All illustrations on this page are copyright © Jean Mackey Lebleu. Artwork created by children or workshop students are copyright of those artists.
We are entering uncertain times, with COVID-19 causing a great deal of concern all over the world. It is always a privilege for me to go into schools and witness first-hand the extraordinary dedication of school teachers, especially at a time like this. I was fortunate enough to be a guest speaker for World Book Day on 5 March in Hounslow. I made four presentations on how to write and draw a picture book with Q&A to a total of 850 pupils from Year 3 to Year 6, and was able to watch the school’s lovely costume contest. I am grateful for the time we were able to spend together, for all the lovely questions from the students, the beautiful drawings, and for being spoilt with flowers and chocolate. I keep everyone in my thoughts to stay safe and well ❤️
Wishing everyone a new year – and a new decade! – filled with good health, creative inspiration, your own definition of success, and much JOY! As for me, new year – new characters! We’ll see where we take each other!
October – December 2019
Autumn was very productive, including very informative and encouraging meetings with art directors, and the usual frenzy of making prints and cards for the holidays! Wishing everyone all the best for the festive season!
September ended on a high note with an amazing turn-out for the Environment Trust 2019 Secret Art Sale and Silent Auction in Twickenham. I am very proud to say that through the auction of my donated prints I was able to raise £470 to this very worthy cause. I am dedicated to raising money for charities through the sale of my artwork, and am pleased to report that this latest auction now brings my total raised for charities to £3,000. For this event, beautiful artwork was donated by artists of both local and global renown. This year’s artists included Ken Howard OBE RA, Dame Emma Thompson, Alison Wilding OBE RA, Norman Ackroyd CBE RA, David Harsent, John Wragg RA, Sir Quentin Blake CBE FCSD, Roger McGough CBE FRSL, Ian Ritchie RA , Peter Davison and Axel Scheffler. Many thanks to everyone who gave their support to this very worthy cause! 😀
It’s been an eventful summer so far! I’m proud to say that my bespoke art postcard for the Twitter Art Exhibit to benefit Art in Healthcare in Edinburgh was SOLD! There were more than 1,000 cards to choose from, so I’m very glad mine was chosen!
Then I had the honour of providing the illustration for the St. Margarets annual Summer Fair programme and advertisements. It is a grand fundraising tradition that has raised money for local schools and charities for many decades; providing the illustration was a very exciting opportunity, as the programme is distributed to 6,000 homes and businesses. There were some tough acts to follow! But I’m glad to report that everyone was very happy with my contribution.
I am also very pleased to say that I continue to raise money for charity this summer through the sale of my artwork at RHLT The People Hive in Twickenham. RHLT is a wonderful charity that helps train people with different learning abilities for employment. A percentage of the sales helps to fund their invaluable work. If you are in Twickenham, do stop by at 8 Heath Road on Twickenham high street!
April – Early May 2019
I love to help raise money for charities, so I am very excited to have donated my artwork to the Twitter Art Exhibit Edinburgh 2019 in support of Art in Healthcare. I created a bespoke edition of my vinyl records exclusively for Twitter Art Exhibit and I am very pleased that they liked it! Please follow the link that I’ve attached to their name to learn more about this very exciting event 🙂
March is one of my favourite times of the year because it usually begins with World Book Week 🙂
This year I once again had the incredible privilege of being a guest writer/speaker at an infant school and a middle school in Greater London.
I read my book Zed Goes Up the Mountain to auditorium audiences of 380, conducted pupil Q&A sessions and a book signing and taught drawing workshops for Reception through Year Three. It is such a privilege to meet the children, to hear their very thoughtful questions and to witness them create their own unique artwork. This was my second year participating in this wonderful event and I look forward to doing it again next year.
The children always say they have fun, but here is one drawing from the workshops that perhaps tells how they really feel about it? Ha ha!
February was off to a good start, with a retweet of one of my Zed illustrations by the marvellous Mr. James Mayhew during his #Book Illustration Day Birthday Twitter celebration – what an honour! With 20 likes and a few retweets – for me that’s very exciting! Many thanks to my friend Beth for throwing my hat into the ring 🙂
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year filled with much joy, good health and success 🙂
My January was a busy month preparing for my upcoming visit to a local school as a guest speaker for World Book Week in March – I’m so excited to be doing this again and I’ll let you know how it went!
December was a very busy month indeed, as I donned my Santa hat and merrily sold my artwork at SIX Christmas markets in London and the Greater London area. In addition to selling, I was given the very exciting opportunity to host drawing workshops on two separate dates at the famed Canopy Market in King’s Cross, London. It was so wonderful to meet the event organisers, as well as the other artists who were also hosting workshops, and to have LOTS of laughs with my workshop participants (which is always one of my main goals!) Many thanks to everyone for all of your support, for joining my mailing list,and for coming out to visit me or to participate in the workshops. A very special thank you to S and T, pictured below, for allowing me to post this photo – it was so great to meet you and I am grateful to have this memory of a fun time together 🙂
I am very pleased to say that my tribute to Charles Rennie and Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh was very well received at a charity auction and ball in Glasgow this month. My bespoke giclée print sold under the hammer for £325, with 100% of the proceeds going to Macmillan Cancer Support in Glasgow. Congratulations to the volunteers who organise this biennial event – see you in 2020!
I’ve continued to work on lettering and new images, and also enjoyed going back to acrylic painting (not finished yet!). I hope you have a fun and safe Halloween…
Is it my imagination or did the summer just fly by? I hope you had a lovely summertime! I spent the summer working on an illustration to be sold at auction in November for a charity, and working on new characters… please allow me to introduce you to “Cara”… I named her after my lovely cousin 🙂
Happy Summer everyone! I’ve been working on lettering and new children’s picture book stories – and occasionally going outside for some vitamin D via sun rays!
It was a great honour to be invited to two local primary schools as a guest speaker for World Book Week and the actual World Book Day. It was a real treat to be able to read my book Zed Goes Up the Mountain to such lovely children, and to lead drawing workshops in their classes.
The children asked wonderful and very thoughtful questions; my ultimate favourite was “What is the worst story YOU ever wrote?” Ha ha ha! Where to begin?
Being a guest speaker was a privilege in itself, but I was also treated to hugs, drawings, compliments, flowers, chocolates, a lovely Thank You card (with a picture of Zed on the cover!) and meeting dozens of children who were waiting for me to sign my book for them.
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to help these talented children discover and use their own storytelling abilities. I look forward to participating again next year!
The cover of the Thank You card: Zed is climbing up the mountain on the right side – brilliant!
I am very grateful to The Association of Illustrators for giving me the opportunity to work with them on a very exciting project this past year. This month saw the publication of the final instalment of our Bologna Children’s Book Fair Guide for Illustrators – a three-part series of suggestions I compiled on behalf of The AOI to help fellow illustrators who are visiting the legendary fair for the first time. I do hope first-timers find it helpful this March! All three parts can be found by clicking on this link
Images above: My illustrations for Part Two of the BCBF Guide for The AOI
It was a busy end to 2017, with excellent sales at two fairs, and the completion of a business logo and book cover illustration for a publisher of self-help books. Once the book is in the marketplace I can post the artwork, but for now I can tell you that there are plans for my cover illustration to also be used on mugs and t-shirts in the near future – I’ll keep you posted!
I hope your 2018 is off to a good start! If your winter season is cold and you’d like a bit of blue sky, here is an image to help you think sunny thoughts 🙂
THE LONDON ART SHOW – SUCCESS!
Many thanks to everyone for your support and well wishes regarding my participation in The London Art Show at The Coningsby Gallery in Fitzrovia (more details below!). I am very happy to report that all of my prints sold on behalf of the Stroke Association! I am very honoured to have been part of this fundraising event.
I’M SO PROUD TO PARTICIPATE IN THE LONDON ART SHOW – THE CONINGSBY GALLERY, FITZROVIA LONDON!
London Art Show 2017
The Coningsby Gallery
A new charity art exhibition to benefit the Stroke Association
I am very pleased and honoured to have three of my illustrations included in the London Art Show, a new charity art exhibition to benefit the Stroke Association, which will be held at The Coningsby Gallery in Central London. The show is open to the public from the 19th to 21st of July and features the work of many prominent artists who have donated a portion of the funds generated from the sale of their artwork to the Stroke Association. The show is free to visit and any donations to the Stroke Association are welcome on the day.
The Coningsby Gallery is located at 30 Tottenham Street, W1T 3RJ. More information below…
For more information please visit the following:
Stroke Association London Art Show 2017 website
Stroke Association’s Twitter Handle: @StrokeAssocLDN
Event Hashtag: #StrokeAssociationLAS
Stroke Association’s Facebook Page
Stroke Association Press Release
The Coningsby Gallery webpage
The Coningsby Gallery Twitter Handle: @ConingsbyG
The Coningsby Gallery Facebook Page
If you have questions about attending the event, please contact:
I am very grateful to the Stroke Association and The Coningsby Gallery for accepting my artwork for this very exciting fundraising event. I do hope you can stop by.
2017 BOLOGNA CHILDREN’S BOOK FAIR – AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE!
I had a wonderful time at the 2017 Bologna Children’s Book Fair, which was held the first week in April. It was a brilliant opportunity to show my portfolio to publishers, art directors and even a few agents. There were dozens of speeches by famous illustrators and authors, even more workshops, “masterclasses” and portfolio review sessions organised by the Italian company Mimaster, and of course you meet a lot of very talented illustrators from all over the world. It was a very useful trip; I’m glad I was able to do it and I hope to get back there again. If you would like to know more about the BCBF feel free to email me; I’ll tell you all about it!
2016 ENDS WITH CONTEST ENTRIES AND PREPARATION FOR BOLOGNA CHILDREN’S BOOK FAIR 2017
The last quarter of 2016 was certainly busy! In addition to all the wonderful things that happened in the autumn and Christmas time (see below!) I had also entered a few contests, and am now very busy preparing my portfolio and promotional materials for the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, coming soon in the first week of April. It’s my first time going to the Fair, and I’m really looking forward to it!
My NEW cover for Zed Goes Up the Mountain!
One of my submissions for The Folio Society/House of Illustration Book Illustration Award – Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
SUCCESS FOR “ZED” AT THE HOUSE OF ILLUSTRATION CHRISTMAS FAIR!
I was very honoured to have been chosen to participate in the 2016 House of Illustration Christmas Fair on Saturday, 10 December in King’s Cross, London!!! I was overwhelmed by the support and interest people showed for my Zed character and my other illustrations. I sold plenty of copies of Zed Goes Up the Mountain, as well as Christmas cards, giclée prints of a variety of my illustrations, and other gifty type items. Many thanks to everyone who made it to the fair to support us illustrators!
If you would like to buy a copy of Zed Goes Up the Mountain or see my other items for sale please feel free to email me by clicking on the address:
THERE WAS PLENTY OF GOOD NEWS FOR AUTUMN 2016…
My Book and Cards all Sold at Rizzoli Bookshop Somerset House!
My children’s book Zed Goes Up the Mountain and related greeting cards went on sale at the Rizzoli Bookshop in Somerset House, London from September 2016 through the Christmas season. I was very proud that ALL COPIES OF THE BOOK HAD BEEN SOLD! And my cards also sold, with only a few left! Somerset House is an incredible neo-classical building in central London overlooking the River Thames and is used for some of London’s biggest art, photography, design and fashion events, as well as film screenings, concerts and even ice skating. As a result, the Rizzoli Bookshop receives a tremendous number of visitors. I’ve always wished that someday I could have my work on display in this charming shop. I am very grateful to the Association of Illustrators and the management of Rizzoli Bookshop Somerset House for making this dream of mine a reality!
To learn more about Somerset House and the Rizzoli Bookshop, click here:
To learn more about the Association of Illustrators click here!
I had the honour of being in the 7th Annual International Illustration Research Symposium Art Exhibition!
I was extremely honoured to have been selected to participate in the Art Exhibition at the 7th Annual International Illustration Research Symposium at the Edinburgh College of Art. The symposium, entitled Shaping the View: Understanding Landscape through Illustration, featured two days of speakers on the 10th and 11th of November, and workshops/“walkshops” on the morning of the 12th. The art exhibition displayed the works of several artists in the College’s Sculpture Court from the 7th until the 16th of November, with a Private View event from 6.30pm to 8:00pm on the 10th.
For more information about Illustration Research please click here: www.illustrationresearch.co.uk
Also in Scotland…my illustration raised £450 for Macmillan Cancer Support Glasgow!
Over to Glasgow! The same weekend of November 11th -12th my illustration of Glasgow Central Station (below) went up for auction at a fundraising ball for Glasgow’s Macmillan Cancer Support services. My past two donated images for a previous ball sold for £600 in total; I am very happy to report that one image of Central Station was sold for £450.00!
If you would like more information about making donations or volunteering for Macmillan Cancer Support, you can start by clicking here: http://www.macmillan.org.uk/fundraising/inyourarea/scotland/scotland.aspx
OTHER GOOD NEWS in 2016…
The AOI World Illustration Awards 2016 Shortlist
And in other good news, earlier this year I was very honoured to be selected for the shortlist of the Association of Illustrators’ World Illustration Awards 2016, sponsored by the Directory of Illustration. My work continues to be on display on the AOI website under the ‘Self Initiated Work’ category for my project ‘Vinyl to Cloud’ – you can see it by clicking on this link:
All images on every page of this website are copyright © by Jean Mackey Lebleu. All rights reserved. Artwork created by children or workshop participants are the copyright of those artists. Please do not use any of my images without my written permission, because it is prohibited. Thank you!