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Illustrator Jonathan Woodward turned passion for wildlife into a career

By Josh Clarke

Mr Jonathan Woodward won a national award for his illustrations in The Ways Of The Wolf. 300518LSP1-1
Mr Jonathan Woodward won a national award for his illustrations in The Ways Of The Wolf. 300518LSP1-1

An illustrator who turned his passion into a career has been presented with a national award.

Mr Jonathan Woodward, 42, of Newark, won the English Association non-fiction picture book of the year prize in the 7-11 years category.

The award was for his illustrations in The Ways Of The Wolf, written by Smriti Prasadam-Halls, which aims to uncover everything there is to know about wolves, from their lightning speed and echoing howl to their family life.

Mr Woodward received a trophy at an awards ceremony at the British Academy, London, beating off competition from three other shortlisted books.

The illustrator, who turned his back on 15 years’ experience in graphic design to follow his dream of being a wildlife illustrator seven years ago, said it was the first award he had won.

"I have always loved wolves since I was a child so this book was very special to me in its own right," he said.

"It was a passion project, which makes winning the award even better. It was a very proud moment."

The book has also been shortlisted for the School Library Association’s Information Book Award 2018, together with three others. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in November.

Mr Woodward said as well as the benefit of being able to say he was an award-winning illustrator, the awards ceremony and similar events helped his networking.

"The ceremony was great and I had the chance to meet many publishers, which is brilliant for more opportunities going forward," he said.

Since becoming a wildlife illustrator, Mr Woodward has taken part in many projects, including one where he completed more than 80 illustrations for New York Aquarium.

Currently undergoing a huge transformation and expansion, the aquarium, on Coney Island, commissioned Mr Woodward to create and illustrate a poster showcasing marine life that makes up the New York seascape.

He has worked on children’s television programme Minibeast Adventures With Jess, creating illustrations of bugs and humans for the animated section of the programme.

Mr Woodward also contributed to a series of books — Fluttering Minibeast Adventures — that followed on from the CBeebies television programmes.

The book series was shortlisted for an award at the House of Commons.

Nr Woodward, who has worked on 18 books, said: "I have combined my passion of illustration and wildlife.

"It is great to be recognised for my work but above all I feel extremely fortunate to be doing something that I love as a career."

He is working on several other projects, including illustrating a dinosaur book that will be out later this year.

Each month, Mr Woodward releases a pin badge for sale, featuring an illustration of an endangered species.

So far, there has been a pangolin, small tortoiseshell butterfly, hyacinth macaw, rusty patched bumble bee, stag beetle and an Adélie penguin.

They are available along with all of his illustration’s at www.jonathanwoodwardstudio.com


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