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Creatives of Sheffield: A Very Sheffield Colouring Book

5th November, 2018
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My new Sheffield colouring book was quite an intense project. I worked on the book for a couple of months but the actual drawings took me about a month in total to finish.

I shared a lot of the process on social media and got about three quarters of the way through the drawing before I made it available to pre-order. The pre-orders not only funded the first print run but encouraged me as I made it to the end!

Sheffield just lends itself so well to the style that I like to capture, that really charismatic, red brick industrial, old fashioned vibe. My favourite illustrators are people from books I looked at as a kid, like Raymond Briggs and Shirley Hughes. 

They have those kinds of buildings in their work, with all the individually drawn bricks. I love it. It’s a very different style to me but still capturing that same essence.

To pick the content for the colouring book I just had a really good brainstorm about what’s iconic about Sheffield to me and those main Sheffieldy places are the ones that made it in there.

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I got accepted into the Handmade for Christmas exhibition at Millennium Galleries so that gave me the initial deadline to work towards. The colouring book’s a project I’ve wanted to do for quite a while but kept getting slowed down by other work, I knew I’d do it at some point and this just gave me the push I needed. 

I started developing my style as a child, at about eight or nine my auntie always used to get me a big block of printer paper and pens as a present because I loved pens and paper so much. That started my love of drawing in fine liners and then I really began to hone my work at University.

Different tutors encouraged me to try different media and I explored that, but never felt as good about my work as when I come back to my trusty fine liners. It’s really helped me develop my own style since I started doing my own stuff for screen printing and my Etsy shop.

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Next I want to start bringing other places into my range of prints at the shop. At the minute I’m drawing tower bridge but I’d love to explore more places I've visited in my work, like New York - I love New York - I hope it won't seem like too much of a leap!

People can find out more about my work by following me on instagramtwitter or Facebook (though Instagram’s my favourite), come have a look at my Etsy shop or come meet me at one of the markets I sell at - my next Sheffield market will be Etsy Made Local at The Cutlers' Hall on the 1st and 2nd December.