BOOK LAUNCH DAY!

It’s almost a year since Penguin emailed me with the idea for these books. I was beyond excited. It felt like a dream commission. What a huge and overwhelming amount of work it was though and last Summer I did little else but work on these books. Very satisfying to see the finished products and I would definitely do it all again.

They are available to buy from Amazon and Waterstones.

REDBUBBLE

Recently I have opened a shop on Redbubble. It’s lovely to see my designs on so many products. I’m still finding my way around and will be adding more work soon. If you would like to have a look click here.

James Ellis Easter

i loved doing these cards. There’s nothing like when a client ask for some cards and gives you free reign to do what you want. It’s the first time I’ve done Easter patterns and such a refreshing change from Christmas.

James Ellis now producing all his Shakies cards with biodegradable glitter! These cards are solely produced in the UK and printed on paper made from wood pulp sourced from sustainable forests. The packaging is now biodegradable too!

HAPPY EASTER

Easter has felt like a long time coming this year! The weather is set to be fabulous this weekend which makes a change. A bit hot for chocolate eggs but I’m sure we’ll all get through! Here’s a few Easter cards I did for Cardmix which are out in shops now.

SHAKIES CARDS

Some new Mother’s Day Shakies cards I did for James Ellis.

You can buy them here. Also available from John Lewis and other good retailers.

TIGER TAIL

I have a range of cards I did with Cardmix called Tiger Tail. This was the first range I developed when I started freelancing. Am proud to say it’s still going strong nearly 4 years later. Here’s some new cards which are out for this Mother’s Day.

MOTHER'S DAY

I can’t believe Mother’s Day is in a few weeks. January felt like it had 100 days but now the year feels like it’s zipping by! Here’s a couple of Mother’s Day cards I did for Cardmix.

DESIGN CHALLENGES

Recently I’ve tried my hand at some of the designer challenges on Spoonflower. So far I’ve entered 3 challenges and am happy to say I’ve come in the top voted for entries each time!

I studied illustration and have worked as an illustrator for many years. Surface pattern is only something I’ve recently delved into and I absolutely love it! It’s definitely something I’m going to spend more time doing.

Below are my entries. As you can see I am enjoying working with dark grounds at the moment!

These are all available to buy as wallpaper, fabric and gift wrap over on Spoonflower.

Valentine's Day

Wow I can’t believe Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us! I must admit it’s not really an event that I love. I am not a romantic in that way and find it all a bit cheesy and embarrassing which I really shouldn’t say being a greetings card illustrator! When I worked in London I did used to love seeing the amount of women walking around with big bunches of roses which had obviously been delivered to their place of work. Always made me smile but I would have died if it had been me!

Here’s some Valentine’s cards I did for James Ellis. Not quite sure where they’re available to but but they’re out there somewhere!

New Height Chart

Today I am sat at my desk wishing I had gone to the Spring Fair at the NEC. I almost went and decided my time would be better spent at my desk drawing. Instead I am sat here cursing at my printer which is refusing to play nicely and my daughter is off school feeling sick! Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

On the plus side - I recently did this height chart for James Ellis and was delighted to see it up his website already! It’s making it’s debut at the show and fingers crossed it will be finding it’s way to shops very soon.


In the beginning...

I have been having a clear out in my loft and came across these drawings from my student days. They brought back a lot of memories and made me think about the art journey I have been on.

I did a degree in Illustration at Kingston Upon Thames University. The course only had around 20 people and was one of the best in the country at the time. I was thrilled when I got accepted there. I had just done a foundation course in art and design and loved it. Drawing and painting was something I just had to do and I never stuck for ideas. When I started my degree things went wrong and I completely lost my confidence. On our first day we had to go to the British Museum to do location drawing. I hated it. I didn’t even know where the museum was, how to get there or how to navigate the tube. I was very shy, didn’t like drawing in public and my confidence was destroyed. By the end of the course I was slowly starting to find my feet but it was too late. I’d wasted 3 years being completely lost and not really knowing what I was doing.

Upon graduating I worked in a pub whilst trying to get freelance work. The world wide web was only starting to emerge with hardly any companies having websites or email addresses. I didn’t even own a computer anyway so everything was done the old fashioned way with colour photocopies and self addressed envelopes. Money was tight and I could only afford to reach out to 3/4 companies a week. It was a slow process but my first commission came along a few months later with a regular slot for a BBC children’s magazine. Then I struck gold and was lucky to start freelancing for a company called Tigerprint. They produced all the greetings cards, wrapping paper, and stationery for the UK department store Marks and Spencer. I absolutely loved it and after a few months was lucky enough to be offered a full time position as an in house illustrator/designer. I was in the right place at the right time. I learnt everything there from illustrator and photoshop skills, to mocking up, to how to be a commercial illustrator and designer. I am eternally grateful for what Tigerprint did for me. I worked in a wonderful studio with fabulous designers who were like a second family. What we had was very special, there was no competition between us - we all pitched in and supported each other. Going to work was never a chore.

However all good things must come to an end. After 16 years I grew tired of the company. I had stayed too long. I loved the environment and people so much though I would have been daft to give it up. Luckily that decision wasn’t mine. The studio closed and I was made redundant. I have to say it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Yes I was sad and obviously worried about money and losing the security of a full time job. But I was free and had been hankering for something else for a long time. It gave me the opportunity to be freelance and I was beyond excited! That was 4 years ago now and I can honestly say it’s been the best! I have been fortunate enough to have continuous work and although I do miss my Tigerprint family I love what I have now. The world feels full of opportunities and I never know what exciting projects are going to come my way. I love the freedom that I have. The only restrictions you have when you’re freelance are the ones you put on yourself. I genuinely love what I do and do what I love.

New Children's Books

Delighted to announce that I have two children’s books being launched in May. They are both about London and were great fun to work on. I now feel like I’ve drawn every bit of London - from the grand hall at the Natural History Museum to Shakespear’s Globe theatre! It was certainly a lot of work! I can’t wait to get my hands on them. Available to preorder from Amazon.

Top Drawer SS19

Last week was the Spring Summer Fair for Top Drawer. It was exciting to see my children’s age cards making their debut with James Ellis! I have done a lot of cards in this pattern style now and it was lovely to see them all together. They will be available to buy in various shops soon. You can also buy them directly from his Etsy shop - https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/JamesEllisCom

Happy New Year...

Happy New Year everyone! Today is my first proper day at my desk since before Christmas. It feels lovely to have the house to myself and not have the incessant chattering of my little girl. She doesn’t even pause for breath! First day back at school today and she wasn’t impressed crying all the way there. It breaks my heart when we have mornings like that but I’ve everything crossed she’ll come out laughing and be back to herself.

On the run up to Christmas I did an illustrated advent calendar on my Insta and Facebook pages. The theme was Christmas around the world with each day focusing on a different country. I loved doing it and am keen to carry on as there are so many countries and not enough days. It was wonderful to draw things I wouldn’t usually draw and I learnt a lot about the world too. Below are some of the highlights…

Selfridges Christmas Department

Yesterday I had a fabulous day in London visiting Selfridges Christmas department. The range of eclectic decorations was so inspirational to look at. I don’t know what was more exciting - spotting some of my Christmas cards I did for James Ellis or the set of 3 animated, singing penguins available to buy for £28k!

The British Museum

Earlier this year I was honoured to be asked by The British Museum to illustrate their Christmas card. Here’s the final result. Available to buy now in the British Museum shop.

Top Drawer and cloudy days

It has been a busy Summer which has mostly kept me at my desk working hard. I’ve missed most of the glorious hot sunny days because I’ve had a huge project on which I just had to get done. I am not complaining - I would rather this than no work. It’s just been hard and at times left me questioning what I’m doing after working every day, evening and weekend for what felt like forever. The sun shining makes it harder as I just want to down tools and ‘play’ outside! Today is cloudy, today is a great day - a typical grey British day! I love it! I am at my happiest when it’s this sort of weather as I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything outside! Love being at my desk and drawing pretty pictures on days like today!

After being a hermit for so many months, yesterday I escaped and visited Top Drawer. I had a fantastic, inspiring and invigorating day! So good to step away from my desk and venture out. I met up with friends and clients old and new, listened to inspirational and informative talks and loved looking at all the new products coming into the market place. The highlight of the day was meeting James Ellis and seeing my new cards on his stand. Very excited to say they’ll be coming to shops very soon!

New Business Cards

Excited to receive my new business cards printed on beautiful paper made from recycled t-shirts.

Harrods

We visited Harrods yesterday and were quite excited to see a stand with my name on and cards from my 'Out & About' range with Cardmix.

New Card Range

I recently had he pleasure of designing this new card range for James Ellis Stevens. They are coming to shops very soon!