I help people think and create.

Blog of inspiration and goodness

Newsletter: That was different

A fortnightly email for people who work with children and young people. You’ll get teaching tools that I’ve used successfully, new stories and illustrations you can use in your class or group, links to resources and inspiration, and news of what I’m up to.

Here are some more places to find me

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (occasionally), Medium, LinkedIn (possibly), Ello (barely), (once), Flickr (it’s been ages), Google+ (lol), my old blog, my old old blog. There are probably others. You could do a search for jqgill if you’re really bored. All those things are nice but the best way to get in touch with actual me is to

School visits

Book themed visits

I can come to your school with a really fun assembly based on The Boy Who Fell to Bits or Getting Ideas. I can do a full day of workshops about drawing, writing, falling to bits and/or putting creativity to work. I can anything in between too!

Drawing workshops

Drawing is not necessarily art. It is a form of language, a way to communicate. Almost all children draw instinctively. Most adults don’t. In fact, most adults seem to be convinced that they can’t draw. Something terrible happens between the early years and adulthood which robs people of a natural communication ability. Participants in my drawing workshops are able to shed their misgivings about their drawing abilities and they start making interesting creative drawings within minutes.

Key Stage 2 and older (including adults). They are especially good for KS2 and KS3. These are the years when children start assimilating the idea that drawing is something that people can or can’t do. A confidence building intervention during this time could be what pupils need to help them keep drawing throughout life.

Full drawing workshops last two hours. The first half is all about gaining the confidence to draw and making lots and lots of drawings. The second half is about improving skills by learning how to see and draw things as they are. This allows the participants to move beyond stick figures and stereotypes in their drawing.

Please contact me for more information about hosting a drawing workshop.

reACT!VE RE and RS lessons

Your class would love RE lessons that are active, useful and laugh-out-loud funny. You would love lessons that complement your class theme. My wife Christine and I are very experienced in giving exactly those kinds of lessons.

the consciousness of the Western world. They are the content and context for countless cultural references. They are also neglected and in danger of being forgotten by large swathes of the UK’s population. REact!ve lessons immerse pupils in the bible’s stories so they can experience first-hand the impact of hearing and telling these great stories. The key word in what we do is active.

We don’t tell bible stories to children. We tell stories with children. We use a variety of mediums to engage your class with the stories – spoken word, poetry, drawing, acting, writing. We create characters and advertisements for products that don’t exist. We write ridiculous poems. We tell one story in many different ways.

Poetry workshops

A lot of people think they don’t like poetry. These people tend to like making poetry with me. I’m not a natural poetry lover either. But I do like playing with words. I like Dr Seuss and I like free verse. I like the power of metaphors. I like blowing kids’ minds with a powerful poem. I love watching children pull amazing poems seemingly out of thin air and then read them to their friends. I like poetry workshops.

Public speaking and workshops

I like getting up in front of people and talking. I’ve been doing it professionally since I was 16. All the stuff that I do at schools can also be done with your organisation or club.

I write books and make things.


Don’t Dig!

Don’t Dig! is a graphic novel for children that people of all ages will love. It’s the story of two young mice who take on the impossible task of bringing sunlight to their grandmother. The cool thing is that you can watch Don’t Dig! becoming a real book as it happens by becoming one of my patrons. It costs as little at $1/month. You can get cool stuff too.

The Boy Who Fell to Bits (Print / Kindle)

This book is a poem. But don’t worry. It’s not one of those frilly poems that say things like my love is like a honey-dipped cloud of trembly ferns. It’s a story. The star of the story is a boy who has some pretty terrible things happen to him – because that’s the way life goes sometimes. I hope your life is nothing like this boy’s life. Even though he does have a happy ending, he’s got a rough journey to get there. If you have been unlucky like the boy, maybe his story will give you hope that you could have a happy ending too. And maybe there will be some finches along the way.

Getting Ideas

A helpful book for humans, especially young people. It’s full of lies (and truths) about being silly, one possible way to not be eaten by a T. rex, large heads, mythical creatures, an extremely valuable diamond and much more. (Most of the time when something says ‘much more’, it means ‘not much more’. This time it actually means ‘much more’.) Most of all, this book is about ideas, why they matter, how to get them and what to do with them.

Try before you buy: read the ebook for free. Buy the proper book from Blurb or, even cheaper while my supplies last, buy Getting Ideas directly from me.

Choose your location:


A sort of field guide to birds that don’t exist. The illustrations, which some have said rival those of John James Audobon,*No one has said this. were drawn entirely on my iPhone.

I enjoyed this book so much that I actually SIGNED UP with Blurb just to comment. You really should buy this book – it will change your life in some ways, most of them positive. Also Jeff Gill really worked hard on this and it would be a shame for his effort to have been in vain. Oh, and actually the book is a great read. Go on... it’s only £5 – about the same as a medium Frappachino but with a more enduring aftertaste.

Graphic Design

I design logos, books, printed stuff, sometimes websites, installations and other things that make my clients very happy and successful beyond their wildest dreams.**Your results may vary. Here is some of my work.

Tom’s Novelty Meats was my one person design studio until 2006. Here’s the old site.

The Misprints

In between the actual things I do, I doodle this daily comic to maintain flexible fingers and a febrile brain.


Here are some poems I wrote. Here are some older poems. I like the silly ones best.

*No one has said this.  **Your results may vary.