A glittering career as an award-winning illustrator and designer has put Matt Jones on a global stage – working with some of the world’s best-known brands.
The former Telford College student is now a freelancer with clients such as Netflix, Nickelodeon, Penguin Random House, Egmont, Harper Collins, Bonnier, Oxford University Press, Hasbro, and Mattel.
He studied art and design A levels at the college, followed by a BA honours degree in illustration and a masters in digital and visual communication at the University of Wolverhampton.
“I entered numerous design and illustration competitions – I was shortlisted and won a couple, and as a result, I was offered a position at Penguin Random House in London,” said Matt.
“For the next six years, I worked as a senior designer and illustrator at their offices on The Strand working alongside high-profile authors, illustrators, and celebrities, designing and illustrating book covers, interiors and marketing material across both the Penguin and Puffin imprints.”
Matt’s designs and illustrations have won numerous international awards.
They include the Cilip Carnegie Medal (awarded by children’s librarians for an outstanding book written in English for children and young people), the SCBWI Golden Kite Award (given by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators to recognise excellence in children’s literature), the Academy of British Cover Design award, and Waterstones Book of the Year.
The former Wrockwardine Wood secondary school student still has family links with Telford College – his brother Jason is one of the sports tutors.
Matt has some valuable advice for anyone hoping to follow in his footsteps by enrolling at Telford College to pursue a career as a professional illustrator:
“Gather as much knowledge of the industry as possible and make sure you are seeking out relevant art directors and agents who are in the position to offer you work that suits your style of illustration.
“Reach out to already established illustrators, designers and agencies for feedback, and aim big. Make sure your portfolio has a variety and depth that’s relevant to the sector of the industry you’re interested in.”