David Shenton was born in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, on 20 May 1949. He was educated at Ashton-under-Lyne Grammar School from 1960, moving to Ashton-under-Lyne College of Further Education in 1965. In 1967 he went to study printed textiles at Loughborough College of Art, before taking a teacher's certificate at Leeds University from 1970 to 1971.
A freelance artist, Shenton's work has appeared in the Guardian (including "The ScAvengers" strip in 1998, featuring two London pigeons and spoofing The Avengers TV programme), Gay News, Building Design, Solicitors' Journal, Disability Now, Optician and other publications. He has also taught literacy at Norwich Prison and Hackney College, and has worked in the Education Department of London Zoo.