Jillian Keast Johnson

Jillian Johnston is a painter, portrait artist and printmaker from Newton Aycliffe in County Durham. She studied art at Glasgow School of Art from 2007-2009 and finished up her studies at Teesside University graduating with first class honours in 2011.

After this, she became a primary teacher in Darlington but never lost her love of creativity as she continued to run creative classes and courses (aswell as taking the odd portrait commission) while teaching. Upon leaving teaching, she continued her creative community work at The Auckland Project, working with groups to engage them in local history, art and community.

During lockdown she refound her creative spark when her daughter struggled so much at the beginning of April. She wrote about her struggles and how creativity helped her get through the days without seeing her friends.

Jillian self-published the book and it has been a success. She has donated half of the profits to the local food banks and used part of the profits to fund the distribution of her second book about grief to children who have lost people during the pandemic.If you would like a copy of the book or to donate towards the gift books for families visit her website: