Jane Ray was born in London and studied art and design at Middlesex University, specialising in ceramics.
Her illustrations for children's books have been nominated for several awards including five nominations for the Kate Greenaway Award and one nomination for each of the Kurt Maschler and Mother Goose Awards; The Story of the Creation won the Smarties Award.
Jane has also illustrated The Lost Happy Endings by Carol Ann Duffy and published her story, The Apple-Pip Princess.
What inspired you to become an illustrator?
Its something I always did as a child. I began making books at the age of 5 with a whole series about Mr Teddy. I did about 40.
I loved the idea that if you folded a piece of paper in half you got a beginning and a middle and an end - and could tell a story.
How did you develop your unique style of illustration?
I developed an interest in the folk art of just about every culture in the world. I love the way people instinctively decorate and embellish their surroundings and the natural desire to tell a story.
For example, I was bowled over by the intensity of colour and extraordinary detail of Indian miniature paintings and by the exuberance of the Mexican Day of the Dead artifacts.
How did you celebrate when the first book containing your illustrations was published?
Long time ago now - I think I just held it in my hands and smelt the ink and turned the pages. Champagne was probably involved too...
What have you recently been working on?
A story of my own about a fairy living in a dolls house and also a version of Snow White
What advice would you give to young artists who are interested in following in your footsteps?
Keep up your sketch books and keep doing it for the love of it.
Look in bookshops and libraries - research which publishers publish your sort of work and contact them to see your portfolio.
Do you have a favourite illustrator and what do you find special about their work?
Maurice Sendak, Angela Barrett, Lizbeth Zwerger - all have a magic and intensity that enthralls me.
Tell us something unusual about yourself.
I can`t think of anything unusual about myself - it all seems completely usual to me...
The Apple-Pip Princess by Jane Ray
In a land parched by drought and ravaged by frosts, a King asks his daughters to do something to change their land. Can the littlest princess bring hope and happiness back to her beloved kingdom?
The Nativity by Jane Ray
Jane Ray retells the story of Christmas with a fold-out Nativity scene and stand-up characters.
The King of Capri by Jeanette Winterson
A greedy king finds that everything he owns has disappeared while a poor washerwoman finds lots of new things. Upon meeting, their lives change forever.
The Orchard Book of the Unicorn and Other Magical Animals by Margaret Mayo
Learn why you should never look at a mermaid, why the unicorn always walks alone and how the Phoenix lives forever.
Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet introduced by Michael Rosen
A picture book version of this romantic play retold in clear prose with original dialogue.
Sun, Moon and Stars by Mary Hoffman
An exploration of more than 20 myths and legends about the sun, moon and stars. Alongside the stories are pages of folklore about the heavenly bodies.
The Story of the Creation by Penny Worms and Jane Ray
A wonderful retelling of the creation story, which won the Smarties Prize in 1992.
The Moonbird by Joyce Dunbar
A King and Queen are devastated when they realize that their baby cannot hear or speak but a Moonbird teaches the little prince how to use his hands and eyes to communicate.
Fairy Tales by Berlie Doherty
A treasury of traditional fairytales retold in an elegant modern style with beautiful illustrations.
Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden by Jane Ray
A vibrant retelling of the "Garden of Eden", acknowledging the many creation tales told all over the world.
Hansel and Gretel by Berlie Doherty
Charged with atmosphere and emotion, this is a stunning version of one of the darkest and greatest of the fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm.
The Lost Happy Endings by Carol Ann Duffy
One night, a wicked witch steals the happy endings to bedtime stories and it is up to Jub to save the day and ensure sweet dreams everywhere.
The Twelve Dancing Princesses by The Brothers Grimm and Jane Ray
Where do the king's daughters disappear to night after night? Who can solve the mystery of the twelve pairs of dancing slippers torn to shreds by the morning?
Can You Catch a Mermaid by Jane Ray
Have you ever seen a mermaid? Eliza has and this is the captivating story of how she and a mermaid become the very best of friends.
Lugalbanda: The Boy Who Was Caught Up in a War by Kathy Henderson
On his way to war, Lugalbanda meets Inana and the magical Anzu bird, who give him the power to resolve war peacefully and become a great ruler.