I was born in Liverpool, UK, in early 1980. In July 1981, as Charles and Diana tied the knot and the Toxteth riots sent shockwaves through Merseyside, my parents moved out of the city. I grew up on the fringes of the Cumbrian Lake District with my three younger brothers, later joined by my little sister. My early childhood was full of mud, worms and animals. I was never destined to be a girly girl.
Back to Liverpool
I went to art college in Carlisle, and then on to John Moores University in Liverpool. I studied Graphic Arts and Illustration. I enjoyed it, but on my graduation I chose a different career path - as a pub manager - for a number of years. I moved to Oxford and then to Reading, back to Liverpool and then to Lancashire, before eventually coming back to Liverpool a fourth time!
In 2009 I had a total change of career and started a 9-5 job in a call centre. I suddenly had a lot more time on my hands. I began to draw again. Initially I'd been helping my younger sister with some homework, I then rediscovered my passion for drawing. I drew my house, followed by a friend's house, and another friend's house... it became a bit of an obsession. I then discovered that people were willing to pay for my pictures - and I haven't looked back since.
I went on to create a range of illustrated alphabets - inspired by a trip to visit my cousins in Australia where I discovered the game "Scattergories". I loved the idea of thinking of a word beginning with a certain letter to fit within a particular theme. I now have around twenty different themed alphabet images, available as greetings cards and art prints.
Leaving my 9 to 5
I was still working part-time in the call centre, and drawing in my spare time. My business was growing, both via craft fairs and online sales, and I was starting to struggle to keep up with demand.
Following on from a busy Christmas, and then the runaway success of my bestselling "Cheesy Valentine's Card", in March 2014 I gave up my day job and I'm now a full time illustrator.
Pen and Ink Skylines
For the past six years or so I have been working on a series of black and white line-drawn town and city skylines - now with over 170 locations covered. Check to see if I have drawn your town or city.
I work from my Liverpool City Centre workspace (in Static Gallery & Studios), and live in Toxteth with my partner James, his two children, my black cat Tilly and a grumpy springer spaniel named Charlie. We also spend time on our narrowboat on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.