I was brought up in Northwest England and moved to London to study art at Middlesex University. From there, my career began in textile design; I was creating floral patterns for many major high street stores such as Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins and Debenhams. I began as an illustrator, by accident rather than design, when retailer Boots licensed some of my floral designs for use on gift-wrap. After a couple of years, I found that I had moved out of the fashion industry and became a full time illustrator, mostly for greetings cards and wrap.
I really enjoyed the freedom of working on a much wider subject matter. I still do floral designs from time to time, but now I am probably best known for cat, dog and Christmas images.
I originally had two dogs, Rosie, a fox terrier and Florence, a cocker spaniel, which frequently appeared in my work. They were really quite famous and have been featured on Christmas cards, mugs, tea towels, tapestry kits and even framed art. I now have a black cat, called Rudolph, who just arrived at our door one Christmas eve and moved in. He is also featured in my work.
I like to experiment with new styles and mediums all the time. I think that the secret of remaining commercial is the ability to move on to new ideas. I work in both a traditional way with washy watercolours and detailed acrylics and also in a graphic style with my Apple Mac using both Illustrator and Photoshop programs. I’m occasionally asked if I represent many artists and I have to reply “no”. I’m just a bit schizophrenic when it comes to styles. Variety is the spice of life they say!
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