Where do you live? Where have you lived? Family? Pets? Hobbies?
I live in Island Bay in Wellington, close to the sea with lovely walking tracks near by. It's very pretty there and a relaxing place to work. I grew up in England until I was 6 years old and then my family moved to Japan as my mother is Japanese. We lived there for 5 years before returning to England. From the age of about 19 I have tried to return to Japan as often as I can as it is such a big part of me. I moved to New Zealand in 2008 and have lived in Wellington ever since, with my boyfriend Nick and our little grey cat Shima. In my spare time I love to cook and look after my little collection of plants (I am not very good at gardening but I would love to be one day!) but most of all I love to draw - even though it is my job I find it so relaxing to draw in my spare time! It can trigger new ideas too.
For a very long time I wanted to be a nurse but more specifically a midwife but also an artist of some sort. I almost considered switching courses when I was at university studying textile design as the midwifery school was next to the art school! But I am glad I stayed on the path I did as I am not sure I would be a very good midwife; I think I would be too emotional.
When did you discover your love of illustration, and when did you discover your beautifully unique style?
I was always drawing as a child and attended after school art classes whilst living in Japan so it's something I always did. But then I became a lot more interested in textile design and when I graduated I worked in London as a textile designer, where I would create printed and embroidered designs for childrenswear and womenswear. This job involved a lot of hand drawing of the motifs and designs and as I worked more I started to lean a lot more to the drawing side of it which I enjoyed the most. I worked for a number of years as a freelance textile designer after this and about 3 years ago I started to focus a lot more seriously on illustration and refining my drawings. As for my style it is just something that has evolved over the years through experimenting and practicing...it is a mix of all the things I like and enjoy (delicate lines, flowers, cute animals!).
Thanks for being one of our lovely teachers at Tea Pea School. What’s the best thing about teaching the art of drawing?
Thank you so much for having me! I love teaching and I hope drawing is something that people will want to come and have a go at. Drawing is fun and relaxing, something you can do for yourself as a hobby or with your kids or with friends...and it's so much fun to do as a group in class. No previous drawing skills are required for this class, and there is no right or wrong either....everyone has their own way of drawing and that is what I love most about it - there are no boundaries!
What would you like to teach at Tea Pea School next?
I would love to do a collage class with cut papers or maybe something to do with decorating notepaper and envelopes as I love letter writing. Anything paper based I love! I am open to suggestions too :)