Jonny grew up in Dunfermline and studied at the Cowdenbeath College of Knowledge, Liverpool Art School and then the Royal College of Art. For the last 18 years he has been a freelance illustrator, and is represented by the Heart Agency in London and New York. His many clients include The Sunday Telegraph, The New York Times and The St Kilda Courier.
Any spare minute is often spent increasing the back catalogue of his own ‘Cakes & Ale Press’, a cottage industry publishing books, prints, posters, teatowels, notebooks and other mcgubbins.
He is a senior lecturer on the University's BA (Hons) Illustration, where he imposes tight deadlines and instant results on his students, never taking no for an answer.
Jonny has enjoyed a long term friendship with the marvellous St Jude’s, a company with whom he has created a fabric design: ‘The Captain’s Pattern’, and a wallpaper too: ‘The Darktown Billets-Doux’. In fact, most of his time is now spent in his imaginary (or is it?) peninsula of Darktown, which resulted in a monograph two years ago, published by Merrell Books’ ‘Greetings from Darktown’. Every good home should have at least one copy.
Recent projects have included his biggest exhibition to date at Yorkshire Sculpture Park: 'Main Street’, a homage to the independent trader, including ‘McVouty’s Secondhand Emporium’ and ‘Brel’s Record & Coffee Bar’. And the first edition of his very own mix-tape CD entitled ‘Songs from the Mermaid Café Jukebox’ sold out in a few days, which makes him think he could have been in the top 40.
Several new books are planned, including a tribute to Robert Johnson and his very own alphabet, to be published by the wonderfully independent Mainstone Press, and ‘Fast Cars and Ukuleles’, which features almost no fast cars whatsoever, but Tam O’ Shanter and Jacques Tati instead.