I draw stupidcats!

Helloooo, my name’s Michelle and I live in Nottinghamshire in the UK. My passions are drawing, writing, and making things. And cats, obviously. I guess you could call me an illustrator/artist/designer/maker - or something like that, anyway! With a strong leaning towards things with four paws and whiskers that go meow.

I’ve always loved drawing – unfortunately my earliest works are lost as they were on the wall by my bed. When I got bigger I worked as a typesetter, then a graphic designer – career choices which stemmed from my fascination with rub-down Letraset type as a child. My parents were both draughtsmen, so it’s not hard to see where my affinity with graphics and drawing came from, and I still use some of their drawing equipment today. In the late 1990s whilst helping out in a handmade gift shop in Iceland, someone suggested I try selling my drawings there, so I began working more commercially, mainly in ink. In 2001 I discovered wax oil pastels, and stupidcats were born. To see more of work that isn't quite so cat-related, visit my Carbonmade Portfolio.

Writing has always been a big part of my life too, and I write under the pen name of Rose Appleby (Rose is my middle name, and Appleby my mum’s maiden name). And, of course, reading goes hand-in-hand with writing, and I’m a huge reader. I also love strange and unusual bookworks, and beautiful paper, and have always wanted to try my hand at bookbinding.

I've been making things ever since I was little - mum kept everything from empty loo-roll tubes to silver paper from Easter eggs all carefully sorted and labelled in boxes in a huge cupboard at the end of a passage in our bungalow (we called it The End Cupboard!) so there was always an endless source of crafty materials to fuel my imagination. More recently I fell a little bit in love with needle-felting. I've also finally combined my love of books, paper, and making things with the launch of my range of handmade notebooks. The colours in the designs of my button badges were carefully chosen to match the Colorplan paper range I've used for the notebook covers, and the waxed binding thread is again closely colour matched to the paper. I can't wait to have a go at case binding now!

My main problem is that there are so many things in my head that I want to draw, write about, or make… but there’s simply never enough time!