Yesterday morning, as one of BookTrust's former Writer-Illustrators in Residence, I got to go to the Lifetime Achievement Award celebration in the Barbican's Garden Room.
I first met Jan in 2006 at John Huddy's Illustration Cupboard, but I hadn't seen him for several years and it was great to see him again.
You might know Jan for his much-loved Meg & Mog books, or perhaps his beautifully silhouetted fairytale stories.
Quite a few of my other illustration heroes showed up, too! It was great to see Helen Oxenbury, who won the award last year, together with her late husband John Birmingham.
Beautiful papercut sculptures around the room echoed Jan's own use of cut paper.
Author Smriti Prasadam-Halls (left) gave a beautifully moving talk about Jan's work and career, as did SF Said, Nicolette Jones and Diana Gerald, and then the man who knows him best, Jan's partner, David Walser. Here's Smriti with Ed Vere and Candy Gourlay:
Current Children's Laureate Lauren Child and Derek Brazell from the Association of Illustrators:
Hey look, it's Michael Foreman!
A peek at some illustration by Dapo Adeola to a book coming out next month:
Ladies in red: Smriti Prasadam-Halls, Cressida Cowell, Diana Gerald, Nicolette Jones
Thanks so much to BookTrust for inviting me! What a tremendous celebration of Jan's work, it's wonderful to see.
Further reading - an interview by BookTrust's Emily Drabble:
Jan talking to Kirsty Young on Desert Island Discs: