Andrew Shillam was born in 1974 in Brisbane, son of a glazier and great-nephew of the Queensland sculptor Leonard Shillam. He was brought up on a hobby farm north of Grafton. In 1996 he completed a post graduate diploma in visual art at the University of Newcastle, specialising in ceramic sculpture.
His first solo exhibition of figurative ceramic work was in Newcastle in 1996 at Back to Back gallery.
In 1997 he met Rindi Salomon and in 2000 they travelled and worked in the United Kingdom. While there he saw the sculpture of Henry Gaudier-Brzeska at Kettles Yard in Cambridge and the Barbara Hepworth museum in St Ives. At the British museum he saw the Cycladic marble sculptures. These would prove to be influential in his later development as a sculptor, as would the work of Leonard and Kathleen Shillam. Upon his return to Australia in 2001, he concentrated on carving in wood and sand stone. In this year he married the painter Rindi Salomon. He began to exhibit at John Miller Galleries in Newcastle in 2003. In 2005 he moved with Rindi and their young family to the north coast of New South Wales where he continues to make art.