Born and brought up in Giggleswick, a village in the Yorkshire Dales, my mother told me that from the moment I could hold a pencil, I never stopped drawing. Living in the country, I always loved to draw and paint from nature: flowers, animals, birds – and had a particular interest in fairy tales, which I read constantly.
I attended art college at Brighton University, where I gained a degree in Art and Design. From there I began work as a free-lance illustrator, working in editorial, packaging, advertising and publishing. During the 1980s I produced work for the Franklin Mint, illustrating Grimm’s fairy tales for their second edition of porcelain collectors’ plates. Following that series, I illustrated fifty classic fairy tales for a set of miniature plates and many other series including figurine designs of the ‘United Nations Children’.
During this time I continued to work in publishing, illustrating a book of classic fairy tales and also wrote and illustrated my own children’s books. I had accumulated a collection of teddy bears, (over 200!), and wrote and illustrated the ‘Upstairs Downstairs Bears’ books, the characters based on bears from the collection. A stop-frame animation series of 26 episodes, based on the books, was produced for TV in 2001.
I have just completed the illustrations for an edition of ‘The Nutcracker’, due to be published later this year and am currently working on Limited Edition prints of landscapes around where I live now, in the Sussex countryside.
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