Every time I sit down to write about my friends and collaborators, I find myself writing about parties. So, here we go again. I have known the artist who created these rather lovely images for more than a decade. In all that time, we’ve rarely talked without a drink in our hands and perhaps never away from a party. But talk a lot we have. We’re lucky really because my specialist subject would probably be her second choice, and hers mine, and who could tire of talking about music and art after only a decade?
Jacquie is the best friend of one of my favourite people, Joey, who is married to another of my favourite people – my old university chum Jules. Joey and Jules met at a party too, if wedding speeches are to be believed, as I’m pretty sure did Jules and I.
Jacquie is a freelance illustrator. She worked as an in-house greetings card illustrator for Watermark Publishing for several years. Since becoming a freelancer, she has illustrated three award-winning children’s picture books for Thea Chops Books. She also continues to produce artwork for greetings cards, and make and sell lino prints, as well as devising and delivering creative workshops to the general public.
When I first saw Jacquie’s work, I was enchanted. I was also amazed at how much she is able to achieve with so few lines and often such simple compositions. Whether she’s representing people sitting quietly or chatting at a bus stop, musicians plying their trade, anthropomorphized animals, or a street scene caught in the moment , she always seems to capture something full of character. Her pictures generally suggest an unspoken narrative, like we the viewers are witnesses to something that is about to happen. A lot of her images are of cats. Now even though I don’t particularly like cats, I have to confess to finding soul and boundless personality in the ones Jacquie conjures up.
When I had a good look at Jacquie’s Instagram feed a few months ago, I was so impressed I ordered three pictures to give as presents to my sister-in-law, who loved them too. I also commissioned Jacquie to paint a portrait of me to be used on the cover of my forthcoming second album. This portrait is now finished (and I’m really happy with it) and with my designer, who is including it as the front cover image for the album. I’ll be sharing the portrait in the next couple of weeks (watch this space). In the meantime, here (above) are copies of the images we ordered from Jacquie, and here is a link to her Instagram feed, which I highly recommend.
Or, for more about the workshops Jacquie organises, take a look here.