Jon Dixon

Actor, Musician, Illustrator, Writer, UX Designer

Acting

As Jon Glentoran, I was an actor for twenty years. Acting, at least in theatre, is an ephemeral thing; once the play closes there is nothing left of the performance but a few photos and yellowing newspaper cuttings. Nevertheless, here are some glimpses of the 100+ productions I was in during those years, as well as some more recent projects I’ve been involved in. These are just a few of the people I briefly became in front of the camera or beneath the stage-lights...

Those of you aware of the movie game 'Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon' might like to know that I currently have a Bacon number of 2 (if you count TV shows). My IMDB page suggests that I am best known for 'Back Of The Head', which seems unlikely. My name is often spelled wrong in credits. I am the only actor who has never appeared in 'The Bill' *
* this may be a lie..

See my full acting CV

“Our Revels now are ended. These our actors
As I foretold you, were all spirits
And are melted into air, into thin air...” — William Shakespeare (The Tempest, Act 4 Scene 1)

Illustration

Alongside my acting career I developed a sideline as an artist, illustrator and designer, tending to specialise in science-fiction, fantasy and horror subjects. Here's a few examples of work I've produced for such clients as TSR, Games Workshop, Armada Books, Pan Books and Wizards Of The Coast as well as for my own enjoyment and as individual commissions. I use everything from traditional pencil and pen and ink through paint and canvas to the digital medium of graphics tablet and screen.

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” — Scott Adams

Music

I've always enjoyed playing music and I've been in several bands over the years as well as playing in scratch bands put together for theatre shows. These included 'Little Shop of Horrors' and 'The Cabaret Of Doctor Caligari' for the London Bubble and 'Buddy Holly At The Regal' for the New Vic Theatre Of London (as one of The Crickets).

Until a few years ago I played in a great little band called Shining Examples, playing mostly original compositions influenced by blues, soul and americana. The songs were written by the talented Steve Mitchell, who writes and performs in New Zealand now as Humankindness. Check out his music - it's fantastic. The other talented musicians that made up Shining Examples were Keith Gotheridge, Bern Mitchell and Gregg Pinchess. Shining Examples are no more, sadly, but I'm still creating music occasionally at home using my old Tascam US-122 Mk II computer/audio interface. Some examples of these home recordings can be listened to below.

The old Shining Examples site can be found here, although it's a historic website only now. Steve Mitchell's new band and lots of his his music can be found here at Humankindness.

My music on Soundcloud

“I play a Les Paul, he plays a Strat, listen to the album and figure it out for yourself.” — Duane Allman, asked what his contribution to the 'Layla' album was.

Writing

As well as illustrating Fantasy and SF I've also dabbled in writing over the years; after all, writing and illustrating are both ways of giving an objective, external form to internalised imaginings. I've written SF, Fantasy and Horror, and occasionally been lucky enough to have been published. I was one of the authors to have a story appear in the legendary 'Pan Book of Horror Stories' series, something which pleased me enormously as those books had a huge effect on me when I was younger. I also had a story in a later homage to those books - 'Back From The Dead: The Legacy of the Pan Book of Horror Stories'. Here are those two stories as well as some other examples of my writing, some complete and as finished as they'll ever be and some excerpts from works-in-progress.

The Surgeon's Tale

Originally published in The Pan Book of Horror Stories Vol 29
This story disturbed me so much (still does!) that I held off sending it out to potential publishers for some time. Ironically, though, when I did it was accepted almost by return of post. It was my first sale and I was paid the princely sum of £250.

Danforth reached forward and threw another log on to the fire, making sparks dance through the smoke. He lit his pipe, which had gone out during the climax of the previous story.

'Yes,' he said. 'Strange, the will to live. When I was a practicing surgeon I saw many cases where the patient's survival instinct pulled them through injuries and trauma which you would have thought inevitably fatal...'

Read the full story

Dreaming The Dark

Originally published in Back From The Dead: The Legacy of the Pan Book of Horror Stories
A bleak exercise in urban gothic, this is a story ostensibly about vampires, but really about secrets and the yearning for the dark that I suspect lies within all of us, more or less well-hidden.

Big Jackie was only thirty yards from the security of the brightly lit main street when he first heard the footsteps. Three yards later he half-turned in surprise. Ten yards after that he was dead.

He lay on his back in the narrow alley, surrounded by the scattered contents of the four carrier-bags that were all his worldly possessions, blindly staring up at the scudding clouds. The night sky was the colour of a bruise...

Read the full story

Wolfwind

Unpublished
The 'winter' story from a planned suite of four stories representing the four seasons, 'Wolfwind' is about redemption after loneliness and long estrangement. The original desire was to write a werewolf story where the werewolf was the 'hero'. It placed in the quarter-finals of the 'Writers of the Future' competition some years ago.

The mid-winter darkness had crept into the town early, and lanterns had been lit in the market square before noon. Now, as true night fell, their tinted parchment panes cast subtle shifting colours diffused by falling snow over the crowds below, highlighting a face in smoky orange there, casting a dim turquoise shadow there, gleaming off bright brass, sparking emerald and ruby twinkles from jars and bottles and giving the market place the hazy, unreal quality of a dream...

Read the full story

As On A Darkling Plain

Unpublished
This was the first 'real' story I ever wrote and it won a local writing competition. In hindsight, the story is incredibly naive in its arguments, and some of the attitudes expressed and character relationships are, to put it generously, unsophisticated. But I have some affection for it - it was the first and it was hard work!

newspaper, shredded, blows silently through littered streets, wind wailing like phantom voices. Darkness, acrid-tasting, sliced by chill drizzle (faint shouts, threshold audible). Splinters of blue light revolve and flash off viscid pools, tarmac-edged. Screech of rubber-burning and shrill sirens in the night. Sweat, cold, twin-trickling down ribs beneath clammy padding. Small of back itches (no time to scratch, bear it) as eye-straining and nervous glances to either side conjure sudden illusions...

Read the full story

“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the inner music that words make.” — Truman Capote

UX Design

Since 1998, I've been working firstly as a graphic designer and latterly in the wider field of user experience - encompassing user centred design, usability, accessibility, information architecture and interaction design. I currently work as one of the senior Interaction Designers at Bunnyfoot. Here are just a few of the things I've worked on both for Bunnyfoot and in my own capacity.

I also deliver training courses in User Experience for Bunnyfoot and eConsultancy, occasionally blog, and speak at conferences. Here's a video of me speaking at the 2013 Brighton UX conference.

Go to the Bunnyfoot website

“You know you have achieved perfection in design, not when you have nothing more to add, but when you have nothing more to take away.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

About

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Some of my other loves

Words of wisdom
over two lines

Contact

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Contact Info

+44 793 236 7216


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