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Jon rekindles art passion during pandemic

Published: Friday, 16th April 2021

Jon Thompson has rekindled his art during lockdown

Jon Thompson at work on his illustrations.

Graphic and web designer Jon Thompson has re-ignited his passion for drawing during the pandemic and it seems that the years haven’t dampened his skills.

The dad-of-two from Colne had parked his passion for art for many years as he was busy with work and family life.

 Yet Jon’s love of art was always there, running in the background and has now been brought back to the fore.

Jon said: “When I left school, I did a BTEC in Art and Design and went on to do a HND in Illustration which I really enjoyed.

 “Yet, while friends of mine went down the freelance illustration route when we completed the course, I needed more certainty and structure, so decided to go for a safer career in graphic and web design.”

 Jon is now creative director at East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, where he has worked for over 20 years.

While his work has continued during the pandemic, event photography, which formed part of his role, wasn’t required.

So he found himself looking for a new creative outlet - and that was drawing.

He said: “I did use my sketch pad fleetingly when my daughter was born, but she is now 13!

“Then a few months ago I just picked up my pad and started creating to see if I still had the skill.

 "I found it really relaxing and when I posted some of my illustrations on my social networks to gauge interest, I was blown away by the positive comments I received.”

His first drawings included celebrity icons such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al Pacino and Audrey Hepburn, as well as an incredible pencil and pastel drawing of Captain Sir Tom Moore.

But recently he has been asked to carry out commissioned drawings of people and pets.

He even drew his wife, Jo, a picture of their two children, Sofia and James, for Mother’s Day.

Jon said: “I’m so grateful to everyone for the support I’ve received and there’s no way I’m putting my pad and pencils back in a drawer now!

“The pandemic has been tough in so many ways, but it really has inspired me to find my way back to art and I’m very grateful for that.”

Pendle Council’s Chief Executive, Dean Langton, said: “It’s fantastic to hear how Jon has used the pandemic to reignite a passion which has laid dormant for many years.

 “While it has been an incredibly tough time for all, Jon’s story is the perfect example of how people have turned challenging circumstances into good.

“We wish him all the best in his ventures.”