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John Holder

International classic character illustrator. Cambridge.

John Holder
John Holder works in the classic tradition of humorous illustration dating back to Victorian times. Newspapers, magazines, ad agencies and big brands are all among his clients, and John was also responsible for the book GOD – Good Old Drawing, in 2012, which featured the work of 100 like-minded creatives.

John loves old stuff in general – guitars, watches, bikes, and more – and lives in a 17th century home which also houses his studio. He helped set up the Cambridge Folk Festival 50 years ago, and played in one of the UK’s first Bluegrass bands. Every year he makes regular visits to Nashville, the home of the music he loves.


John studied illustration and graphic design at the Cambridge School of Art from 1957-62, and after working as an art director returned there as a part-time lecturer. In 2012, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Anglia Ruskin University for his lifetime contribution to illustration and drawing at Cambridge School of Art.


John uses an old-fashioned drawing pen with 19th century nibs, colouring his work with watercolours.


Classic, humorous illustration is John’s domain, with soft colours and good composition, often plenty of detail and a touch of silliness.
My availability / fees
Or call +654 9834 2745 to discuss your project
My Videos
My Videos

Classic pen drawing of a man riding bicycle
Veteran pen art of a frog in violin shape

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