Lynn Breeze still has a childhood drawing of her only three career options at age seven: artist, author or ballet dancer.
After three years at Kingston-on-Thames College of Art, Lynn began work as a studio junior at Grigsmore Advertising Agency in Suffolk. Many valuable skills were learnt here, including how to make coffee, how to use a ruling pen and how to pin a large rag on the corner of the drawing board for cleaning paintbrushes and pens. Her first published work, on the front page of the local paper, was a humorous ad for schools’ outfitter, Coes, which she illustrated as well as writing the copy.
A spell as Studio Manager for Farming Press (Dairy Farmer, Pig Farmer and Arable Farmer) brought experience of proof-reading, handling print and design and it helped to confirm a decision to be a vegetarian.
Taking a drop in salary, her last proper job was as Art Editor of a small regional magazine (East Anglian Magazine) which provided many opportunities to experiment with illustration styles in an attempt to suggest that the publication had several artists in house.
Working at the magazine only four days a week, Lynn began to develop a free-lance career by designing East Anglian Greetings Cards for a local company in Suffolk.
By chance, Lynn was now approached by Linden Artists and they became her agents. Through them, came her first book as sole illustrator, Lost Baggage by Felicia Law.
On a day trip to London to attend an interview with the producer of BBC’s Jackanory, Lynn was carrying a folio of seven full colour illustrations and had plenty of time to spare… so she called in on Mitchell Beazley, Octopus Books and BBC Publications on the way, without any prior appointments. They all offered her work, including Jackanory, and there followed a wonderfully creative period culminating in her first pregnancy.
Immediately handing in her notice at the magazine, Lynn embarked on her career as free-lance illustrator and author and, in time, mother of two daughters.
Lynn’s other publishers have included Harper Collins, Hodder & Stoughton (who published the first books she both wrote and illustrated), Ladybird, Walker Books, Orchard Books, Ginn, Heinemann, ITV, Scholastic, Kingfisher, and many educational and overseas publishers, prompting her to say, while being interviewed for a newspaper article, “I am rather promiscuous.” Unfortunately, this line was quoted in the piece without including any reference to publishers.
During the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival in 2015, Lynn watched the production of her first stage play ‘To The Crags!’ and discovered how mere words can be transformed by the genius of actors, producers, directors, stage managers, sound managers, and by venues and audiences. She is currently working optimistically on a radio drama and on a teen novel, having just completed the illustrations for three publications for Sunshine Books.
So far, there have been no offers of work as a ballet dancer.