Since I was old enough to hold a pencil all I have ever wanted to do is draw and be creative. When I was a little girl I would draw anything and everything using whatever utensil I could find! Animals were always a natural choice of subject matter for me with our various family pets, and growing up in Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire there was no shortage of animals to be inspired by! I started to draw animal portraits for people as gifts for Birthdays and at Christmas time. It wasn’t long before friends and family were asking me to draw portraits of their furry friends for them. This has subsequently led to my specialisation in personalised pet portraits which I have been producing for the last 15 years.
My favourite subject has always been dogs and I get lots of inspiration from my own dog Maddy! I have also drawn cats, horses, rabbits and a pet hedgehog as well as dabbling in wildlife portraiture with works including a tiger, owl and vulture.
My love of sewing also began to develop from a very early age and I began to cobble little outfits together with whatever I could find in my mum’s “reject” bag of clothes. I studied both art and textiles at university and my various jobs have included working for a fabric company, designing and making leather handbags and merchandising. These days I enjoy designing and making my own fancy dress costumes! I also spend a lot of my time developing my animal portraits into fabric prints which I then use in my product ranges.
Why I set up “Bella & Bryn”
It was only last year when I realised that I could actually make a living from my pencil pet portraits and decided to quit my full-time merchandising job and pursue my dream.
I wanted to be my own boss and to be able to use my creative talents to spread a little bit of joy and make people smile. Animals are so fascinating to me and I really believe they have many positive influences on us humans…I think we can learn a lot from them!
I now work full-time on my personalised pet portraits business from my studio in the Cotswolds, working on my charcoal drawings and creating greetings cards, prints and products from my animal portraits. I absolutely love my job and working for myself also means that I get to spend more precious time with my family, friends, and pets!
I hope you enjoy browsing my site and please feel free to get in touch.