Q&A with Anna Lewis AKA ‘Sketchy Muma’

We are BIG fans of Sketchy Muma here at TFTMS. She always seems to release an image at *just* the right moment to resonate with our current mood or feelings.

Anna has been so kind in letting us use her sketches to accompany some of our posts and her work has provided Jo with the perfect Father’s Day gift for her hubby. To top it off, she agreed to do a Q&A with us. We hope you enjoy…

The sketch that Jo bought Phil for his first Father’s Day.

TFTMS: Tell us how this all began…
SM: I was illustrating children’s books before I had my daughter but became a stay at home mum with her. I just started drawing about my day to day life to keep my creativity going and it snowballed into sketchy muma!

TFTMS: Your daughter is going to have such a beautiful illustrated account of her childhood… is she a budding artist too?
SM:  Yes she is very creative as my partner went to art college also. She says she wants to be an artist like me when she grows up!

TFTMS: Do you draw every day or just when inspiration strikes?
SM:  I do draw most days even if its just for a few minutes as I draw with my daughter. I kept a notebook through the early days of motherhood of observations I made about when out and about which I could draw up when I had more sleep!

TFTMS: Tell us about your ‘space’ – where do you draw?
SM: I just took a notebook in my car at first and sketched when my daughter was napping in the back after driving somewhere so in my ford fiesta in a supermarket car park usually! Then I scan stuff in back at home onto my computer, I have a little corner space in my bedroom that I have made into my ‘zone’. You don’t need anything fancy, just paper, pencils and passion.

Anna’s favourite sketch

TFTMS: Do you have a favourite image; one that resonates with you?
SM: Yes the one that is on the back of the book, ‘How could I have ever not known you’. I can’t imagine life without my girl.

TFTMS: What’s the hardest part of your job? And what do you do if ‘artist’s block’ strikes?
SM: I never see what I do as a job as I have drawn and made little books since I was about seven. It’s lovely the work connects with so many people but I would be doing this for the love of it anyway. As soon as it feels like a job I walk away from my pencils as then you draw from your head rather than your heart and it breaks the natural flow.

TFTMS: Now… the book. We’re delighted for you! How did it come about?
SM: My brilliant agent found me on social media and we really connected. We put a proposal together and got lots of interest but in the end found the perfect publishers in Quercus books. I feel very lucky as I really love who I work with and they really understand me and my work.

TFTMS: Its title is ‘What it Means to be a Mother’ – what does being a mother mean to you?
SM: I love being a mum, of course there are some grotty bits but I just feel very lucky that we have made a little family as that is the most important thing to me.

TFTMS: Has writing (drawing!) it meant changing your creative process because you’ve had a deadline to work to?
SM:  I did have a deadline to work to but I just got into the zone in the evenings and because it’s from the heart it just sort of all poured out.

TFTMS: We imagine your Etsy shop is getting even more traffic since the book launched… can people commission personalised pieces as well?
SM: I don’t do commissioned work at the moment as I get so many requests that I could never fit in. I may do in the future though you never know!

TFTMS: Will you be doing book signings? Where will they take place?
SM: I’ll keep you posted!

Thank you Anna – we have loved chatting to you and finding out more about Sketchy Muma life. Congratulations again on the release of your book – it’s just lovely!

Love, The Mother Side xx

You can find out more about Anna here.
Her Facebook page is here.
Her prints are available here. Be warned – visits to this page can become expensive! 😉
And her book is available to buy here. It’s the perfect gift for a fellow mum friend.


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