Cyril Cowell was born in Canterbury, Kent, in 1888. He was working as an illustrator by 1911. He drew for nursery comics from the 1920s to the 50s, including Fairyland Tales (1924-), Children's Own Sunday Pictorial (1933-1934), Pip and Squeak Annual (1933), Children's Holiday Fun (1937-1940) and Mickey Mouse Weekly (1950s). In the 1940s he drew the weekly gardening strip Adam the Gardener, written by Morley Adams, for the Sunday Express. He also illustrated children's books, including some by Enid Blyton. He specialised in drawing animals and the natural world. He died in Sutton, Surrey, in 1967.