Alison Jay grew up in Derbyshire on the edge of the countryside. She studied graphic design at the London College of Communication, specialising in illustration, and graduated with a first class honours degree. After a spell working on animation projects with Aardman, she found her niche as a children's book illustrator and has been a prolific and successful practician for some 30 years now.
Alison has been nominated for the Kate Greenaway prize four times - for Picture This and for her wordless picture books Out of the Blue and Bee & Me (the first time she illustrated her own story), as well as for Looking for Yesterday. She won the Transworld Children’s book award in the AOI Images Best of British illustration.
Alison works in Alkyd paint, which is a quick drying oil paint. She sometimes then coats the illustration with layers of varnish to give the aged crackled effect.