Tell us about yourself and a fun fact.
Hello My name is Steven! I’m a Non-Binary illustrator living in the countryside in West Yorkshire. I have 4 cats and one of them is named after my favourite biscuit (Figgs)
What made you get into the world of artwork and creativity?
My nanna used to buy me those big colouring in cards where all the black was made of felt meaning you couldn’t go outside the lines and you only got 3 felt-tips so you had to colour people in blue or some other ridiculous colour. Every time I got pocket money I would spend it on more pens or pencils or sketch books and that is still the case in my 30’s. They used to tell you art isn’t a career when you are growing up though so I focused on Maths in education and ended up in office jobs that made me pretty miserable. In 2015 my partner and I got a chance to raise money for Mind by hosting a little Christmas stall in my work cafeteria. She made Christmas tree decorations and I designed Christmas cards. We ended up raising £600 over a couple of lunch breaks. That made me realise that not only could I do this for a career but I could also use it to help charities close to my heart. Now 10% of my online turnover is donated to Mermaids UK who help gender diverse or trans children and their families in the UK.
Where do you get your inspiration from when creating new artwork?
It really comes from everyday experiences and elevating the tiny things that can make your day pretty wonderful. I have a design based on an anecdote of dreaming about disappearing into the sunset with a duck instead of going to work that day. There’s a poem where I just tried to explain what I thought was going on in my cat’s head. There’s a design I made off the back of the question “but what if Godzilla was really polite?” whilst watching that movie. I include big thick legs in all of my drawings because I was tired of seeing skinny legs everywhere when I first started out.
My partner and I have one of those relationships where we can just make each other laugh all day by making random noises at each other so a lot of designs come out of those interactions too.
What has been your favourite project to work on?
I had a great commission through 2020 illustrating a 3-panel comic for every issue of the @indieroller news. Indie Roller is a wonderful community to be part of and helps so many up-and-coming small businesses with practical advice and community led motivation. It was really sweet to be part of the project knowing it was going to help people that are going through similar experiences as I am. The owner, Leona, also had some fantastic briefs helping lift people up in a really difficult time.
Small indie business shout out! Please name your fave three small indie businesses.
Koukoukkreations does wonderful things to raise awareness of women’s achievements in the world
Sillyloaf who makes bright and colourful acrylic jewellery and also selflessly helps and supports so many Leeds local businesses as the Etsy Team Leeds captain.
Dr.Zinsky who makes super cosy hats, has the quickest wit I know and also manages and posts all my orders for me. I couldn’t do this without her.
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STATIONERY WITH STYLE
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