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Gill Clark (née Elsbury) was born on 5th April 1962 in Jersey, Channel Islands. My father, Cliff, is a Guernsey man. My mother, Jean Elsbury (née Preston) is from Preston, Lancashire. Both of my parents have lived in Jersey since the early 1950's.
I lived and went to primary school in the parish of St Saviour. At 11, I changed schools, spending the next seven years at Hautlieu (Grammar) School, where I took O and A level exams.
At 18, I left the island, attending a one-year Graphic Design foundation course (pre-requisite for an art degree course) at Ravensbourne College of Art, near Bromley, Kent. I then won a place at Middlesex Polytechnic (now University) for a four-year BA(Hons) in Graphic Design/Scientific Illustration. During my time there, I lived in High Barnet, Hertfordshire.
At the end of my first degree course, I attended a cousin's wedding, where I met my future husband, Jeff. At the time of the wedding, we both lived in London, so we were able to meet regularly. In the meantime, I was working for a a book publisher (Quarto) in London. Jeff and I had been seeing each other for only 5 months when he found a new job in Eastbourne, but we managed to keep the relationship afloat during his year there, before he moved to Havant, in Hampshire.
Having lived in London for nearly 6 years by then, I had had enough of city life, so I took the decision to move down to the south coast. Graphic design jobs being few and far between, I decided to try my hand at freelance illustration. This was very successful, with most of my work coming from London, from gardening magazines and publishers including Pavilion Books and Dorling Kindersley.
Jeff and I were married in July 1988 in his home town of Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. We bought a house in Emsworth, Hampshire, midway between Portsmouth and Chichester. I was pregnant with our first child when we were offered a job in France, so I spent the last weeks with my parents in Jersey while Jeff found us accomodation near Tours, in the Loire Valley. On 8th November 1990, he drove through the night to St Malo and caught the hydrofoil to Jersey, arriving in time for the birth of Jennifer Anne. Six weeks later, I joined him in France, at the beginning of 1991.
From January 1991 we lived in two small towns near Tours: first in St Avertin, then in Ballan-Miré, during which time we had a second daughter, Laura Beth, who was eight months old when we returned to the UK in December 1993. In April 1994, we bought another house in Emsworth, not far from the sea. You can see the area where we live by taking a "virtual tour" of the village!
As the children grew up and went to school, I began to look forward to something other than family responsibilities. I started looking for part-time work, but it was so poorly paid it was not worthwhile. I spotted an advert in the newspaper for courses at the University of Portsmouth, and thought the MSc in Information Systems sounded interesting, especially as it was offered as full-time or part-time (one day per week). I applied that summer and was accepted to start in September 1996. Finally, after three years of hard work, I have just finished the course. You can see some of the work I have done on the course in the Portfolio section of this site.