Thursday, 9 December 2010

Jac Jones - Author and Illustrator.

A true son of Anglesey is Jac Jones, an award winning author and illustrator.

Jac was born in Gwalchmai in March 1947; he then grew up for a short while at his mother’s hometown Bristol, before the family returned to the island when he was seven years old. Jac was educated at Llangefni Grammar School.

When young his mother and father where hospitalised with TB and he lived for a while with his grandmother. He left school on finishing his ‘O’ levels. He recently said on radio, that although he enjoyed painting from a young age he learnt very little about painting at school.

His first job was as a designer for a graphics firm in Llangefni. Whilst working there he applied to attend Art College at Liverpool, but did not have English ‘O’ level, which was a strict requirement at the time. Much later in life he found that he had dyslexia.

He soon came bored with the work at the graphics firm and set up on his own as an illustrator. His career took off when he started work for the newly founded ‘Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru’ (Book Council of Wales) in 1974.

He has illustrated over 400 books in addition to numerous record covers and posters of various kinds, he has also written 6 books, including Betsan a’r Bwlis / Alison and the Bully Monsters, which he wrote and illustrated.

He has won Tir na n_Og Award (annual children's literary awards) several times, including the 2009 Award for ‘A Nod from Nelson’ by Simon Weston.

His illustration work includes welsh works of note such as Penillion y Plant, Trysorfa by T. Llew Jones and many of Mary Vaughan Jones' titles and famous characters including Jac y Jwc. He is listed in the book Best of British Illustrators.

The last 4 years have been difficult for him, not only has he divorced but he also has been ill with cancer, which thankfully at the moment is in remission.

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