Clive Jebbett was born in London in 1951. He left school at 16 in order to study Fine Art at Colchester School of Art, but left before completing the course. Finding the assessments meaningless, he said: "I left the college system in order to learn how to paint." He went on to co-found the Essex Arts Circus and become Exhibition Organiser at York Arts centre while continuing to exhibit in solo and group shows.
In 1978 he gave up painting entirely in favour of photography and it wasn't for another twenty years that he would decide that his creativity was limited by the camera and return to painting and drawing. His work since 1998 hints at the influence of his time spent creating photographs in terms of composition, although his figures remain abstract with a strong sense of atmosphere.