I’m experiencing a creative surge at the moment, and trying to be as productive as possible incase it disappears! (Remember my 7 year creative block? No thanks!) Here’s a bit of background into the two new greeting card designs available in my Thortful shop.
Beaver birthday card
I’m a huge wildlife nerd and am working on a secret wildlife-related illustration project that I can’t mention at the moment. The world has gone crazy for sloths, and while I’ve always been a huge sloth devotee (trekked Central America in search of them years ago), there’s something about everyone jumping on the bandwagon that makes me move on to lesser-idolised creatures of the wild. I realise this makes me sound like a massive hipster, but it bothers me that there are people following animal trends for the sake of popularity and sales, while also knowing this is what you’re supposed to do. /snark over.
I have a creature obsession for beloved beavers. I spent 3 months in Fernie, BC, Canada – you know, that ski town that people all over the world visit to ski and snowboard? But did I hurl myself down mountain-sides? No. I was foraging around by lakes in search of beaver lodges in the hope of observing them in the wild, in their own environment, taking pictures (attempting to – tail slap!) and freezing beyond my British blood (ok, there’s some Finnish blood in there too, so I survived) on a fold-out chair in the snow with a long-lens on ‘beaver patrol’, repeating my mantra ‘beav before I leave’ until I finally saw a family of beavers doing their biz!
I’ve continued learning about these extremely intelligent mechanical engineers via webcams inside and outside of beaver lodges (no idea why I’m single), and watching documentaries because I think it’s important to study a subject and closely observe its habits/lifestyle in order to depict it appropriately. I say ‘appropriately’ rather than ‘accurately’, as a conjured character may look/behave very differently or subversively than in reality, yet at the root of their creation lies the knowledge and observation.
Wonderland new baby card
My watercolour card for welcoming wee folk into the world wasn’t planned as a card to sell. The original watercolour painting was a card to welcome a teeny cherub, Tallis Wolf; daughter to a couple of awesome friends embarking on their journey into parenthood. The original text said ‘Tallis in Wonderland” and the name Tallis means Woodland.
Occasionally I’ll pour my little heart into personal cards and create images that I realise as an afterthought may be something other people would send or like to receive too. Perhaps there are other Earth mamas, forest fathers, and woodland wonder-babies in the world. As I had a couple of requests to sell this as a card, I duly complied, and this ‘welcome little one’ version is available via my Thortful profile.
I’m also thinking of creating personalised prints with a name/message of choice in the ribbon banner to sell in my Etsy shop. I recently took a calligraphy course, and while I’m in need of a lot of practice, I feel happy that I can at least write neatly with ink and a nib at this stage…
Thortful.com is a greeting card platform where you can buy a card to have it sent directly to your recipient and include your own message. You can even pick a font. Or have it sent to you, blank inside ready for your handwritten message. They also offer a variety of gift options such as sending chocolate, notebooks, cake, or socks with the card!
I’ve purchased cards from Thortful before and was very impressed with both the print and card quality, and the cards are A5 – larger than the average cards you’ll find in shops. Best of all, they are supporting independent designers as we receive commission for each card sold.
Do you think I’m a hipster? Should I have snowboarded instead of going on wildlife watch? Do you like my new watercolour illustrations? I’d love to hear from you!
If you’d like to see what I’m up to illustratively, find me on Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter! X