As you all know we’ve recently celebrated Father’s Day in the UK and this year it was my absolute honour to present a gift to Justin that I believe tops all past gifts. That must be a cracking present, I hear you say! Well actually it really, really was…
Instagram is my happy place, it’s a place where I love to connect with all sorts of different people and also somewhere that is constantly making me aware of all the hugely talented small businesses and start-ups. As comes with the territory, I am offered many collaborations every single day, both on Instagram and via email. I say no probably 9 out of 10 times and this is for a few reasons but mainly because unless it’s something really special I tend not to give up blog space. As soon as Helen from Scarlett, Tulip & Co got in touch to tell me about reimagined children’s drawings I just knew I wanted to work with them because they are so unique and just a little bit peculiar.
Sim, graphic illustrator of Scarlett, Tulip & Co was doodling one afternoon with five-year-old daughter Scarlett-Ivy. She sketched a picture, and Sim penned his own version on the opposite page. The family, from Exeter in Devon quickly realised he had a knack for reimagining children’s art as characters and scenes befitting the pages of a modern fairy tale, staying true to the essence and detail of the child’s imagination. Helen showed me some examples of Sim’s work and I was blown away.
I couldn’t wait to get Rose to draw a picture for her Daddy and send it off. I told Rose she could draw anything in the world she wanted, and she opted for ‘Her Family’ which I thought was rather lovely. Rose drew all members of our family, including Angus the dog and Ziggy the cat. You can see on the original picture below how she’s drawn a long and stretched out Lewis, this is because he’s so tall (he’s over 6 feet!) and to her, he must seem like a giant. She also completed her drawing by adding horns to us all, because, why not? And added in an extra person/animal, we’re not really sure who it is!
I sent Rose’s drawing via email to Helen, who passed it on to Sim to work his magic. I just love the way Sim reimagines the children’s artwork. It really is spectacular, I also like that he keeps some of the drawings quite dark and mystical and really stays true to the original artwork, while putting his own spin on it at the same time. Sim doesn’t shy away from the darker side of a child’s imagination. Instead, embracing it.
Sim said: “I’ve always loved art, and particularly fantasy illustrations – and a child’s mind is as fantastical as it gets. I’m really enjoying putting my own interpretation on their amazing drawings. There’s no room for improvement on their originals – they’re perfect as they are. I create a version to complement the child’s. It’s great seeing the children’s faces when they receive my artwork, it’s very rewarding seeing their eyes widen with excitement. Any form of design is a collaboration, and children are proving to be very rewarding co-designers. I still do other forms of freelance design, but my commissions through Tulip, Scarlett & Co are definitely among the most interesting.”
Helen and Sim kept me updated throughout the entire process sending photographs of the first draft sketches to ensure I was completely happy with the direction of the artwork. It’s not an attempt to improve the already talented artwork a child has created; it’s a collaboration between the unfiltered creativity of the child’s mind and then reimagined in the equally childlike mind of Sim. When the finished artwork arrived I was so excited to see it and absolutely delighted with the end result. I showed all of the kids who agreed it was “the best present ever!” Rose was so proud and giggled when she saw the horns that she’d given us all, brought to life by Sim.
You can choose from monochrome ink or full watercolour, framed or unframed. I went for a framed watercolour and you should have seen Justin’s face when Rose presented him with it on Father’s Day, he was totally amazed and actually quite emotional. We all adore the artwork which has taken pride of place in the dining room. We will all treasure it; a moment of Rose’s childhood imagination captured forever.
The artwork makes the most surprising, unique and stunning gift and is such a beautiful keepsake. Sim is incredibly talented and it’s been my absolute privilege to have worked with Scarlett, Tulip & Co. I wish them all the very best for future collaborations, and I know they will have a lot of very happy customers. You can get in touch with Helen to place an order via the Scarlett, Tulip & Co facebook page.
*We received complimentary framed artwork from Scarlett, Tulip & Co in exchange for a feature on this blog