When past and present come together

Sue Thornton & Yadzia Williams were tutoring me long before the course began
Sue Thornton & Yadzia Williams were tutoring me long before the course began

I was absolutely delighted to discover that the very first illustration book that I bought just over four years ago was actually the accomplishment of my very own  course lecturers, ‪‎Sue Thornton‬ and ‪Yadzia Williams‬. To think that this book set me on the path I am now on, because I actually used it to develop my skills and practice animal characters, particularly anthropomorphism, based on the study in this book.

And now I’m studying under their very professional and experienced tutelage, and I couldn’t be more proud.

If you’re looking for a great illustration guide then this book comes highly recommended. You can find it on Amazon here.


Wishing you a great start to 2015!

May the next year be filled with plenty of opportunity, happiness, and adventure! Ours is surely going to be interesting, a number of projects currently on the go, soon to be displayed for sharing and supporting where you can. With special surprises for you too, of course!

Mostly for us, 2015 will be about giving.
Lots of giveaways and shares.

We hope you like…!

All the best for the new year, Yvie & Tom x

Warming Up

Greetings Autumn, you fill me with joy and inspire warm, golden and rustic colours to infiltrate my designs. University is now three weeks in and my passion for creativity has been enhanced, not exhausted. That’s a great sign of things to come!

With a number of projects under way for the different disciplines of the course, I’m surprised I have not felt a need to pick a favourite, and by default, not look forward to a certain element. The disciplines range from illustration, life drawing and typography, to theory, Photoshop and composition. The dust and cobwebs have been scraped from the boxes of paints, charcoals, pencils and pastels. The stock of sketchpads have resurfaced, and desk cleared of wood scrapings and redundant strips of vinyl.

IMG_0070Since the course began, the emotions have run high, the anxiety levels skyrocketed, the enthusiasm and excitement wobbling, and the curiosity endless. What is this world of illustration that I’m unearthing? The layers are slowly being peeled back, day after day, whilst I absorb at a pace I haven’t worked at in a number of years.

So far, Ibsa has developed, a Scandinavian girl in ‘Orla Kiely’ land, part of one of the first projects. A book idea around culture and beverages has been discussed, brainstormed, and adopted. And the business of vanity publishing for families has been touted for charity.Tomorrow is field trip #1. Liverpool will be discovered, the galleries my new home for the day. Look out for me doodling and sketching at the cafés and benches.

Don’t let your Dreams be Dreams


A wise person once told me that realising my dreams, whilst being grateful for what I already have, was a sure way to be happy. In life we should all do what we love, as that will make us better people to be around.

Back to School

Summer is winding down and I’m gearing up to going back to school at the end of September! Soon to be enrolling on the BA (Hons) Illustration and Children’s Publishing course at Glyndwr University, it’s time to take the skill level up a gear and to start making industry contacts. This has been an organic journey of discovery, and I’m ready for a new direction, with guidance and tutelage.


This is really exciting as it has been a 20-year long desire to be trained and recognised as an illustrator, and as an artist. The stigma of not having any credible qualification may be a viewpoint shared with some of you, and I know others will see it as unnecessary. Let’s just say this is about confidence.

In the meantime, I’m increasing the wooden gift range to clear out the stock from Christmas, as this Advent will be about more illustrative work, cards, and paper-based products than wooden gifts. 2013-03-26 16.11.21 The range of limited edition wooden bunting, stacking blocks, danglies, wooden plaques, chalkboards, and AlphaCubes will be available directly from the eden with pencils shop on Facebook at a 50% discount, and these options will all be listed on Facebook in the coming week. As I will be self-funding my degree (I already hold a degree in Modern Languages) it will be more important  than ever to link up with others for advice on getting through a course whilst working, studying, managing a home life, and building a business. I’d love to know who else has decided to return to school, or taken on a new direction in their creative world.And how are you planning to finance it and manage the long-term expectations?