As a child I would draw on everything; the walls, my skin, my sister, my dolls and even the family dog. It was no surprise to my family that I went on to study art and design.
I have seven years of formal creative design education including; a MA in Design from University of Leeds - 2013, a Certificate in Graphic Design from Santa Rosa Junior College - 2009, and a BA in Art with an Art History Minor from San Diego State University - 2006.
You've illustrated three books with your Father-in-law, how did the idea to work together begin?
The first book I published was A Highland Boyhood in Ardnamurchan, describing my Scottish husband’s late grandfather Angus Cameron’s experience growing up in the Highlands of Scotland. I gave it to my father-in-law Roy as a birthday present.
Roy began writing stories for his grandchildren, my niece and nephew, to entertain them while he babysat. The stories were excellent and as soon as I heard them I wanted to illustrate them. I illustrated and published I Once Had a Chimpanzee last year and will be launching our new book The Tale of Jessie the Highland Cow at Oxfam Byres Road Books on Saturday 25 April at 1pm.
It takes me a couple of hours per illustration.
The books are self-published, how long is the process from initial idea to self-publication?
It is very easy to self publish. It is really just a matter of uploading PDFs. The difficulty lies in marketing the books and getting the books stocked in stores. I am now attempting to get our books stocked in the gift shop at castles and in local bookstores.
You have a book launch coming up on the 25th of April, is it exciting to see your work in print?
It is very exciting to see our work in print and have a book launch. So far only our relatives really know about the books so it will be interesting introducing the books to the public.
I met Rachel the manager of Oxfam Books at a free sewing club called Say It Ain’t Sew that is every Tuesday at 6:30pm at Hillhead Book club on Byres Road and she generously offered to host us at Oxfam Books Saturday 25 April at 1pm. I also redesigned the Say It Ain’t Sew logo. (note: for full event details see end of post)
Roy is absolutely prolific and has written a lot stories. We have a few books in mind to illustrate and publish soon.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to be an illustrator or self publish a book of their own?
"No matter how wonderful our dreams, how noble our ideals, or how high our hopes, ultimately we need courage to make them a reality. Without action, it’s as if they never existed.” – Ikeda
What's your favourite thing about Scotland?
I love the Scottish accent and all the words Scottish people use. I love hearing 'wee' in every sentence and being called 'hen'. I like to visit the castles in Scotland and go on walks in the countryside. I even like haggis and whiskey now.
Any advice for expats wanting to move to Scotland?
The world is small. Sometimes the grass actually is greener on the other side.
Saturday 25 April 1pm at Oxfam Books on Byres Road
Tuesday 26 May 6:30pm at Edinburgh Central Library
There will be the opportunity at both events to ask both author and illustrator questions about their creative processes, view original illustrations and hear readings by the author.