A Shetland born print designer based on the Island Whalsay, I have lived here my whole life. As a child I became very poorly with M.E and spent my 9-15yrs pretty much lying on the sofa or bed bound. It was during those years I found being creative a great way of coping with things; I did a lot of drawing, sewing, knitting and reading. My oldest sister, Andrea, was studying art and knitwear during that time and I was always watching and learning from her.
I slowly started recovering at about 16yrs old and with further help with Reverse Therapy (Kathleen Kettles) I am able to live a 90% normal life, but I do still get the odd bad day.
At 17yrs I went to Shetland College to get some school qualifications and a degree in contemporary textiles, from then I went south for 2 years to Galashiels Heriot-Watt University and came away with an BA Honours degree in Textile Design. It was during those years, living away from Shetland and being homesick, that I found I could cope by drawing memories of home, the designs 'Aff At Da Eela' and 'Shetland Starling’ all came to light during those years. It was also then that shaped my style of drawing and story telling through print illustration.
While I have been contemplating and writing this I have only just started to realise (2021) 'why' I create and make what I do. Over the years I can now see a pattern with my designs appearing to me when I am under stress or going through life changes, I tend to look back at nostalgic memories and recreate happy times through illustration. Example the 'Granny's Collection' was created when I had my first child, and 'Da Banks' collection was created during 2020 Covid lock down, both quite large life changing experiences.
When a certain memory comes to me and I think it would make a nice design, I obsessively think about it and have to draw it to release it from my head.
I love listening to everyone who shares with me what memories and stories my designs have evoked within them, some funny some very personal and sad, most are happy and bring a smile to their faces..
Thanks for reading about me!