Let’s kick things off on a positive note. Spring really is just around the corner!
What does Spring mean to you? Here in Scotland, it means slightly longer, brighter days and it means snowdrops and crocuses breaking through the soil … it means better, warmer weather (cough cough). OK so that last one was pure fantasy, but you get the idea. It’s a season full of potential and new life. All these things really do have the power to affect our mental health and emotional wellbeing. Yes – you could say Spring brings out the optimist in me.
And let’s face it, optimism and resilience are what’s helped so many get through these challenging times. After the 12 months we’ve just had, it’s become obvious that a connection with nature, the great outdoors and daylight hours is crucial to how feel at any given time. I don’t know about you, but during lockdown I looked forward our daily escapes out into the fresh (sometimes extremely crisp) air. I think it’s what has kept us all sane and allowed us to breathe!
We are lucky to live at the foot of an extinct volcanic hill, nestled on the edge of ancient rural land, while on the other side, we can walk down past the small loch and farmland, down to the rugged coastline and meander along stretches of sandy beach and park trails. With this array of wildlife and environments to enjoy on our doorstep, there’s no shortage of inspiration for artwork and illustrations.
It’s from those ‘lockdown’ adventures I found inspiration for my latest line – the Coastal Collection – each illustration an original. You may remember the ever so stylish Puffin? A very dapper dresser indeed in his red, white and blue. He was quite a hit when he debuted on Insta and Facebook. Recently, (courtesy of our extensive walks) he’s been joined by the highly vocal and equally well-dressed Oystercatcher as well as the rather harassed and shaggy-looking, long-legged Heron.
One of my personal favourite commissions recently, was the joyous Whale. Often called the musicians of the sea – these playful creatures live off their blubber in the colder months, only hunting in summer. I think after a year in lockdown we can all relate to that.
Perhaps lockdown has given us all an enhanced appreciation for nature, the sunlight on our skin, the breeze through our hair and across our faces. It’s as if witnessing the seasons and cycles has made us all feel connected to something bigger and provided a sense of hope. It’s made us realise how important it is to find the joy and appreciation where we can, and be grateful for the connections we have in life – whether it’s with family, friends, loved pets, or our community. We have all been forced to look closer to home for our happiness and connections. We have all been forced to look at our true nature and what we can bring to the situation – whether that’s optimism or a creative disposition.
I think that’s what the Coastal Collection represents for me. It was inspired from a time where the future was unknown, yet each day the sun rose, the Whales sang their melodic music to one another and the long-legged, patient and diligent Heron still harpooned fish with his dagger-shaped yellow bill.
I do hope over time, The Coastal Collection comes to represent something special to you too.
If you are inspired to create a coastal theme at home, or you would like to create a gallery of unique and original artwork, The Coastal Collection could be for you. The series brings warmth and personality to an elegant and stylish collection. Perhaps you know someone that would like a card as a pick-me-up just to help carry them through to better times? One of our Coastal Collection Greeting Cards could be just the things – a little reminder that you’re thinking about them and that connecting with calming colours of nature is the tonic we all need.
I hope you enjoy the new Coastal Collection which will be launched in our online story within the next few weeks.
Be creative. Be inspired. Be an individual … but most of all Be kind.