Becki Harper is an illustrator based in the historic city of York. Her work often explores narratives strongly blended with curiosity and nostalgia, and she draws much of her inspiration from nature and science. Observational drawing is highly important to her creative practice, as it’s often the source of an idea, character, or composition, and greatly informs the visual language within her work. She favours traditional techniques such as watercolour painting, which is the process typically used to add colour to her drawings. This passion for creating things by hand has naturally led to exploration into other media such as textiles and craft.
Becki was born in 1987 and grew up in the North-Eastern town of Middlesbrough, where she began studying art at CCAD. She went on to complete a BA (Hons) in Illustration at UWE Bristol, in which she achieved a First Class degree and numerous awards, including a Highly Commended from the Macmillan Children’s book prize. She continues to pursue her arts practice from her studio in York, where she has received commissions from local design studios and companies.
Jam Grantham was born in Billingham, and from an early age he could always be found hiding in corners drawing, surrounded by pencils and paints. However, art was something he believed would never be for him. Leaving school with less than amazing grades, he was left with an uncertain future. After studying Business for four long years he chose to follow his true passion to become an artist.
He graduated from the University of the West of England in 2010, after studying Drawing &
Applied Arts. That same year he was Highly Commended by the Macmillan Children’s Book Prize for his book What should I Be When I Grow Up?.
Jam’s work is strongly focused on children’s illustrations and picture books, that include aspects an adult reader can also appreciate, taking inspiration from day to day life, film, and photography. The characters in his work set a playful tone, and the balance of pencil lines with colourful textures and layers using digital media create simple but sophisticated images. Common themes present in Jam’s work centre around the unusual pairing of characters, typically depicting contrasts in sizes and other whimsical differences between the relationships of the two, often teamed with humour.