John completed his studies and went on to work as a technical illustrator before becoming a freelance sculptor. He was involved with a number of high-profile projects, including stone carving for the restoration of Westminster Abbey. After achieving successful election as an associate to The Royal Society of British Sculptors (becoming an ARBS), John joined Madame Tussauds where he was responsible for producing some of the most famous portraits of the time, including: Sir Elton John, Sophia Loren, Ella Fitzgerald, P.G. Wodehouse and Mark Philips.
On the merits of his own work, John was awarded a fellowship to the Digswell Arts Trust – a publicly funded art community. John produced work which was exhibited across Europe and was invited to become a visiting lecturer at both Sir John Cass School of Art and a return to his first college, Blackpool Art College.
In 1982, John entered the film industry for the first time; he has since gone on to be involved with some of the largest and most successful films of the past two decades. Often as the Head of Sculpture Department, John has regularly been responsible for teams of twenty or more sculptors and worked closely with Directors and Production Designers. John has also worked within Special Effects Units and CGI (computer generated images) teams as a 3D Designer.
In 1999, John made his first and (so far) only big screen appearance as Napoleon’s Court Sculptor in Quills.
Outside of the film industry, John Blakeley continues to produce his own work, together with public and private commissions.