Hi, my name’s Bee, I’m a graphic designer, illustrator and art director and I live and work in London. I also write funny little rhymes for kids, usually triggered by funny little events in my life that make me smile – more about that later.
It’s weird but, I find writing kids stories in rhyme really easy and by that, I don’t mean writing children’s poetry and rhyme is easy, because it’s not, it can be hard, but I seem to have a knack for it, a talent for making a good story, rhyme. I’ve been doing it for over 15 years now and have always wanted to get my work published, but I did nothing with my drawings and stories, they stayed hidden away until recently. Now they’re printed on all sorts of different materials – fabric, ceramics and more recently kitchen tableware.
Why? Because after volunteering as a reading mentor for a few years I came to the conclusion that kids should be able to read and learn wherever they might be, whatever they might be doing; and if a paper book isn’t handy why not a pillow, a cushion or a placemat? So now I’m proud that kids can learn to read using my unique reading materials and learn about poetry and rhyme from an early age like I did. Learning should be part of everyday life and made easy.
So how do I choose what stories to write? Well, one story came about many years ago when we discovered an unwanted little visitor in our kitchen. I don’t like mice but at the same time, would never harm one, so I ordered my husband to get rid - without hurting it. It took ages and all kinds of humane contraptions were used, and in the end that little mouse did pack his bags and go, but he also became an illustrated character called Maurice who now resides on a cushion cover and thankfully not in our kitchen.
And then there’s Finley the baby fox, who grew up and now lives in our garden, well he lives in the neighbours over-run garden to be more accurate, but he loves sun-bathing in ours, the only thing missing are some dark glasses.
The latest addition to my illustrated stories is about a little grey squirrel I’ve called Red. Red recently chased me, another mum and our two kids when we went to the park one day on a playdate. My friend had a half eaten sandwich in her bag and he was determined to claim the other half! The kids giggled and loved it - it had to become a rhyme.
With this rich vein of everyday events to draw on, I sketch out my ideas on paper then transfer the sketches to my computer where I illustrate them in more detail, adding pattern and colour and a rhyme. My personalised, handmade designs are hand printed onto 100% cotton fabrics, wooden clocks, ceramic mugs, and cork backed coasters and placemats. All with the aim of teaching children that reading can be fun!
Here are some examples of my work I hope you like them. I will be selling them in person at the Spring Makers Market | The Green Rooms | Station Road | Wood Green | N22 6UW | Sat 17th March 2018 | 11 am - 5.00 pm.
Pop by and say hi, but if you can’t make it on the day you’ll also find them on my website