I would say that I led a happy and fulfilled childhood.
Being creative was always apparent in me, usually in the way I chose to dress, which wasn’t the pretty girly option but what ended up being individual to say the least, sometimes comical but what I thought looked “cool” (looking back I now see how disastrously wrong I was!).
I was very mathematical at school and artistic too, but I always saw art as my “easy & fun” subject. After school I was accepted onto a Maths degree at Warwick University. The tell-tale signs that I was on the wrong path may just have been my textile covered room, painting easel, and the fact that I would stay up until 3am not working on binomial theorems but painting to my heart’s content.
After finding my way back into art and textiles I realized that this was where my passion lay. Since getting married eight years ago I would say that my biggest influence has been having children. For a start, it led to my best friend, Catriona, and me setting up our own company where I could work from home and continue to design. As my children have grown, my experiences as a mother have filtered through to our Tea-Time-Tarts card designs. Our kids’ collection, Tea-Time-Tots, continues to be inspired by Tia & Sophie.
As a child I grew up all over the world in weird and wonderful countries. We were usually allowed a lot of freedom playing outdoors mostly, and being the youngest of six boys and girls we had lots of games and adventures. I’ve been drawing for as long as I remember, from sitting in restaurants and drawing on the paper table covers, to going out painting with my mother from the age of six. I also loved reading and devoured illustrated children's books, which led me to pursue an illustration degree as I wanted to create books that inspired children as much as they inspired me.
I get inspiration from all sorts of areas. From sitting at the side of a busy square and watching the people go by, to looking at nature and how animals and bugs go about their busy little lives. I try and find the humour in the everyday, looking for that little quirk that makes the ordinary extraordinary. My friends, family and dog provide me with an endless source of amusement. These often turn into cards for Tea-Time-Tarts, and who knows, maybe one day an illustrated book for children!