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Where it all began

I'm starting the day with tea, obviously, a cosy jumper, and my sketchbook. I've been planning out Instagram posts for March Meet The Maker (are you joining in this year?) and I'd like to share some snippets over here on the blog. 

While the kettle is boiling let’s talk about the day three prompt - how it began. 

I started Clara and Macy back in 2012 with a few illustrations and the idea of piquing the interest of a children’s book publisher by growing a following for my little characters - Clara and her twin sister Macy. The dream was always picture books but it’s a tough industry to break into. I thought maybe I’d sell a few ‘branded’ products and that might help a publisher be more interested. I didn’t really mean to start a business!

But the business grew quicker and bigger than I had ever imagined.

From a dining table business in our little two bedroom house, to our second floor studio in Altrincham, Cheshire. This was the view from the studio window this week during the 'beast from the east' snow!

It’s a lovely place to have our studio. I walk about 20 minutes to get here from home - a little longer in the snow!

And the second floor apartment in that building over on the right of this photo is the first home Tom and I lived in together around 15 years ago. It’s so strange that life brought me back here to the very same spot for our studio.

It was obviously meant to be

It still feels kind of special, and pretty amazing, even after nearly six years, to get to do this. Folding the wrapping paper, labelling the jar tokens, glueing the bambear ears. I mean, I get to design and make my own creations every day. Well not every day, some days I have to do accounts and that’s definitely not my favourite!

But a growing business and three kids - it's busy.

So much so that I never had time to contact those publishers. I never even managed to finish my Macy products - that’s her half-drawn over in the top left of the first picture.

And then somewhere along the way I lost my confidence in my drawing ability. But that’s all changing this year. I’m drawing again and it feels wonderful.

And I think perhaps 2018 might be the year to finally start speaking to those publishers. Or maybe 2019


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