Julie Alison McDonald was born in Brighton and spent much of her childhood sketching or creating things, making doll’s clothes, rugs, cane baskets and plaster of Paris models, as well as knitting and crocheting. Julie has also written poetry over the years and one day plans to publish a book of all her poems. She also enjoys music and playing piano duets with friends from time to time.
Julie is passionate about the planet, wildlife and the environment, arranging for her books to be printed locally and on recycled paper. Previously, Julie worked as a nutritional therapist. She is still very much health conscious and prefers to follow a natural lifestyle eating organically where possible and avoiding chemicals in the home.
Julie discovered her love of painting when she received a special birthday present! Her husband gave her a painting workshop day with the artist, John Thompson, at Nyman’s Gardens, Handcross. Here, she learnt how to spread copius amounts of acrylic paint across boards, using mostly her hands! She loved the experience so much, that it started a whole new journey, leading on to a visit to Florence, where she learnt watercolour skills and painting ‘en plein air’. In recent times, Julie has found it difficult to put the paintbrush down!!!
After having spent a few years working as a learning support assistant, in a local primary school, Julie received commissions to prepare illustrations for two books which have given her a wealth of experience. She has now created illustrations for her own series of children's picture books, (Binkie & Friends' Adventures). The first in the series is - Binkie's Great Egg Paint Off! - and the second is - Binkie's Sparkling Surprises. The latest book. 'Say Hello to Hedgy' is a little bit special as it is about a character on the autistic spectrum. Hedgy sees the world differently to those around him. This book is intended to educate and start conversations about this often misunderstood subject. Julie is currently working on her fourth book in the series.
All three books are now available from Julie's online shop or from a number of other outlets including Waterstones.
Julie is a member of the Society of Authors and the Writers' Guild of Great Britain (WGGB).