I live in an ex coal mining village in County Durham, UK, with my partner in both life and business, Gary, who is a singer/songwriter/musician. We have three grown up kids between us and four cats. I studied Illustration at Cleveland College of Art and Design and have been creating art for over 30 years . Aside from my artwork, I also love writing, both stories and songs, and more recently I have started actually singing my own songs and doing backing vocals for some of Gary's recordings. We work together a lot, Gary and me, and combine our work under the umbrella title of 'House Of Whippet'. We own a very cute little stone cottage, Whippet Lodge, in the Scottish Borders which we have been letting out to holidaymakers for the last couple of years. This means we spend a lot of time in Northumberland and the Borders, which inspires us both hugely. Gary has worked in the music industry for many years, and has an independent record label, Whippet Records, for which I do all of the design and merchandise work. This has led to me working with other great musicians, something that I love. I really enjoy interpreting their music and songs for cover art, as well as illustrating my own song words and short stories. Seeing my work in print still excites me! I tend to start my artwork with a pencil sketch, then work over it in technical pen, which I then scan into Photoshop to colour and embellish. I have a huge love for vintage line illustration and I often collage bits of that into my work. I just like to do what I fancy at the time. I have a huge interest in folklore and history, as well as art history, particularly from the Art Nouveau period up to Mid Century. Our house reflects this, being full of books, vintage kitsch, and anything beautiful we might find. We absolutely love charity shops, car boot sales, junk and antique shops. I may even add the odd vintage item to my Etsy shop. the house is getting quite full! I also love my garden. I'm not an expert by any stretch, but I do love messing about out there. Our house is quite old, 1875, and a bit fragile, so there's always things to sort and decorate, and the garden can get very unruly. But my time outside gives me space to think and relax, even if I'm up to my eyes in mud and covered in bramble scratches. I often post on my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages about what we are up to at the house and on our travels to the Borders, so please do check them out if you're interested. I have a lot of ideas whirling round my head to get done this year, with both my artwork and music/writing, as well as some exciting collaborations coming up. Better get on with it then eh! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my site and read all of this, it means a lot!
Have fun, Helen. ❤❤❤