“I have been drawing and painting all my life, and through my childhood I must have spent hours every day drawing, painting and colouring-in you name it, I was happy as long as I had a pencil or a brush in my hand.
“When I was seventeen I applied for a job as an illustrator at D.C. Thomson, and I was thrilled to be accepted. It was a wonderful experience to be part of a huge, bustling art studio, learning my craft from older, more experienced illustrators.
“As part of the illustrating team, I worked on a great variety of their many publications ‘The Peoples Friend’, of course, being one of them. So over many years I’ve created a lot of artwork for the ‘Friend’, including front covers, tea-towel designs and regular features of the magazine.
“I have been working freelance for a few years now, which gives me more time to spend on my hobby, which is painting (naturally!). So now I’ve got the best of both worlds still working as an illustrator, but having the freedom to paint all the beautiful things I find that inspire me in the stunning Perthshire countryside where I live.
“I enjoy the contrast between the illustration work, which is created on a computer using a mechanical pen on a tablet, in comparison to my paintings when I use good old-fashioned paint, paper or canvas. Both offer up the same challenges producing a piece of work that is hopefully a good composition, portraying what it was intended to be, whether it’s a historical romance scene or a Perthshire loch.”
Helen’s latest illustration, accompanying the story “Pointless!”, appears in our Sept 5 issue.