When I tell people I write picture books, one of the first things I get asked is 'oh, do you do your own illustrations?' People who haven't known me long ask with genuine curiosity; people who know me well with a sort of horror (they've seen my work). I am quick to assure all parties that no, I certainly do not do my own illustrations. That's what the professionals are for.
Enter Gwynneth Jones. Gwynne is a wonderful artist and children's book illustrator from Newcastle, She majored in Plant and Wildlife Illustration at the University of Newcastle, and is a prize winning artist for drawing.
So - how did I find Gwynne? Well, I didn't. In most cases, when an author is not illustrating their own book, the publisher will hook them up with an illustrator. Gwynne has illustrated a number of delightful books for my publisher EK Books, including Don’t Think About Purple Elephants (Susan Whelan 2015) which was shortlisted for Speech Pathology Australia's Book of the Year 2016. Her upcoming book The Chalk Rainbow with author Deborah Kelly is due to be released on July 1. I was delighted when EK Books told me Gwynne had agreed to take on my project.
Besides drawing books, Gwynne’s favourite activity is drawing on the spot for kids who think up challenging ideas for her. She is a regular and current exhibitor with John Hunter Hospital in the Arts for Health programme, exhibiting original book illustrations and currently involved with workshops with teens at Livewire at John Hunter Hospital, stemming from that exhibition.
If you live around Newcastle, you can find Gwynne's work in the Creative Village Newcastle pop-up shop at Westfield Kotara or at Art Bazaar markets.
Otherwise, Gwynne's work can be found online at gwynnejonesart.wixsite.com/illustration or facebook.com/gwynnejonesillustrator.
I suggest you check it out. It's bloody good!