Noted for creating what many collectors believe to be the most beautiful and valuable illustrated science fiction-fantasy book of the twentieth century, The Ship That Sailed to Mars: A Fantasy, Timlin remains largely unknown for work beyond this masterpiece-- perhaps because he spent most of his career as an architect, in South Africa.
After the first world war, Timlin became a successful practicing architect, designing a number of major public buildings in Kimberly, South Africa. At the same time, he worked as an artist, producing paintings, etchings and pastels of conventional subjects in addition to the watercolor fantasies sin the distinctive style for which he became best known.
Frank, Jane. A Biographical Dictionary: Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists of the Twentieth Century. Published by McFarland & Company, Inc.,
Jefferson, North Carolina, and London, 2009. p. 450.