Welcome to Louise Date Illustrates 

I'm Louise, sometime illustrator and graduate of the Cardiff School of Art and Design. I like drawing bears, birds and lemons and spend my spare time leaning uncomfortably over my desk, or up to my elbows in the garden. 

I first started making my own Christmas cards at the grand old age of 2 (two splodgy hand prints of brown paint with a red pom-pom in the middle - was intended to be Rudolph apparently) and have been designing them for my family's use ever since. Requests for more lead me to starting this little shop on the side, and its been growing ever since. 

 I tend to work in drifts of inspiration, and prefer to jot down ideas in pencil before gradually converting them into ink, refining or discarding as the initial idea takes shape. My weapons of choice are usually a Rotrïng Tikky 0.5 mechanical pencil, a PaperMate Flair black cartooning pen and a collection of Mitsubishi UniPins and Rotrïng Tikky Graphic fineliners. When I make forays into colour I use anything from a Winsor and Newton full watercolour palette to Caran D’Ache Luminance pencils and occasionally ProMarkers for when I need very vibrant quick colour.

Though my style often veers towards a more pencil-heavy softer style, my whole outlook took a turn whilst I was undertaking my dissertation during the third year of my degree at the Cardiff School of Art. Having always admired her whimsy and charm, I chose to write my thesis on the creator of the Moomins Tove Jansson. Though she became known and sometimes overcast by her most famous creations, she started her career as a political cartoonist, mocking Hitler at a time when Helsinki was occupied and Jansson was putting herself in danger by standing up to the status quo. After studying Jansson and other famous cartoonists such as Dr Seuss and Hergé, I began to experiment with a more clear pen line, and subjects that looked at fun, charm and hope. 

I always look forward to packaging up orders, and writing out names of customers; it gives me a real sense of achievement! Please visit my shop for sweet cards, prints and wrappings to celebrate the big ( and small ) milestones of life. 

Many thanks for reading this first post, 

Louise