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Jackie Morris


Jackie Morris

Jackie Morris

Jackie was born in Birmingham and lived there until at the age of four her parents moved away to Evesham.

Here she grew up and remembers little of those times. She does know that from at least the age of six she wanted to be an artist. She watched her dad drawing a picture of a lapwing, making a bird appear on a piece of paper using only a pencil, and she thought it was some magic that made this happen. So there and then she decided to learn how to conjure birds from paper and colour.

She went to school in Evesham to Prince Henry’s High School and remembers walking to school past shop fronts above which elegant buildings grew. She used to get told off at school for drawing and dreaming and now she gets paid to do both.

She remembers walking in the park by the river, bank voles and weeping willows and bright flashes of kingfishers and she loved the ferry at Hampton where the ferryman pulled her across the river to a land of fields and blackberries, where her dad would walk with her and show me how to find birds’ nests and tales of when he was a boy.

After school she went to college, first in Hereford, then to Exeter where they told her that she would never make it as an illustrator and from there she escaped to Bath Academy, set in a beautiful stately home in Corsham, where she developed a love for peacocks. These bright birds with their ridiculous tails would fly into their gardens.

After college she moved briefly to London, just off Balham High Road. She thought you had to live in London because that is where most of the publishing houses are. It was here that her real education began as she took her portfolio around magazine publishers and book publishers. She worked in magazines and books for seven years, for The New Statesman, New Socialist, Independent, Guardian and Radio Times. She designed cards and calendars for Greenpeace and Amnesty International and fell into children’s books by accident.

Afterwards she moved to Wales just before starting her first children’s book, Jo’s Storm, by Caroline Pitcher and has lived in the same place ever since, a small cottage held together by spider’s webs. Cats come and go. At the moment she shares the house with Tom and Hannah, her son and daughter, Floss and Bella, two odd dogs, and Maurice, Pixie, Elmo, Martha and Max, cats of various colour but mostly ginger.

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