes for twenty-five productions including Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, the Nutcracker, La Sonnambula, Songs of the Auvergne, Don Quixote and Cinderella, mainly for the New York City Ballet, but also for the Boston Ballet, the Fort Worth-Dallas Ballet, the National Ballet of Flanders, the Charlotte Ballet, the Richmond Ballet, the Cincinnati Ballet, the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Kansas City Ballet, the Royal Danish Theater, and the Sacramento Ballet.
His work has been shown at the Pierpont Morgan Library, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Fort Worth Art Museum, the Hudson River Museum, the DeCordova Museum, the McNay Art Museum, the George Adams Gallery and the RJD Gallery in New York.