Hobbies: Mess, mayhem and noise!

childrens picture book illustration

Having long walks in the countryside, popping a vinyl on the record player, creating musical chaos, or just having a good giggle are some of my favourite things!!!

As you can probably tell, I’m perhaps not the most serious of characters! I’m VERY bubbly, full of life and can NEVER sit still or stay quiet for long! I like a good laugh and am not afraid of joining in and making a fool of myself. In my heart, I’m a country girl, and I love nothing better than spending lots of time outside walking and enjoying the beauty that mother nature provides us with.  I LOVE most forms of music, and I have an absolute obsession with MARMITE….. especially straight out of the jar!! Mmmmm….!!

To give you a peek at the ‘inner me’, here are a few things I get up to when I’m not in the design studio drawing a colourful illustration or creating a wonderful children’s picture book for one of our fab clients!!

My Artwork…

Having spent around 10 years working and living on a farm, I got to know many of the animals really well. Some of them we bred and showed at various events and agricultural shows in and around Cornwall, which gave me a wonderful insight and understanding of them. Even though my time on the farm is now well behind me, I still have a great affection for all animals and absolutely love drawing them! 

I have a genuine passion for drawing, and am blessed with a gift (passed down from my father), which I like to call ‘THE DRAWING HAND’! So when I am not focusing on producing artwork and books for our many clients, I like to spend some time working on and developing my own little projects!


(Illustrating is my life, and I love drawing animals with a passion!)

Gillie can Series…gillie-can-series

For many years, my career has been centred around designing, illustrating and producing books for hundreds of other authors. Then, one day I thought, ‘I wonder if I can write something of my own?’, and after a little debating, I decided to pop on an author’s cap and set to writing my very first series of books – Gillie Can. It’s a book series aimed specifically at early years, designed for young children to learn in a subtle way and to have confidence in themselves. Since writing the first book, the series has expanded, and there is now an animated series that you can watch on YouTube. Oh, and stay tuned for more exciting news to come soon about future plans for Gillie and her friends! Learn with Gillie!

My love of music…

Childrens theme tune

I literally have music on from the moment I wake up till the moment I nod off, and it’s an essential backdrop to my day, every day! It started from a very young age when I would spend my weekends excitedly going through my dad’s record collection. I would spend hours and hours sitting with headphones on, placing one record after another on the turntable. Ever since then, my love for music has grown and continues to grow! My husband (who is a musician and also as mad about music as me!) and I now have a huge collection of vinyls of our own, and we love nothing better than turning on our vintage hi-fi system and playing a few of our favourites! Beats the telly, hands down!

My favourite bands…

I have a love of music that spans many varied styles and genres. I particularly like anything with a decent beat or a strong melody, both of which, when combined, pretty much floats my boat! However, as well as loving a good boogie to a bit of 80’s electro-pop, playing air guitar to classic rock, or exploring my inner hippy with 60’s summer of love tunes, I also have a passion for movie themes and soundtracks. In fact, I pretty much like ALL music, well, apart from heavy rap/clubbing tunes and self-indulgent jazz (not really my thing!). I regularly attend gigs in my area, watching live bands play and supporting local artists, and I love the atmosphere of a live gig – you just can’t beat it!

I’m a HUGE fan of the music from the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s, and I love the clothing, furniture and fabric designs from those times, too. Some of my favourite bands and artists from those times include Marc Bolan, David Bowie, Steve Harley, ELO, Mamas & Papas, The Eagles, Status Quo, Bob Dylan, OMD, Kate Bush, Cilla Black, and loads more….! As you can see, quite an eclectic mix, and in fact, pretty much ANYTHING from those decades works for me!

My love of making NOISE!…

Yep – I do…!! I have previously sung on stage as well as played the drums and synthesiser in the band my husband and I set up, and I am now also learning to play the bass guitar, as well as the banjo!! Well, at least I’m trying my best to learn them both!!

I like to dabble with needle felting too…!

Amazingly and quite by chance, I have recently discovered that not only can I make things come alive on paper, but I can also create them in 3D… in felt!

A few years ago, I commissioned someone to make a set of my Gillie characters in felt for me to display in my studio. I was happy with the result, but when I looked at them closely, I wondered… Perhaps I could make something similar myself? So I brought a starter kit, ignored the instructions, and away I went! And I love it!

The Studio Pigs!

And finally, how could I not mention these little ones? The Studio Pigs are my little studio helpers! They even have their own page on the website here… Have a peep. When I’m stuck for ideas, or if the day isn’t going quite as planned, they help get me back into the swing of things!! They are my little timeouts, and the studio just wouldn’t be the same without them!

We rescued the original Studio Pigs – Zippy, George, Bungle, Geoffrey and Freddie – a few years ago, and they brought a lot of fun, giggles, and love into our lives. Since then, the line-up has, sadly, changed, but the Studio Pigs continue to be a vital element in the ongoing success of the studio, and we are just so blessed to have them! 


Well, I guess that to one degree or another, we all have a different side to us, and I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading a little about mine! But on a serious(ish) note, and despite all of the fun, I am a very professional, conscientious designer and illustrator, and I would love you to get in touch with us if you think we can help you with your project!

Looking forward to talking to you!

Some of our previous clients

happydesigner clients