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Introducing: Dionne Turnbull

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

This year we added 5 new artists to our website, following our popular artist competition.

Dionne Turnbull was one of these talented artists, and we are excited to share her new cushion, print and tea towel designs with you on our website. You can find them all on her Wraptious page. Meanwhile, here's a little more about Dionne and her work!

When did you start painting?

I’ve always loved drawing, loved art and design at school… but I’m a scientist by day, I research disease resistance in plants! Art remained a hobby, drawing cards and cartoons for fun. Then in 2018 I got the opportunity to combine art with my day job, designing a cover image for the Journal of Experimental Botany. It was a real confidence boost, and I’ve taken on more projects since. I’m still not sure I’m a real artist yet though!

What inspired your design?

Quirky cartoon creatures make me happy, and I hope they bring a bit of happiness to others too!

What materials did you use?

The characters usually spend a while in my head before they make it to paper, then I start with a few pencil sketches to get the shapes right. A final sketch is done on Bristol board, then inked using fineliners, using a variety of nib sizes to get some variation and interest in the lines. For my competition entries, I added a background colour digitally to make the linework pop.

Where do you create art?

I would love to say I work from my beautiful home studio – but not yet! I draw at the kitchen table, on the sofa, or in bed. Usually very late at night.

Where can we find more of your work?

You can see examples of my work at, and on the

Who is your favourite artist?

I will have to pick three here. Axel Schefflers’ illustrations are wonderful… we have a lot of his work on our bookshelf, the books have been enjoyed hundreds of times already and I will never get sick of them. Next would be Giles Andreae, particularly his work as Edward Monkton. The ‘Pig of Happiness’ has been a good friend to me! And of course – my dad! Brian J Turnbull, who paints beautiful landscapes and seascapes in watercolour and acrylic, and can capture the light in a sky better than anyone I know.

Edward Monkton

What’s something creative you’ve done during lockdown?

I designed a lockdown card ‘A Toast to the Heroes’ – a tribute to all of the people who were out there keeping the wheels turning while most of us were safe at home.

What’s your best piece of advice for other artists?

Have a go at a daily art challenge! I took part in Jake Parkers Inktober last year, where you draw based on a word prompt every day for a month. My drawings were quick and far from perfect but it really sparked some inspiration. There was no time for fear of the blank page!

Favourite quote?

“The more you know, the more you know you don’t know” from Aristotle. The idea that there is always more to learn, because everything you find out makes you ask another hundred questions that you wouldn’t have thought to ask before.


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