P. J. Lynch has worked as a Children’s Book Illustrator since leaving Brighton College of Art in England in 1984.
He has won many awards including the Mother Goose Award, the Christopher Medal three times, and the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal on two occasions, first for “The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey” by Susan Wojciechowski, and again for “When Jessie Came Across the Sea” by Amy Hest. His illustrated version of “The Gift of the Magi” by O.Henry was published in October 2008.
As a child
I was born and brought up in Belfast. It was a scary place to be when I was a teenager in the 1970s, so holidays at my mother’s family farm were especially important for my brothers, my sister and me. “Holiday” may not be the right word as we worked really hard every day we were there – but we loved it! My mother particularly encouraged my drawing. I’m sure that for me, burying myself in books, and the little worlds it created on a page, was a good way of escaping for a while from the horrors that were happening around me in the real world.
As an adult
I think I may have been having too good a time of it for too long. I certainly skated through my thirties with hardly a care in the world. But what was it all about? Settling down with Barbara and having our 3 children has changed me in very profound ways, as has the death of my father. I hope it is all making me a better, more thoughtful person.
As an artist
I like to think that I’m improving as an artist. I’m certainly always trying new things and continuing to draw from the life model whenever I can. I’m very excited by digital technology and I try to use it in subtle ways to improve my work. Hopefully one day, I’ll produce books that are utterly different from my recognized styles. Too many illustrators plough the same old furrow for years and years. With A Christmas Carol, I tried to get back to a much more “drawn” look. Some of my pictures have just got way too much work put into them.