Monday, 10 January 2011

My Fantastically Talented Family

I love coming from such a talented family.

My mum is so artistic as well as a great writer. She did her degree in English after a short career in nursing. She went back to university to fulfill her dreams despite having four children (myself the youngest and in nursery at the time). She is now a wonderful primary school teacher (and art coordinator at the school) who I love to watch teaching. She reads so beautifully and always brings puppets into her stories. I love seeing the children listening to her in awe, she's going to be a perfect grandma!

 My dad dreamt of making his own carpentry company, but sadly never got chance. He was wonderful, from making beautiful pictures out of wood, building puppet sets for my mum, building bookshelves in the house, to building my sister and I life sized horses from a base of wood (I actually don't know how he went about padding the horses!) As well as all this, he was the perfect handy-man and perfect dad!

Me, my mum and dad on a family holiday - such happy memories!
My sister, Lucy, is also an illustrator. She is nine years older than me, and I remember how inspired I felt seeing her wok as a child. After working for a card company and traveling for a year, she is now working as a designer for Puffin. I am so proud of her working somewhere so wonderful. I went to do a two week work experience there a few years ago and got to work on some moomin books - amazing! I still have her work up in my house and i'm sure she'll return to her wonderful illustration talents soon! 

My brother, Matthew, is in no way artistic (the gene seemed to miss him!) but he has an incredible gift of the gab. He works for the police (not as an actual police officer) and has to deal with a lot of people.  I've always been so amazed by his wonderful confidence, but good confidence not cocky. He was shy in school but has grown so well. He gave such a beautiful speech at my dad's funeral and my sister's wedding and I hope one day he'll give me away at my wedding. I couldn't ask for a better brother, he has taken such care of us, always putting my mum, sisters and I before himself when we were at our worst. I will always remember this and always be thankful for the wonderful head of the family he has become.

My sister Laura is a lover of animals. From as early as I can remember she has selflessly rescued animals and begged my parents for animals, from Giant African Snails to cows (I think this is why my dad had to build us two horses - to stop the nagging!). She plans to go and work with animals and I know she will do an amazing job. She is also a beautiful illustrator and writer. 

Lucy, Matthew, my mum, myself and Laura.
 Our extended family. My brother-in-law Mark, soon to be sister-in-law Jayne and my lovely boyfriend Mat.
Granddad (Or Nick - read below) and Matthew.
During my second year of University, Laura and I worked together to produce work for a fairy-tale brief. She re-wrote Hansel and Gretel, in a fantastic twist, making the children evil and the witch a harmless old woman who the children took advantage of and tortured. In this version, the father takes them to the woods to kill them because he could no longer control the devils they had become. He could not do it however and abandoned them in the woods. The woman took them in, only to have them steal from her. After a confrontation they kill her beloved pet; she tells them enough is enough so they push her in the oven. Much like the original the children go home and tell everyone of the evil witch they killed, and  labels them as heroes. Genius! (below are the illustrations I produced). I'm hoping I can persuade her to write a blog, I think she'd write some wonderful things!

I'm the youngest of the family and hope I will be as successful as the others have become already. I love them dearly and hope I make them proud!

Oh and lastly, I want to mention my Granddad (he is actually a lodger who has been with my family from when my eldest sister was small). He's not exactly artistic, but full of wonderful knowledge to keep me entertained. Here's some old illustrations of him.


  1. Abby - you paint a beautiful picture of your family - they sound so grounded. And you're right, you're all talented in your own ways.

    Just one thing though, I think you need to come to terms with the fact that you're already successful in your own right! You're making it happen for yourself. Keep on truckin'!

    Bella x

  2. Hey Abby, I really love this post for many reasons! One I am super nosy and love hearing about peoples families and two because it shows what a lovely family orientated person you are, and what has inspired you to be the person you are now :)

    Also I really really love these illustrations for the childrens book. I think they are some of my favorite that youve done. BTW Tom saw the picture of the witch and asked if you had drawn another picture of me (har har)

    Your family sound so inspirational, I think family are so important..even if you make your family from your friends as long as you have some grounded people looking out for you! x

  3. Ah Bella, thank you :) that's so nice! I feel quite proud of myself so far, I hope the future will be just as exciting! :)

    Aha, Fritha, I love the nosiness too! (the witch pictures were actually based on myself, ha! Obviously I altered the chin and nose ;)) I think we have both been so lucky to have big, beautiful families! I really believe it makes you the person you are. :) x


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