Monday, 21 March 2016

NEW Pop-up Shop at The Gardeners' Nursery

I love the Gardeners' Nursery, just outside of Uffculme. It's wonderful, relaxed and inviting atmosphere is created by the delightful and welcoming Tina, whose sunny nature makes her the perfect person to develop this ever-growing nursery. As well adding the the tearoom and produce shop, and running seasonal craft fairs, Tina is now launching an exciting new initiative this Spring. Tina will be hosting Saturday pop-up shops on a weekly basis, allowing local craftspeople to come and set up a temporary selling space within one of their cute and cosy sheds. 

I will be running my first pop-up shop on Saturday 9th April, all day, and will have lots of new cards to show you all.

Do come along and have a browse, or ask me about commissioning a bespoke picture for you. Get thinking ahead for Father's day or any upcoming birthdays. And sit with a cuppa and some cake, or tasty lunch, peruse the flowers and enjoy the lovely surroundings. 

If you know any other crafters looking for a place to sell, please do spread the word and let them know. They can reach Tina at 01884 840980 or through the nursery's facebook page  and read more about it on this page of their website.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Devon Libraries "Meet the Author" Interview

It was a great honour to answer some illustraty questions for Max the Dog, from Devon Libraries. Here's a link to read it online, but I've copied it below as well:

Meet the Author

Susie Tyler
Illustrator Susie Tyler
It’s time for a very big “hooray” as our featured illustrator is Susie Tyler who works in one of our libraries when she is not drawing beautiful pictures. She has been working on a new book with Devon author Coralie Sparkles: if you re-arrange the letters you get her other name, Amy Sparkes (well, nearly), one of my perviously featured authors. You must check out “Estella and the Falling Star” if you have a chance. Over to you, Susie…

M@xHave you always been an illustrator?
SusieI have always loved drawing and knew that I wanted to be able to do it as a job. When I started work in a book shop after college, I fell in love with the illustrations in all the children’s books and something clicked. I realised that was the job I wanted above all else, and started researching lots of different illustrators, and looking closely at many different books.  Gradually I got better at it, and as time passed, people started asking me to do drawings for them. Slowly, it became a real job!
M@xWhere do you get your ideas from for your illustrations?
SusieFrom real life, usually, or memories, or sometimes from dreams I’ve had. I might see something beautiful or funny out and about, and that might trigger a story or a picture, or both.
M@xWhat is a typical day for you?
SusieIt always starts with a big cup of tea, and many more cups of tea throughout the day! And there are always my two cats trying to get on my lap or lie on my work! I try to do as much drawing as possible before getting on with other jobs like emails or scanning images, or all the little bits and bobs I have to do to get my work ready to sell in shops and at craft fairs. If I get tired or stiff, I go for a short walk or go and run some errands, or hang up some laundry. I also work part-time in a library, so my days are quite split up sometimes.
M@xDo you have a favourite place where you work on your illustrations?
SusieYes, I have several favourite places, depending on the weather and what I’m doing. Generally, I sit up in our attic room at a big round table under a skylight, or in our “nook”, a deep window seat with piles of cushions, or in the garden under a big brolley. Sometimes when it’s really chilly I sit on the sofa in the lounge under our snuggliest blanket that my Mum knitted.
M@xWhich of your own books/characters do you like best and why?
SusieI really love a character called Gideon, a young boy who sits in a tree in one of my favourite drawings. He is kind of carefree and loves nature. I love finding wonderful trees to sit in. I also love a fat little robin that I drew for a Christmas card. He is very dumpy and kind of cool, whistling away with earmuffs on.
M@xWho was your favourite author when you were a child?
SusieOh, so many! I loved all of Shirley Hughes books, and Janet and Alan Ahlberg. Peepo and Each Peach Pear Plum, Dogger, these were all dearly loved in my home. I also adored all the Brambly Hedge stories as they were so homely and full of delicious little details to pore over while Mum and Dad read aloud at bedtimes. Later I loved Anne of Green Gables, The Hobbit, and quite a few horsey stories I must admit. I liked old fashioned adventure stories.
M@xAre you working on any new material now?
SusieYes, I have several ideas on the go. I hope to illustrate another book in the Mermaid Legends series by Amy Sparkes (writing as Coralie Sparkles.) And I have some of my own picture book stories to illustrate.
M@xDo you have any advice for would-be illustrators?
SusieAll I can really say, is to keep going. If you love drawing, just keep practicing. Don’t be disheartened, and be prepared to make mistakes or to be disappointed sometimes. That’s not the end picture! Look at other artists’ work and form you own opinions and tastes. Look at different styles and different materials. Draw things you enjoy drawing, but also draw things that challenge you.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

New Beginnings. Quitting the Day Job!

It's happening! Illustration is taking over!

Things are going to be a bit different round here. I'm finally going to be able to govern my entire week, and put energy, time and focus into my illustration, full time. I've got heaps to be getting on with, and it's a good mixture of stuff. There are bookish ideas in the pipeline, and in the meantime, I have a list of commissions to do. I also want to develop my card range; add new designs and find new stockists.

For me, the Golden Age of Cullompton Library,
working with Matt and finding him to be a friend for life.
This is a drawing a made for a poster advertising our
Storytimes for little people.
I'm going to miss all the lovely people I've met at the library, but I'm able to keep in touch with many of them. Some of my bestest friends have come into my life via the library, so for that I will be eternally grateful. It's been brilliant in lots of ways, but the best of it has been and gone, and so much of the job has changed beyond recognition, into something I have no interest in. The time has come to move on and chase this dream of mine.

I'll be working from our attic studio, while Andy works from home in his new job too, on the next level down in our spare room. We've just turned the guest bedroom into a sumptuous office. I'll be able to spend lunch breaks with my best pal!

So, with just under 3 weeks to go of employment, I am getting extremely excited to get going on lots of projects. It's amazing that this is really happening! Thank you God for all your blessings and provision.

The Sticker Card I drew about 7 years ago,
to reward our regular visitors to Storytime.

This is Matt following his own dream - making music as a
living; teaching Ukulele. It was an honour to draw this for
him as he pursues music. Things have changed!