Alison Jay was born in Hertfordshire and grew up in Derbyshire with her sister Ruth and brother Mark. She studied graphic design at the London College of Printing and specialized in illustration. She graduated with a first class honours degree and initially worked in animation studios where she painted backgrounds and animated small scenes. After a year or two she changed direction and began working as an illustrator. She has now worked in all areas of illustration including design, advertising, packaging, editorial and her favourite children's books.
She has now illustrated many children's books including ‘Picture This’, ‘Alice's Adventures in Wonderland’, ‘Listen, Listen’ and is currently working on a version of ‘The Nutcracker’.
She works in Alkyd oil paint on paper and adds a crackle varnish to give an aged appearance.