Jill Calder

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Jill is an award-winning illustrator and lettering artist based in Scotland. She studied at both Edinburgh College of Art and Glasgow School of Art and for 14 years she was a lecturer in illustration at Edinburgh College of Art, until she left to pursue a career as a full-time illustrator.

Through Jill’s work she has been invited to guest lecture at various schools, universities and events throughout the UK, USA and Far East. She also conducts workshops with young people – often featuring handmade books.

Jill loves drawing, ideas, colour, ink, typography, narrative, sketchbooks, making books and even deadlines! She blends traditional and digital drawing seamlessly to create richly layered illustrations full of people, animals and places. Illustrating grittier, more challenging subject matter is just as rewarding as tackling more whimsical themes, and her work has broad appeal from adults to younger children.

In the last two years, Jill has started to focus on illustrating books for children and this sequential process, alongside working with a writer and editors, is one she enjoys enormously.

Robert the Bruce, King of Scots was Jill’s debut picture book and was shortlisted for the World Illustration Awards in 2015. The Picture Atlas: An Incredible Journey (written by Simon Holland) was published in 2017 and was shortlisted for the Children’s Travel Book of the Year in the Edward Stanford Awards. What is Poetry? by Michael Rosen was nominated for the CILIP Greenaway Medal in 2018.



Currently, Jill’s artwork is on display alongside nine other illustrators in Drawing Words, a new exhibition commissioned by the British Council, curated by Children’s Laureate Lauren Child. It is touring the world – stopping in China, Spain, Romania and Pakistan – where Jill will be opening the exhibition and conducting workshops in Lahore later this year.

Jill’s latest book, The Sea (written by Miranda Krestovnikoff) will be published in April 2019.

She is also developing her own picture books – as author and illustrator.

Examples of Jill’s work


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