In the beginning…

In the beginning…


I’m going to go way back, to the early days before the business.. because it’s always fun to dig out the old artworks which should not see the light of day…but will!

I have always dabbled in art, since as long as I can remember. I loved books, mainly for the illustrations. In fact, I tended not to read them, but stared at the images and got taken away into a magical world. Like Alice in Wonderland.. love it!

I don’t think I was particularly good. I am pretty sure that my daughter is a much better artist than I was at her age, but we don’t need to be good.. we need to have passion. Well.. I never really thought I had much of that either. Ha ha.. but it turns out that what I thought was passion, was not how it feels to me. It is described as a desire to constantly create, to absorb art everywhere, to love it deeply. I just enjoyed a good old drawing book, nothing special. But what I have come to learn is that passion for me is just being able to do it, when you like, and not really getting tired of it. For me it’s a constant. I don’t live and breathe art, but I enjoy it and can work happily for hours, and as it turns out, years.

This subtle enjoyment was always simmering in my decisions. When it came to my electives at school, I wanted to be a vet. So I chose science, maths, and art. Art mainly because I liked it, so didn’t want to stop. But the others were my future. That’s how I saw it.

high school art work

My exam piece for high school. The theme was Oriental. Could you guess?

My exam piece at high school. Theme was metal and water and reflective surfaces.

When I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after school, (I got bored of the vet idea) I took a gap year. I filled it by doing a fine art course. I didn’t much enjoy it, but it gave me time to decide what I wanted to do. By the time university came round, I was wanting to be a PT and work in fitness. But I wasn’t ready to stop art altogether, so went to university and studied Illustration.

Fun fact: My tutor took a dislike to me, failed my first year and then told me he was determined to get me to quit. He said I didn’t have what it took to be an illustrator. My reply was simply, “I don’t want to be, I want to be a personal trainer, I’m just here because I like it at the moment, so I’m not going to quit”. He was speechless and probably thought I was an idiot! Ha ha..


I ended up completing university with one of the highest grades and was awarded student of the year! How’s that for a comeback.


Sketches at uni experimenting with style

more sketches. Trying to create my own style for the future

Life drawing works which we had every week for 4 years

Part of a recipe book, which was my final project at uni

I then set off for my travels, backpacking all over the world for a few years. I always took my paints with me and was constantly paintings and drawing. I had no intention of being an artist, I did this for my own enjoyment and to settle all the creative ideas floating around my head.

I used to create pictures, recipe books, flip books and other artworks as gifts for people I met along my travels. It was how I showed my friendship and appreciation. I never thought about it in terms of a profession. I wanted to open a café/restaurant with a Moroccan European fusion and illustrate the menu. That was my goal. Oh, and an eco-friendly campsite in France… I had so many ideas!

Outback Jacks illustration

A painting of my old work place, Outback Jacks. I gifted all the staff their own limited edition print when I left.

Part of Aidan’s baby book. I had lots of time on my hands when he was born

I then landed on the sunny shores of Australia. And it was here that my adventure into art truly began. I started off creating loads of artworks and thought that I may try and sell them to Hallmark for cards. It was a half-arsed attempt, as I painted and designed, but never actually approached Hallmark! Ha ha..

Salt and Pepper illustration

Some card ideas I had

Molly Walkies

The first ever appearance of Molly, walking her flamingos. I painted this in 2007, while living in Plymouth between travels. I had intended it to be for cards, but never sent it to any publishers. I eventually turned it into a card and sold it myself, and its still available through my online shop.


Anyway… it wasn’t long before my personal life got all shaken up, and I was forced to think more business-like, and that I finally made my first sale.

I’ll cover all that in the next one…

I can feel your anticipation already! Ha ha