New stockist announcement: Punnydukes

To be able to announce Punnydukes as one of my official stockists is a brilliant milestone. I am proud and pleased to be part of the Punnydukes family. The shop is still quite new. It opened down a Matlock side street in December 2018. It is the creation of illustrator Katie Abey whose funny (and punny!) illustrated range of goodies are a staple of any independent gift shop in the U.K. Santa even brought  e one of her mugs last Christmas. 


The shop itself is a-maz-ing. Themed around the magical, it nods to the Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland but most obviously to Harry Potter. A big influence on Kate’s work and with potter puns littering the shop (including the name, a Punny Honeydukes of course) The gorgeous bay windowed shop looks straight out of Diagonal Alley.

This store is so instagramable it hurts!

The shop had 7,000 international Instagram followers in its first few months of opening. One youtubers tour of the shop gained 50,000 views in about 3 days. The shop was Kickstarter backed and it just shows you what a worldwide audience there is for this store. There is a yearning to visit from fans across the globe.


Luckily for me, it’s just a 45 minute drive. There is certainly a fierce appetite for the store worldwide with many who will likely never get the chance to visit. I am really pleased that this doesn’t have to include me! I have already planned my first trip to the super instagramable independent store and it will be when I drop off my first batch of custom ceramic punny figures.


Punny is the teal wizard cat that is the mascot of Punnydukes. The store commissions artists to recreate punny in a range of mediums. There are a few crocheted punny’s I have spotted on their instagram. The adorable nature of the character and the cult status of the store shows there is a demand for Punnydukes branded products.


It’s been my first batch ceramics commission for a wholesale order and it’s been a delight to work with Punnydukes on this collaboration. 

Wallabies Gone Wild: My experience

At the end of March I traveled to a top secret location in the east of the Isle of Man to paint a 5ft Wallaby statue. It’s not your average commission project that’s for sure! The project included a lot of firsts for me as an artist. It’s the first time I’ve traveled so far for my work.

Crossing the sea for art

I’ve had some out of town fairs but I’ve never even stayed one night away for illustration. As someone who only relatively recently started sharing her art with the world, I still like to create in a comfortable space. My studio is just me and surrounded by inspiration and creature comforts. I can paint in my PJs and have Netflix on in the background, it’s very chill. Sometimes even my ceramic studio feels a bit crowded for me, and it’s still a familiar space. On the island I was in a new town with new artists and in a new space.

Luckily, and surprisingly, I felt I adjusted quite well. I wasn’t too shy to get stuck in and the other artists were really friendly. I am learning to own the weirdness of my art and not question my right to be involved in art projects. This was a great opportunity for that and I was pleased to find that this adjustment seems to be getting easier.

The challenge of painting a sculpture

The wallaby was a new challenge not just in its size but also in its shape and it’s requirement to be durable. My work illustrating ceramics and using resist techniques has well equipped me for designing difficult shapes. Although in a smaller scale, I have picked up tricks on how to paint complex shapes including painting straight lines on curved surfaces. This practice came in useful. I also found that sketching out the shapes of my design in pencil first was important to keep perspective when painting something so big.

How long is a piece of string, a pot of paint or a sufficient painting window?

This was the thing that made me most anxious before I flew to the island. How much paint should I bring? How long should I go to the island for? The paint is easy now, it’s always less than you think that you need! The time though? The reality is that it’s different for everyone. The 4 days I spent were enough for me to finish, and I would have finished sooner if I did have lessons to learn along the way. It’s benefit of booking a bit longer is to have that extra time if you need it, paint more relaxed and explore the city as well as painting!


-Sandpaper is the closest thing to an eraser you can get for paint

– Valspar emulsion paints are the best and avoid cheap acrylics unless you want to spend a LOT of time trying to perfect layers. You can even get testers colour matched

-Even big canvases need very small brushes

-Crisp lines and bold shapes are actually very difficult to paint as flat coloured, straight lines on large difficult shapes

-Primer just takes timer, sometimes it’s better just to paint

-Make pencil lines as feint as possible, they can be hard to cover

-Do lots of thin layers rather than thick ones where brush strokes become more pronounced

I am glad to have learnt these lessons. I will use them when I got to Jersey in May for the Go Wild Gorillas sculpture painting. It also means that my experience and repertoire as an artist is growing. I can prove my capability for bigger and bolder projects. My goal is always progress and this is progress to my goals 🙂

My Goals for 2019, Progress So Far

It feels like a good time to revisit my goals for 2019. After all, what’s the point in setting goals if you just ignore them all year? It feels good to take stock, pats on the back for achievements and brain storming for achieving the not yet achieved.

My goals for 2019: a recap

  • Get 1200 followers on instagram
  • Have products stocked in 2 stockists
  • Increase to 100 sales on Etsy
  • Have a stall at a niche market
  • Get 20 reviews on etsy
  • Increase etsy product number to 50
  • Secure a large commission
  • Invest in a new type of product

How you doin?

Firstly, I don’t think that the Instagram followers should have been the first thing I out here. I don’t think that this should be a priority, although I do of course want to grow them. I have grown my Instagram audience by 200 followers in two and a half months.  If this rate keeps up then I will be on track to achieve this goal by the end of the year. My main learning so far though is that there are other things for me to focus on beyond followers.


One of those focuses is the stockists. I am super pleased to have achieved my goal of being stocked with two stockists already. One stall leases me a space in exchange for a monthly fee and a commission fee and the second bought some stock in a wholesale basis. This was definitely a focus for me these first few months and I approached these stockists myself and created order processes, SOR and wholesale price points, order forms and a brand new look Book. I have definitely been working hard on this and now aim to get even more stockists throughout this year.


I am halfway to achieving 100 sales on Etsy and am confident that I am in the right track to achieve these sales figures and reviews too. The chances of this can only be improved by adding more listings to my store. I still have a bit of a way to go before I hit 50 products but I have introduced three new items to my shop so far. This has not yet been a focus for me too much this year, so is perhaps somewhere I need to point my attention towards after I have successfully secured some more stockists. The new listings I have produced have included new types of products though as badges, greetings cards and stickers have been added to my line.


Although I have looked fleetingly at having a stall at a niche market this is something I haven’t yet pursued. In my shirt research so far these stalls seem to be expensive. Either that or they clash with a Fair I have already secured a stall at. I have booked I for new fairs though and will be appearing at the Millenium Galleries Spring Craft Fair and the Manchester Print Fair also.


Perhaps my top achievement so far is securing 3 large commissions through Wild in Art. This has definitely fuelled me up to try and achieve more throughout the year. When my goals have been achieved I am certainly not going to wait until 2020 to set new ones.

Wallabies Gone Wild 2019

Following my announcement that I am taking part in the Go Wild Gorillas Project with Wild in Art I am mega excited to announce my participation in another of their projects. I will be painting a 5ft tall fibreglass wallaby for Wallabies Gone Wild 2019.

Another One?

Yep! The public arts trail will consist of twenty sculptures displayed at points around the Isle of Man over summer 2019. I am really looking forward to revisiting the island again to begin painting. I visited the island on family holidays on a number of occasions as a child. The last time I went to the island I was 8 years old but I still have memories of places that I want to revisit. The trail is in aid of the Isle of Man Hospice. Having worked as a Fundraiser in a local Hospice I understand what a valuable cause this is. 


My sculpture will be in partnership with Villa Gaeity, a theatre and cinema complex in Douglas. I can’t say much about the sculpture but I can hint that it will reflect Villa Gaiety with a twist. As always the sculptures are top secret until they are officially launched but I can share them when they are.


Most of my commissions tend to come from small businesses, individuals, the arts sector, charities and community groups so this corporate experience is pretty new. I haven’t always been hot on identifying my appeal to corporate businesses. My audience tends to be quite young and my work is far from traditional or serious. It’s strength in this realm s that it gets good engagement. My work is bright and detailed and it makes people smile. It will be interesting to see if this becomes a direction for my work in future.


I had high hopes for getting to be part of a Wild in Art trail in 2019 so to be commissioned to produce 3 sculptures feels pretty incredible. The painting process will no doubt be intense and I will learn a lot through it too. I am just amazed and exhilarate to be selected by three sponsors.