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Jane Ray

As a child

Jane Ray grew up in Muswell Hill, London, in a house full of books and music (her father is a pianist). She always loved to paint and draw and first started making books at the age of five. She never much enjoyed going to school as it was an interruption to what she really wanted to do and she still can’t believe that she is actually able to earn a living, staying at home and painting and drawing.

As an adult

Jane trained at art school in 3-dimensional design (ceramics, glass-blowing, furniture and jewellery design) but came back to illustration which is what she always wanted to do when she graduated. She has worked, among other things, as a life model, a special needs teacher, a telephone cleaner and a mural artist. She has three children, and works from a very nice shed at the bottom of the garden.

As an artist

Jane started out, after leaving art school, by designing greetings cards, wrapping paper, book jackets and posters, and selling her paintings. However, the making of picture books has become the most important aspect of her work, and she has recently begun to write as well as illustrate. She finds the picture book to be the most satisfying of art forms. She often goes into schools to talk about her books and to work with children, and finds this a stimulating alternative to the blank sheet of paper.

Things you didn't know about Jane Ray:

  1. Favourite food – Sunday roast with all the trimmings, and all the family.
  2. She has two cats.
  3. She used to play the cello.
  4. She doesn’t like grapefruit.
  5. She wishes she could play the piano.
  6. She likes to sing in the bath.
  7. She doesn’t drink tea.
  8. She’d be a teacher if she wasn’t an illustrator, or she’d have a flower stall.
  9. She likes English weather!
  10. She loves her garden studio and works there every day, after a two-mile walk each morning.

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