David Wilde was born in Manchester in 1918 as Norman Shacklock. He disliked his name and adopted the pseudonym David Wilde – David from his close friend David White and Wilde because that best described him. He studied at the Manchester College of Art. He was originally employed to draw the female anatomy for surgeons at the local hospitals and illustrated a medical textbook on birth. Later, he illustrated a series of books and short stories.
He went on to feature alongside Picasso and Dali, exhibiting in Paris. During the war he served as a draughtsman at the rank of Petty Officer and later became a freelance artist and designer for large national companies. He worked for 9 years as senior technical artist at Carlton Press. During this time he became acquainted with Lowry and Peter Blake.
After a short illness David Wilde (Norman Shacklock) died in hospital in 1974. He left behind a fine body of work covering the industrial north, particularly Salford and Irlam, magnificent scenes of his beloved Wales, drawings, poetry, and collages of his infatuation with Marilyn Monroe. A sell-out book book was published in 2011 called, David Wilde, Manchester's Hidden Artist.