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John Lawrence

As an artist

John Lawrence grew up by the sea in Hastings. "I loved swimming and pottering along the shore," he says. "It was terrible when sea defences, barbed wire and tank traps were put up along the South Coast in 1940. But it was really exciting to be allowed back onto the beach and into the sea a few years later, after the war." John now thinks of himself a something of a workaholic. "I have illustrated many books for adults and children over the last forty years," he says. "It's a particular pleasure to be doing more work for younger children, as I am at the moment." John Lawrence has contributed to well over 100 books for children and adults as an illustrator and wood-engraver. He is renowned for his striking images that use tools and methods of engraving from the eighteenth century. Twice winner of the Francis Williams Book Illustration Award, his illustrated titles include Lyra's Oxford by Philip Pullman, Tiny's Big Adventure by Martin Waddell and Christmas in Exeter Street by Diana Hendry. His forthcoming Treasure Island will be published by Walker in 2009.

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