I grew up by the sea and still live on the Suffolk Coast. I spent my childhood illustrating school work ‘beautifully’ and long school holidays drawing to pass the time as my mum permed and set old ladies’ hair.
After graduating in 2000 with a First Class Degree in Design Crafts, I set up my own business as an artist and textile designer. I exhibited across East Anglia and throughout the UK. I attended many 1950s Rock and Roll events, selling my hand printed Elvis Hawaiian shirts and 1950s inspired prints.
In 2002 I began my teaching career in Further and Higher Education as a part-time lecturer and became module leader for Visual Studies, teaching drawing and printmaking for fourteen years until my circumstances changed. This led me to apply for a place on the prestigious Children’s Book Illustration MA at the Cambridge School of Art, where I recently graduated with distinction in 2018.
A new chapter in my life began.
I am passionate about drawing from observation and during the MA I realised that my home town and the surrounding area deeply influenced my work. In particular, the remnants of a thriving fishing town and its industrial and working landscapes, and a love for the everyday lives of its people. The MA helped me to allow my observational eye to work alongside my imagination.
Combined with the fascinating discovery of my own rich maritime family history, I have been inspired to create new and exciting work. I work mostly in pencil and ink and find their raw and honest nature helps me to create atmospheric
illustrations that reflect the honest and hard-working fishing industry of my home town. I also enjoy translating my illustrations into print. I particularly admire the traditional process and the ‘hands on’ approach that linocut allows. I hope my work evokes a sense of place and brings the sights and smells of a moment in time back to life.
The MA opened up a whole new world to me and I am looking forward to creating my own stories and illustrating both fiction and non-fiction work. I want to explore different media and continue to develop my skills and enrich my work. If I can keep drawing, I will be very happy.
I am very delighted and over the moon to announce that I was awarded the 2019 Templar Illustration Prize for my Bread, Buns and Biscuit story, at an event hosted by Nomad Books in Fulham, London on September the 18th . The story is a non-fiction picture book, inspired by my grandfather Percy who decided to become a baker in a world built around the fishing trade. The competition was judged by Templar Authors and illustrators Jonny Duddle, Lara Hawthorne, Lucia
Gaggiotti and Fran-Preston Gannon.