Bonny Snowdon 00:06
Hello, I'm Bonny Snowdon, ex corporate person, a mother turned successful artist entrepreneur. It wasn't that long ago though that I lacked the confidence, vision and support network to focus on growing my dream business. Fast forward past many life curveballs, waves of self-doubt and so many lessons learned and you'll see Ignite, my thriving online colour pencil artists community, a community that changes members lives for the better and gives me freedom to live abundantly whilst doing what I love and spending quality time with my beloved family and dogs, all whilst creating my best artwork with coloured pencils, and mentoring others to do the same. But this life wasn't always how it was for me, it used to only exist in my imagination. I've created the It's a Bonny Old Life podcast to help increase people's confidence, share mine and my communities experience and hope through fascinating personal stories, champion the other amazing humans in my personal, professional and membership community, and create another channel through which I can support others to realize their dreams. If you're a passionate colour pencil artist, or an aspiring one who's looking to create their best work, and a joyful life you love, you're in the right place. Grab a cuppa and a custard cream, let's get cracking. I follow all sorts of people on Instagram and my next guest is one of my absolute faves, gorgeous photos, book reviews, amazing nail polish and her fabulous drawings. The Yorkshire Mermaid also known as Gemstone Creations is a fellow Yorkshire lass author, artists, mum and as it turns out, can chat for England just like me. Do you know, it's really, really nice to meet somebody who I've never met in my life before? I followed you on Instagram, because I really love your photos, and just everything and your nails. But it's really nice to actually meet you and then feel like I've kind of known you forever and ever.
Yorkshire Mermaid 02:00
Yeah, well, I followed you on Instagram for, well, that's what five years maybe when I saw your drawings and, in my mind, I was thinking that I need to start drawing again and my youngest is now at school properly and I'd always told myself, right, you get back to drawing when you're [inaudible]. So, anyway, and then I'd seen your pictures. I thought, I'm just going to try it. So, I went and bought some pencils and a sketchbook. I literally just thought I'm going to just draw my cat and the cat and I just thought I'm just going to take my time because I was worried, I'd forgotten how to draw as well. I've not drawn anything for, I mean I've always drawn the kids, always thought I'd do something to do that. But then I go through college in Union in my degree, I focused on photography. I actually choose quite a broad degree where you could choose animation, illustration, fine art, all the different things and I loved it all. So, I don't know, I can't focus it. But the photography teacher took me under his wing. He said, look, I think you've got something here. Let's just focus on that. Get your portfolio done and that being that. So, you've got now a bit more of a dedicated portfolio. So, I ended up being a photographer, and worked for a studio for a while and I worked for myself for over 10 years and in my mind, I was always thinking, you get back to drawing, drawing is the thing you love the most, which is a bit sad and then the longer I went without drawing I thought, I can't draw anymore. I was always scared to try it because I always felt really good at it at school and I thought I can't draw anymore; I'm going to be so sad. So, all these pencils, with paper looks at your Instagram, I thought well, that was amazing drawings. I wonder if I can draw anything, not as good as you.
Bonny Snowdon 03:52
I thought at the start they were pretty good.
Yorkshire Mermaid 03:55
Well, thank you. I know you commented on it, say no. Saying something like that and I thought it can't be bad if you saying that and I just got really, really into it. I've read a lot of your tips, from things about sharpening to-
Bonny Snowdon 04:14
Everything about [inaudible]
Yorkshire Mermaid 04:17
Your Instagram is brilliant, and it just really inspired me to do another one and then finally, I was just drawing all the time again, as I thought, right, maybe I can, because in my mind, I've always wanted to do children's books. I thought maybe I'm going to get there. I don't know how, because from drawing a cat and an animal, I love drawing birds as well. I thought, how am I going to get to do a children's book from here?
Bonny Snowdon 04:40
Doing a children's book, was it always something that you actually wanted to do or did it just kind of always pop up one day and go?
Yorkshire Mermaid 04:49
I've always wanted to do drawing. I think even as a child I used to draw the little box and make the key box, write stories and used to say I want to make children's books, or cartoonist I used to say. Even at Sixth Form College, a friend of me reminded me that I told her I wanted to do children's books, which I've forgotten that said, even at that age, and then obviously life took me in a different direction. But having my girls made me want to make up for them. So, initially, it was just for them. So, I started sketching my girls alongside doing the kind of realism pencil drawings, which are so absorbing, aren't they?
Bonny Snowdon 05:31
Yeah, I'll go through that.
Yorkshire Mermaid 05:32
I love crystals.
Yorkshire Mermaid 05:32
I can see why you do it all the time, it's amazing what you do. So, I'd kind of have that ticking along and then I'd have another sketchbook where I'd be sketching my girls, just very raw pencil sketches of them do different things, sleeping even I've got a bit kind of obsessed with sketchbooks in my bag, in my car, in my bedroom, always have a little sketchbook somewhere, and I'd be sketching ideas, things they play, I would watch them and think, oh, maybe there's a story in that the different things that you have and then they got interested in crystals, because one of them was having night terrors. I was struggling to find ways to help her cope with it. I thought, oh, I'll try. I've got a few crystals in the garage because I like them because they're beautiful.
Yorkshire Mermaid 05:41
They're beautiful, aren't they?
Bonny Snowdon 05:46
Oh, I love them.
Yorkshire Mermaid 05:50
I had a few of my favorites. I thought I'll give her a crystal ball, this will help take the nightness away, I'll put it under your pillow. Let's see what happens and the next day she got up, mommy, it worked, it worked. It took my nightmares away. Well, amazing. This is great. I wanted to know more. What do these crystals do and kind of it went from that and thought was something of interest in crystals. I thought I'll get your crystal book, started googling. I could not find. I ordered the ones that I could find. They were either too complicated or the story wasn't there and that just gave me the idea of the books that have been crystal kids, was a story and a bit magical, also had crystal elements that are explained a little bit about crystals and how to use them but in a very childish, fairly easy way. So, each one in the book was like little stories. There's one child who's got nightmares, one child who's grieving for granddad. This one about separation, mental separation is all about nerves. I just kind of started coming up with an idea of the crystal kids basically. So, then I started trying to draw more cartoony styles of the children and that actually, I found really tricky because naturally I love drawing realistic. Then if somebody said to you, could you draw a cartoon cat?
Bonny Snowdon 07:44
It would look dreadful.
Bonny Snowdon 07:45
I do. I know [inaudible].
Yorkshire Mermaid 07:45
It's weird, isn't it? Why would I want to do a cartoon cat? I can draw really realistic cat, looks amazing. But to draw in that way in a children's book, it would just be photographs straight, you know what I mean?
Yorkshire Mermaid 07:56
So, then I thought I need to find an illustration style and to me, that's really tricky. So, I always had to try and draw more childish initially and very quickly and start sketching things and getting animation in the images all that expression, but with not much detail. So, I was concentrating on that. I think it took about four years to make this book, and probably three and a half years to actually get to an illustration style that I was happy with.
Bonny Snowdon 07:56
You never thought about getting somebody, it was always going to be you writing it and you illustrating it?
Yorkshire Mermaid 08:37
Well, I thought I'm not very good at writing. So, I'll just write the basic story and then I'll get someone else to write it. But then when I wrote the story, initially, I think, when it's finished, it's written in lining text, which naturally I found I could write. When I wrote it originally it wasn't flowing. I said to my husband, I just don't know, I think I need to get someone else to write this and he said, well, why didn't you write it in rhyming test like you do when you write other the things for the kids. I said, do I, and then I realized I do actually write little poems and [inaudible] I should try it. So, what have I got to lose? So, I just tried writing it like that and then it made the story more interesting as well and it kind of flowed. So, I'd write paragraphs and then I draw images to go with that and then build the book that way. Yeah, I think that explains it.
Bonny Snowdon 09:28
Then did you self-publish or?
Yorkshire Mermaid 09:31
I did in the end because I got it more or less ready for pre buy. The images were ready with the with the text as well, the font. I could not find the fonts that went with my images, because in my images, I've written like for words in different areas like their names on their bags and different things like that and I have written little signs and little pictures on the walls and the images and things. So, when I tried to find a font that complimented that, worked with that, I couldn't find one, so my friend who ended up making my website and branding my website for me, she said, why don't you make your own font? I was like, how do you do that? I have no idea how to make a font and she just said, oh, I'll send you some links. There certainly [inaudible]. I'm going to try this new font. What's it called my font; gemstone font or something, but she's afraid you can sell it and I said, well, can I? She said, yeah, we'll get it. I haven't actually got it on the shop yet. But so yeah, have a font.
Bonny Snowdon 10:40
I know, it probably gets like sound of books and everything.
Yorkshire Mermaid 10:44
In the actual book, it's all handwritten in my song, but then I created a font.
Bonny Snowdon 10:50
That's really nice. That's really nice.
Yorkshire Mermaid 10:51
When you look on the back, that's the font that I made and it looks just like handwriting.
Bonny Snowdon 10:59
But it's just lovely. Okay, I'm having a look now, listeners. That's funny, isn't it?
Yorkshire Mermaid 11:08
I've just brought Bonny a book today.
Bonny Snowdon 11:09
Well, I've seen it on your Instagram thing, and I thought that this is really beautiful. So, all of these, like with this page here with the dark and the stars and everything that was all illustrated.
Yorkshire Mermaid 11:23
Yeah. So, all the images were drawn first paper and pencil and that's how I naturally love to draw and then I would import them into my iPad and then just work on them in procreate. I've watched lots of tutorials and different things to kind of learn about procreate and I love drawing in that way as well. So, I've coloured the me on there.
Bonny Snowdon 11:47
You've signed it. I am weeping in a minute. Thank you so much. This is absolutely gorgeous. I'm so impressed. wow.
Yorkshire Mermaid 12:00
So, I've got my little cats in there. One of them is a spirit cat, so she's glowing on the pages.
Bonny Snowdon 12:08
Oh, yes. Yes.
Yorkshire Mermaid 12:09
Well, she's on all the pages.
Bonny Snowdon 12:11
Was that one of those special characters?
Yorkshire Mermaid 12:12
Yeah, yeah. Both are kept very special. But she died whilst I was writing this, and the other ones passed away now, so she's actually not a spirit cat in there, but she will be in my future picture and [inaudible] there is a page in there, my mom with her dogs and her spirit dogs around her.
Bonny Snowdon 12:28
I think it's that one there actually. Okay, so this is hilarious. So, your mum has got my slippers sister called Dolly. Dolly has had puppies with my Nellies dad. So, your mom's dogs are both related to my girls. This is most hilarious. This dog is gigantic.
Yorkshire Mermaid 12:59
Yeah, it's slightly but not much. My mum is quite charming.
Bonny Snowdon 13:05
Oh, it's just so good and she always looks really glum when gets out as well.
Yorkshire Mermaid 13:10
She does, yeah.
Bonny Snowdon 13:11
Did she get down to London? She went down to London.
Yorkshire Mermaid 13:14
Yeah, went to a show.
Bonny Snowdon 13:15
Yes, yeah. So, I was really jealous. This is Bouncy, absolutely gorgeous and is it doing well?
Yorkshire Mermaid 13:23
Yes. So, I sold over half of what I had printed because of self-publishing the and because I looked into right, to get a publisher you need an agent, to get an agent it can take forever to get an agent you've got so many people trying to get art to illustration agents, I think. So, thought well, I've got it ready for print now like it's ready. Do I really want to take? It could take years to kind of get it to that point where I get an agent get a publisher get it actually printed but I'll just self-publish this one because really, what I was doing it for it wasn't my girls, I've made this book for my girls. I thought if I just do a small issue, so I did run about 2000. So, I wanted to make sure that when I made a book, it was it was made with FSC papers sustainable. The cover wouldn't be equal but that's hard to recycle. So, I had to look into the finishes that run cover. If people put glitter and things all over cover. You can't recycle them with people put certain finishes like thick laminate you can't recycle them. So, I could do a little bit of the tiny bit of spot glass, but all the inks that are used through the book as well are vegetable-based inks, as well. So, even for the processes where the paper is being printed on it's not polluting the waters. There's a lot of books when they're printed, they're actually quite bad for environment in a way if people haven't really looked at how they're being printed. So, I thought if I'm doing a book, I want it to be a thing that I don't [inaudible] people any, I wouldn't feel like if [inaudible] I feel terrible. So, at the end of the day, they can be put in the recycling bin, which nobody wants to do, but you never know. So, I sold half of them mainly through my website initially, and I was hand signing and ratifying. So, it was really exciting seeing all these different orders coming in, sending them all over the place and then I also sold them to some crystal shops as well and people local bookshop. But the crystal Buddha shopping there as far as she's placed, you can get them at the moment. I've stopped selling them through my website just because it was taken up quite a bit of time in the packaging. They're sent out.
Bonny Snowdon 15:46
So, I was talking to Summer Martin, done with you know, Summer Martin, that's her. That's her dog. She's an artist. It's a really good book and she's gorgeous. She has all of her sent through a distribution center and she found someone that would take a small quantity, take your packaging, and that you basically put an order through the website, and they just do it. Well. She obviously pays them and then she gets cut. I'm all for that sort of thing.
Yorkshire Mermaid 16:18
Yeah. So, that's the kind of thing. I mean, I could go down the Amazon route started to look into how to get your books sold through Amazon. There's quite a lot of different ways that we can sell per bottlers. I don't go down here, but it's a bit oh, I just thought I'll look into that another time.
Bonny Snowdon 16:36
So, it nice to get in the local bookshop. So, you should look at the little bookshop in Ripon. It's a wonderful bookshop. It used to be tiny and then they took over my framer, they took over his shop, which was next door when he moved. So, it's a little bit bigger now. But it's full of local artists. Where in Yorkshire are you?
Yorkshire Mermaid 16:57
So, I'm near Utley.
Bonny Snowdon 16:59
Right. Yeah. So, you should have a look at that and get some in there, you'd love that.
Yorkshire Mermaid 17:04
Yeah, I will do, thank you. I do find crystal shops are the perfect place to sell because it's too crystal. So,, they tend to sell crystals alongside the book. But I think so even if I don't sell any more, I feel like I've got to the point where I've achieved what I wanted to about that book. I have made something that I've proved to myself, I've done a children's book and then I found a style that I was happy with my girls love it and the feedback I've had has been amazing like I've such lovely messages.
Bonny Snowdon 17:38
Honestly, it's absolutely beautiful. It really, really is.
Yorkshire Mermaid 17:42
I think when you hear like it's helped with anxiety with quite a few children as I've had messages from different carers and parents saying that the little ones of abuse particularly in there and they put them crystal book on anxiety in different name.
Bonny Snowdon 17:56
SO, what crystals do you use, because my little assistant, little sister, my younger sister is hugely into crystals and I've got a couple of friends who are like massively into crystals. My friend Sally who does the fire resonance, she's [popped a couple of crystals in my bra cycle and I've just bought some. So, I was sent a really lovely rose quartz. I've got a cat here as well, Piggy says here
Yorkshire Mermaid 18:25
I've got crystals. I actually brought you a crystal.
Bonny Snowdon 18:31
Yorkshire Mermaid 18:32
Just a little Tiger's eye.
Bonny Snowdon 18:33
That's my favorite.
Yorkshire Mermaid 18:34
It's my favorite too.
Yorkshire Mermaid 18:35
Hey, Piggy. Oh, she's little gorgeous.
Bonny Snowdon 18:35
I absolutely love Tiger's eye. Oh, thank you. So, they're amazing. Here is, Piggy.
Bonny Snowdon 18:43
She sleeps all the time and is stick all over the place. So, that's not so lovely. When you read up about [inaudible] diary, it's incredible. Because the Romans used to add them on their breastplates and everything and it used to be more very magical. Used to be more valuable and gold. I mean, like millions of years ago. I love tiger's eye.
Yorkshire Mermaid 19:06
Somebody gave me a tiger's eye when I first started my photography business years ago and I was nervous and then you've invested whatever you can into it at all what if I don't do very well and she gave me a tiger's eye, like a heart shaped one and I've had it ever since. I used to have it in a bag and my pocket all the time that [inaudible]. So, I just think that this is what's made me.
Bonny Snowdon 19:10
Honesty, they've all got their own vibrations and everything behind them as well and that's what I find it so fascinating.
Yorkshire Mermaid 19:36
Easier to rub, aren't they?
Bonny Snowdon 19:38
Having them in your hand, I've got a little hair made of Tiger's eye and what else have I got. I can't remember the name of it. It's silver, it's little heart.
Yorkshire Mermaid 19:49
Bonny Snowdon 19:52
Very sort of dense, heavy knocking the title.
Yorkshire Mermaid 19:57
Actually, I can go back in my book, I think. I think I've drawn that.
Bonny Snowdon 20:00
[inaudible] time you feel you get much time to draw now?
Yorkshire Mermaid 20:04
No, I do miss it,
Bonny Snowdon 20:07
Well, I'm saying do I get much time to draw. I tend to stick my identity. So, I'll start working probably, well, it doesn't look like I've titled it, but I really have. So, once I've done the washing taking stuff out of the washing machine and stuff like that my children are brilliant, they'll do their own washing, but they think doing the washing means just putting it in the washing machine switching it on. So, I moved that from there to the dryer, and then kind of take that out and then swap it around and do the dishwasher and get the dog sorted everything, by the time I get it sorted usually is about late and I just sit down and start going through emails, and I've got the marketing side of stuff is gone. Just crazy. Absolutely crazy and it's nothing that I ever thought it was when you think about marketing, you just put some stuff on social media. We've got automated emails going out, we've got this going.
Yorkshire Mermaid 21:00
Do you ever just wish you could just wind it back and just draw it.
Bonny Snowdon 21:02
I know. So, I tend to do sort of a half eight till about three is admin meetings, live streams, all of that sort of stuff. My children will tell you that I just sit and watch videos all day, but it's not true. If you're watching on Tik Tok today, it's not true and then seven, I start drawing and I usually draw from that seven until midnight. So, it's about five hours. Yeah, I quite like drawing in night, I quite like it and the other thing is I get consistent lighting because it's dark.
Yorkshire Mermaid 21:41
Do you use a daylight?
Bonny Snowdon 21:43
Yeah, I've got big studio lights. The photography soft boxes, they're on big stand and they're quite bright. But they've got the big diffusers. Because what happens when you video your work, you're really, really careful with the lighting because [inaudible] and shadows. Shadows are a nightmare. So, my studio done, spotlights put in, I can't draw with the spotlights on because it just got the weird shut. So, switch them off, switch my soft boxes on. Then when I finish at midnight, turn my soft boxes off, the room is in complete darkness. flailing around trying to open the door. But yeah, so I tend to draw, weekends, I'll draw during the day, which is quite nice.
Yorkshire Mermaid 22:27
I found that when I when I draw a pencil drawing of a cat or you do some drawing, I actually find it quite good to draw it in the different lights because it meant I will choose different colors to bring out the different tones. So, actually did do some deliberately with lamps and then sometimes I'll do it in daylight, I'll be cool, that colour and now I'll change it back to that and it actually does a good job doing that. That's a weird way to work.
Bonny Snowdon 22:49
No, I don't think anyways, weird. I I think that's what's really nice about any kind of art and being creative. You just do whatever you want to do. It's so subjective, isn't it?
Yorkshire Mermaid 22:59
You it's compare yourself and try, did I do it right?
Bonny Snowdon 23:03
This is one of the big issues, I think, especially with people who are just starting to draw is comparing themselves to others. I mean, you probably had it when you wrote your book and everything thinking, oh, is it going to be as good as this children's book or my children's book? Is it going to look like this, that, the other, and we've got to, kind of, I think we have to accept who we are and just be happy with who we are, and be really proud of absolutely everything that we put out there and it doesn't matter what anybody else does?
Yorkshire Mermaid 23:35
So, I think with you, I think it's beautiful that you're very focused on what you do and you've got your style and your pet you're amazing. With my art I feel like I'm quite fickle. So, I'll do some pencil drawing and then next thing I know I'm making a 3D paper thing and then I'm doing a bit of clay and then am I just what's the saying something of all traits and must have done. I can't remember that saying.
Bonny Snowdon 24:01
Jack of all trades.
Yorkshire Mermaid 24:02
That must one. Sometimes I think should I just focus but I love doing it all.
Bonny Snowdon 24:09
I think whatever you want to do, whether with creativity writing drawing clay making, I would absolutely love to do a clay making, of course really getting in there and getting your hands on everything.
Yorkshire Mermaid 24:22
It's tricky. But then also I have this little battle with, I'm really trying to not use materials that you throw the things away so like with paints, I start to think, oh, I'll get into painting but all the tubes and the containers that you literally can't do anything with apart from putting in the bin. That made me feel a bit, oh, I'm not sure I'd want to focus on that because if I got really got into painting, there would be so much waste. Whereas with pencil drawing, I love the fact it's pencils and actually looked at some of the brand websites to see what there sustainable. A lot of them are vegan now as well and the real good about them applying especially forest and they've got really, really sick, I thought, oh, pencil art is actually something you can feel quite good about paper and pencil you're not making anything that can't be thrown away you're cycling
Bonny Snowdon 25:11
I draw on film quite a bit and that has had a few people sort of say, well hang on a second plastic. Yeah, I draw on film quite a lot. It's like a polyester and they're drafting on. Oh, to then put your image on to me. You actually draw your picture onto it?
Yorkshire Mermaid 25:27
Bonny Snowdon 25:28
So there, I'm doing it, in the minute is on their drafting, it feels fantastic surface to draw on. But it's plastic. But he's not single use plastic. If you draw a beautiful picture on it, you're not likely to throw it away. I think there are things where you can think well, actually, if it's single use then, absolutely. I know, Emma from the color pencil shop, she started to really look at her packaging, and make sure it's all really sustainable and that you can recycle it and all of that type of stuff. Should all things come in this big plastic?
Yorkshire Mermaid 26:04
Bubble wrappings, shiny tape, they say, oh, just for me to have this one thing.
Bonny Snowdon 26:09
I've started to get all my shopping really from, I can't remember the name of it. Riverford.
Yorkshire Mermaid 26:18
I use Riverford. It is a brilliant.
Bonny Snowdon 26:18
A couple of weeks now, and all of the organic. So, I mean, at first, it's a bit of a shock, because you get all of these monkey cats. I would imagine you think, hang on a second. I mean, it's a beautifully washed once in a plastic bag. But they taste so much better and you feel a little bit but you do.
Yorkshire Mermaid 26:24
The meats from the bookcase is where I went and buy from there.
Bonny Snowdon 26:43
Exactly, exactly. So, I really liked their cheeses, I really like their cheeses and my daughter, she goes to the gym with this, her name is Veronica or something. She's 60 She goes, mom, she looks amazing. She's like and she's making this organic gluten free bread maybe brought some home yesterday. Honestly, we just sat there going, I do need to know a whole a lot and the can is beautiful presentation box and everything. This is the best bread I've heard in my life. It was like eating louse. It was starchy, because I think she made it with yogurt. Oh, honestly, the best slice, maybe I will get some more. I can't go back to normal bread now. Riverford bread is really nice. They've got a really lovely, she did one. It's really, really nice. But yeah, so I've started to do that. It's good.
Yorkshire Mermaid 27:37
I think we all just do some little bits, it'll make a big thing. If everybody does a little bit, is hard.
Bonny Snowdon 27:43
No, it's not easy, isn't it? Because life busy and everything, isn't it?
Yorkshire Mermaid 27:47
I think with digital drawing as well. I like doing that because I feel like that's not that's literally not and you've got the device. But I've had my iPad now for about eight years or so and it's still going strong here on the Apple pen. I can try to drawing with.
Bonny Snowdon 28:03
I think it's Alexa, she's down on the floor.
Yorkshire Mermaid 28:07
She's stuck in the dark room.
Bonny Snowdon 28:08
It delegated it to the floor. So, I've got my Apple pen, I use my Apple pencil and I use sidecar on Photoshop an awful lot. So, I get my Mac and then I use sidecar to bring Photoshop onto my iPad and I can draw on the surface which is great. So, doing my line drawings and everything from there and I've got procreate and I have had a play but it's about finding time, isn't it? More time to be able to do that sort of thing because it means some of the pieces are amazing.
Yorkshire Mermaid 28:41
Yeah, it just means you, I don't know which I prefer. I think I like equally it's much pencil on paper on the iPad. You feel you take your time or pencil and paper because you know if you draw out the lines then you can't literally press back and delete what you've just done. So, it's very precise but then there's something very therapeutic about just layering up tiny little lines and just getting lost in it whereas on procreate you can be quite impatient. You can think, oh I'll just quickly draw this and I'll delete it and then so it loses that element, but I still love it strong.
Bonny Snowdon 29:17
Yeah, do you have like a tip or anything to put on your Apple pencil?
Yorkshire Mermaid 29:21
I'll just make it.
Bonny Snowdon 29:21
No, because you can get little tips, to make it feel more like paper.
Yorkshire Mermaid 29:25
You can but I think it feels like a felt tip pen on a smooth paper which I quite like drawing with pen and ink as well because I fickle. But it feels like pen on a paper. But then you can make it look like pencil and make it like paint. I'm thinking of doing some tutorials for children on procreate. I've had a few parents and messages saying look to learn how to do procreate. So, have made a YouTube channel but haven't launched it yet because there's no videos on it.
Bonny Snowdon 29:59
Yorkshire Mermaid 30:00
My girls want to help. Yeah. So, we were thinking of doing side by side drawing, and I'll teach them how to draw.
Bonny Snowdon 30:06
That would be amazing. I’ve got so many things going on and let's do this and you can do that and you can do. So, amazing.
Yorkshire Mermaid 30:08
Yeah. So, I'm quite excited about that. But it's just sitting down and I will try and make myself do that, because they enjoy it. So, I'm there learning and my eldest, Rosie, she wants to be a YouTuber, like every child and I said, well, you're not allowed to have your face on anything until you're old enough. But I have said, but maybe grab your voice and your hands drawing. She's so excited about that. So, yeah, it is in the pipeline.
Bonny Snowdon 30:46
That's really exciting. I think this day and age, there is just so much opportunity for any ideas that are out there, you can do something with and I think if you're tenacious enough, and you want something sky's the limit.
Yorkshire Mermaid 31:06
When you make it appear like that, you're very inspiring with what you're saying how concrete and the courses you do, and you're very open. You're not like, oh, well, I'm not telling you how I did this, unless you sign up to this you're very openly about, I use this pencil, or I've used this, this is how I've achieved this and you're very sharing and that means people instantly like you and want to know more.
Bonny Snowdon 31:27
I mean, I overshare a lot of stuff. So, sometimes I have like people working with me and they're like, hey, you can put that in something that people can sign up for, and I'm like, no, just tell them. I just like telling people stuff.
Yorkshire Mermaid 31:47
Also, that's all about me that's to make money as well, isn't it? So, I think you're not inherently just in it to make money, you love it and you want other people to do it as well. You want other people to know how it feels.
Bonny Snowdon 31:57
I feel so uncomfortable. I don't need money. I honestly do. I mean, I know that it's important and my business is successful. I totally get that. But I honestly feel so weird earning money. It's a funny thing. I mean, I've always had good jobs, not bad jobs, since I was 17, and kind of worked my way up and worked into a corporate and earned an okay salary. But now having a successful business, it's really strange,
Yorkshire Mermaid 32:40
Brilliant, you deserve it.
Bonny Snowdon 32:41
I've been asked to pay all this tax. It's funny, when you kind of talk about that side of things, we have to pay tax and VAT and all of that type of thing and I'm sitting there thinking, and it's not because I want all of the money for myself, but I just think but where's it going? Where is it going? Is it actually going to do something good? I really, really wish that we could specify where a percent of our tax would go, even if it was just like 1%, just go I want 1% of my tax to go to some charity or whatever, or, to for a park to help sort of sustain parks or woodland or something like that, and have just a tiny percent. I don't think I feel so bad then because, inevitably, probably what will happen is it will go and summon up to here, go and sort of help build a new council building or redo the road again.
Bonny Snowdon 32:59
Can't think about that, just carry and forward.
Bonny Snowdon 33:45
Again, it's really important to understand that actually you do, because I had a major shock when all of a sudden, my accountants like, we're going to start to make you VAT registered and I'm like, I'm sorry, what? But here you're doing well. Well, it does but anyway. I'm really not careful with money. I just don't want it to be there.
Yorkshire Mermaid 34:28
Oh, but I bet you love buying new art equipment.
Bonny Snowdon 34:34
Well, so at the minute, all I'm buying is blooming kneadable arises because the dog keeps on eating them. She's going to end up with a blockage. They're made of plastic rubber. I don't know what the made of. It's like really soft putty. I think they probably smell really nice. I'll have to hide them. So, every time, because I use them all the time, I put them down and I have to hide them because you sneak them out. But she's just a weirdo. Buying art equipment is good though. It's quite nice.
Yorkshire Mermaid 35:12
Bonny Snowdon 35:13
Very good. So, you just work from home then and you just do your photography and you're also writing?
Yorkshire Mermaid 35:19
Yeah, I stopped working as a photographer when Ruby was a baby. I tried to do it, I tried to carry on. But I'd actually lost my mojo for photographing other people's children. By that point, I thought I've done 10 years of it. I really loved it. I did well have some lovely clients and I thought that I think I'm going to take pictures, I'll just take pictures of my own children now and this shift in me was happening with, I want to get back to my drawing, I was already feeling that. So, then when I started drawing, again, I thought I'm just going to concentrate on just drawing for me, and not taking on any commission's that people did start when you share your work, it's lovely people do then contact you and say, oh, could you draw my dog? I knew at that point, if I started to draw for other people, I wouldn't be finding my own way because you draw think here, is that how they want that? It's like with photography, if I did a photo shoot to the family, I think we'll have I'd really love to get this light here and get this angle here and that would be an amazing photo, artistically. But for them, they want to know, they're looking at the camera, and they're smiling, so you shake it off. Well, I'll do it that way. Because I know they'll like that, and they'll buy it and that's how I have a business, make money. So, even when I was photographer, I wasn't really getting to do my style of what I would do if money wasn't involved, and other people hadn't commissioned me to do it. So, I thought with my art, I'll try not to get in that trap of doing things well, because then I'll just be busy with that and I didn't have much time out. There are two children in life and everything. But when I get time to do my art, I'm just going to literally enjoy it and draw it for me and see what happens. So, I just work from home, I draw wherever sometimes I go and walk around in the woods and take the sketchbook and friends have actually been doing jogging until it wasn't the [inaudible]. She well would be sitting on the edge of this rock with a sketchbook with a flask of tea. So, I'll sit in arms clear from the Chevy and [inaudible] sketch up there, anywhere by the water.
Bonny Snowdon 37:27
My dad would draw the Land rover onto the cam calf. Believe that.
Yorkshire Mermaid 37:33
How do you get that?
Bonny Snowdon 37:34
I really don't know. He's done all sorts of weird stuff. It's beautiful, though. It's really lovely.
Yorkshire Mermaid 37:41
We've got so many beautiful places around here. I mean, one of my ideas for a book eventually is to deal with all the different areas around here as well. So, it's in my head, but I'm working on my next book now, which is for a slightly older children 10 to 13 I think it is. It's a different storyline, it's a bit more of a grown-up story about the connection between the granddaughter and the grandfather' whose got dementia and it goes back into the World War II and different things. I'm having to do bit of research and kind of drawing.
Bonny Snowdon 38:11
I've got a quick sponsor.
Yorkshire Mermaid 38:12
Yeah, I think it's one that it's quite emotional for me to do. I think both of my grandparents have dementia, and you lose that. They forget who you were, but they remember what they were like when they were children. So, there's an element of that coming back into his story and I love drawing old vintage things as well. So, if I can get all the old toys and even when he was younger and has elements of him when he was young, in the book, the story. So, it's quite an interesting one. So, I've written the first chapter and my little girl loves it, Rosie. Mommy you can write the rest of it. But with it, Iit's a strange thing. In the minute I can't feel I've opened my laptop to write and I can't get there at the moment. I think with everything going on in the world as well the war and everything going on at the moment, you have to be in the right headspace to get in your imaginary place to write. I mean, I don't proclaim to be a writer. It's new to me but I feel I need to be very settled in my thoughts to get on something to write.
Yorkshire Mermaid 38:12
I totally understand. I was talking to lovely Sally yesterday and we were sort of saying about this as well and I kind of know a little bit but I don't listen to the news at all and I sort of I listen to it. If I'm in the car, I hear a little bit of what's going on, but I can't have, there's nothing I can do about it. I've donated really happy to have done that and if I can do stuff I will. I'm hoping to interview somebody who's actually on the front lines, he's actually just outside Ukraine, but he's helping feed all the women and children. Honestly, you look at his Instagram and you say, oh my, he's kind of making pizzas out the back of a lorry.
Yorkshire Mermaid 40:06
People are amazing, aren't they?
Bonny Snowdon 40:07
She's just like, oh my god, a completely selfless man, just amazing work that he's doing and I'm really happy to have donated and help people but personally, I can't really physically do anything. If I could put my name forward to have somebody come and live here, I would, but I don't have many room, I don't have a spare room or anything like that. They want to live in one off, because very welcome. I guess there's probably like regulations and stuff like that as well. You can't just let someone sleep in your house. I mean, it's boarded out. Don't get me wrong.
Yorkshire Mermaid 40:09
[inaudible]. They'll be contacting me running.
Bonny Snowdon 40:49
But honestly, so I cut myself off from the news, because it just saps your energy.
Yorkshire Mermaid 40:57
It's draining, just makes me cry. So, I can't read too much of it. Every morning, I'll read the headlines and I'll think to see what's going on, but it just sits with me for a long time and it's heartbreaking, isn't it?
Bonny Snowdon 41:11
It is because I think it's because we can't actually do anything but I'm saying I can't, I could probably drive over there and help make pieces. But then I have to think about my family and my needs.
Yorkshire Mermaid 41:26
Litigations is the best way.
Bonny Snowdon 41:28
Yorkshire Mermaid 41:30
Too much things.
Bonny Snowdon 41:30
I have done that with my youngest son. He's so sweet. He's like can you donated [inaudible] Yes, I have as well. He's donated to his football club as well. It's just going under. He's so sweet. Blooming got new sofas, years and years and years, flipping new sofas. They arrived last week. I hope I'll send on send in the morning on a Saturday and they had to come through the field.
Yorkshire Mermaid 42:05
[inaudible] goat or sheet?
Bonny Snowdon 42:06
Well, so the sheep thought they were being fed. So, these poor men with this massive sofa walking through the fields get down to the bottom, and the sheep all came and crowded around them and they just stood around and barring at them and these men were like, are they your sheep? Okay, well there and put it but see it now comes home from school, she gets laid out. [inaudible] pulls this little rug up and just sat down with all of the dogs.
Yorkshire Mermaid 42:32
Are they creative as well as children, do they like drawing?
Bonny Snowdon 42:35
You look bad. I think you've got SIDs sort of art. [inaudible]. Maybe he was pretty good, actually, maybe it was pretty good. But then none of them have gone sort of they're all very much into music. My youngest is really into music. He's got the most amazing, eclectic tastes in music. She would go anywhere [inaudible] since playing with them is really good and they also have surprised me. So, eldest Frankie, he's a heating engineer. They're all really good. But we'll be sitting in the car and the time to say goodbye song, but it's in Italian or whatever it is. So, it starts to come out and it's got this sort of [inaudible] and then he starts singing in Italian. He's like, I like the song. Maybe sings, maybe is always singing.
Yorkshire Mermaid 43:37
But you can say sing.
Bonny Snowdon 43:39
Well, I can sing in tune. But maybe his voice is absolutely beautiful and his voice is lovely. So, he'll sing stuff often on my videos, I can hear him singing upstairs. I'm like, shut up, singing Lemley’s songs and stuff. So, they really, really like their music, all three of them actually. But their dad used to really love music and I lie music but Dave really loved his music. What about your girls, and then today?
Yorkshire Mermaid 44:12
They are creative as well. My littlest one Ruby, I think I see a lot of what I was like, she can just draw for hours as well and she's very perfectionist and she gets annoyed she can't draw like me. [inaudible] you have to draw like me. So, she sits down and loves it and she likes. My eldest Rosie, she's good at drawing as well, but she's very quick and she hasn't got the patience like really for drawing. She's more of a science kind of. She likes writing stories. So, she's creative in that way and more academic in that way, I would say. Whereas Ruby is more into running around singing and twizzling around and in your own imagination feels quite a lot.
Bonny Snowdon 45:00
Yorkshire Mermaid 45:01
She's really is really nice.
Bonny Snowdon 45:02
That's good. Do they go to school locally?
Yorkshire Mermaid 45:05
Yeah, they go to school in Harrogate, so I'm very, very happy and I was just going to mention something with my girls. I've got a photo of somebody on World Book Day, dressed up as Rosie because she's the character in the book and Rosie she was so happy about that. She was so delighted.
Bonny Snowdon 45:26
I didn't know it was her.
Yorkshire Mermaid 45:27
I'm famous, but not quite.
Bonny Snowdon 45:29
Oh, that's brilliant. Your oldest, is she set to go to secondary school.
Yorkshire Mermaid 45:35
She'll be staying at the same school.
Bonny Snowdon 45:39
That's good. Oh, that is that is nice.
Yorkshire Mermaid 45:42
Because she's in year five.
Bonny Snowdon 45:43
It's a big upheaval, isn't it? They have to kind of go from one to the other.
Yorkshire Mermaid 45:48
She's in from the school. Shots we have going, I think.
Bonny Snowdon 45:53
Say hi. Oh, Lord, I wasn't able. We all went to Ripon Grammar apart from my brother, and I left at 15. I obviously hated school. I was always in trouble.
Yorkshire Mermaid 46:09
I remember my English teacher just get frustrated at me because I used to think I was just awful English. So, I'd love to know what she thought now you're writing stories.
Bonny Snowdon 46:09
Yeah. Oh, gosh. Yeah. Always in trouble just went off into my own thing. But not academic, but if I applied myself, I'm pretty good at whatever I find myself to take but my sister who's just a bit older than me, her birthday yesterday, she was a prefect, I think, that my eldest sister she wasn't a prefect and then one of my younger sisters who were twins Gabby and Heidi Gabby, she wasn't a prefect, but all her friends were prefects and she was a bit miffed about that. I wasn't destined for higher education at all. Oh, gosh.
Yorkshire Mermaid 46:09
Bonny Snowdon 47:02
How funny is that that you thought that you were awful in English and now you're an author.
Yorkshire Mermaid 47:06
I was just so uninterested I think in what we were taught Shakespeare.
Bonny Snowdon 47:12
Now I don't know what else to talk about. Now we've just been chatting. It's been so nice.
Yorkshire Mermaid 47:18
Oh, yeah. So, lucky in school. Right go on.
Bonny Snowdon 47:22
I don't know like I honestly, I think it's fascinating that maybe at school you weren't thinking that you wanted to be an author?
Yorkshire Mermaid 47:32
Not at all. It's probably the opposite to what I thought I do. I always knew I'd do something creative but never could decide quite what that could be and I think as a little girl as well.
Bonny Snowdon 47:45
Yorkshire Mermaid 48:04
Yeah, I don't know if you were told when you were little, that if you interrupt when you're a little bit, it's like you only get anywhere when you die. [inaudible], just thinking that's what, there's no point being an artist because you'd have to be dead before.
Bonny Snowdon 48:22
I guess, back in those days when anybody was supposed to know.
Yorkshire Mermaid 48:32
So, you have to be a famous artist to actually. So, it kind of like, oh, that's not really an option then and then going through school drawing and things was always what I love doing and then I can't remember what I'm talking about academic stuff. Yeah, it wasn't particularly academic. I could do it. But I'd much prefer to draw in. But now I could just like my perfect day, would be sitting somewhere with my sketchbook, and some tea and just been to draw.
Bonny Snowdon 49:09
I mean, I have to say I am really busy and I have got so much stuff going on and my sort of dream is to have maybe about three months where I don't have anything. I don't have to write emails. I don't have to make a video. I don't have to and I can just sit there. I've got so many pictures that I want to draw.
Yorkshire Mermaid 49:31
But you can make it happen.
Bonny Snowdon 49:33
Yes. So, I'm taking time off, and I've got somebody who helps me with my calendar and my emails and everything in the customer service side of stuff. I mean, honestly, she's absolutely brilliant. She's wonderful. She's on holiday this week. So, I'm having to do [inaudible], she made a folder that says from the [inaudible]. I'm very, very good actually answering people's messages. I don't to leave people hanging about, but I can't remember what was going to say. Oh, yeah, so I'm blocking time out so I can actually have some time to get back.
Yorkshire Mermaid 50:14
To what you love doing.
Bonny Snowdon 50:15
Yeah, I've got images or pictures that I want to do, but I want to do some sort of floral stuff. But I'd really, really love to do that. But I want to find the time to be able to actually sit down and just do it without any distraction because it takes time to kind of build those sorts of things and then look at them and I can envisage it and I was looking at it, last night, I was just got these other beautiful photos in Canada. I can't remember where it was, she's got an old shoemaker and he'd literally just finished making a shoe, put the shoe down and kind of sat back in Scotland. It's in like an old shop, most fantastic photograph, beautiful photo and then this guy who is a carpenter, and he's probably in his late 60s, 70s, big chap, great big beard and it's just kind of standing out like this. He's got this big sort of apron over his big tummy, most amazing photograph, absolutely fantastic. I'd love to be able to do the draw that, to kind of work on something like that, but have the time to be able to go, oh, well, I can only have like, a couple of hours on this and then I've got to shift something else onto my drawing board and do a tutorial or whatever. It's not that I don't begrudge them tutorials at all, because I really love them. Because I can just chat away and talk rubbish and blog about stuff. But that would be really nice to have separate time working. It'd be really, really nice and just do something a bit different.
Yorkshire Mermaid 51:23
Something I noticed you did. Was your oil painting. It's amazing.
Bonny Snowdon 51:47
Well, I'm learning. I'm learning from Jean Pritchard. Oh, my goodness, she is the most amazing artist born with the firearms. She's fantastic. She's in Cumbria and she is the nicest lady really down to earth and just really lovely and I've been having lessons with her. But just recently, I haven't had time to do it. So, we've been drawing together a painting together and we've been painting a dog together and then I decided I was going to do a horse and it's only got a couple of layers on there. But I found that I'm quite good at pushing stuff around, pushing paint, blending stuff. When it comes to the details. I find that much harder. Because it's a soft brush.
Yorkshire Mermaid 52:36
I thought it looks finished, but it looks lovely. The point you got to.
Bonny Snowdon 52:39
[inaudible] varnish it.
Yorkshire Mermaid 52:44
It's really beautiful.
Bonny Snowdon 52:46
I mean, I did enjoy it, I did enjoy it and I found it, how she teaches is really good. Because she teaches that it's not just slapping loads of color on to begin with, and you get sort of like a mess. She teaches to kind of build your initial layer of paint, I guess where you're working with the tone. So, she'll work with a sepia version of the photo and you kind of work those tones up to begin with and it looks really, really nice which is kind of how I like to teach my color pencil. If we can get it to look quite nice quite quickly, you're more likely to feel motivated to carry on because there's nothing worse than hitting that kind of ugly stage and thinking, well, this is just rubbish. Throw it in the bin.
Yorkshire Mermaid 53:31
Sometimes you do have to write the app on our phone when you've lost your passion for it a little but I like to start with the eyes. But they're looking at you like finish me, finish me. I'll just be an eye.
Bonny Snowdon 53:46
Yeah, it's funny, isn't it? But I think it's just wonderful that you've picked up the drawing and everything and you're honestly and how you review books as well. I love all your book reviews and everything that you're doing.
Yorkshire Mermaid 53:59
Yeah, so I have my two Instagram’s. I've got my Yorkshire Mermaid where I do my book reviews.
Bonny Snowdon 54:05
Why is it Yorkshire Mermaid? Tell me why it's Yorkshire Mermaid?
Yorkshire Mermaid 54:08
I think because I just used to swim a lot. I love swimming depends wherever I can in the lake or in the pool or whatever. Since COVID, I haven't really done. I've moved on to get into bike more than swimming. The Yorkshire mermaid just feel good because swimming. I've gotten wild in the swimming.
Bonny Snowdon 54:25
Why did you do that?
Yorkshire Mermaid 54:27
I've done a little bit, so I've done the Great North swim in Lake Windermere before and then we go to the lakes quite a lot. So, I do try and get in the lake whenever I can. I love skating. It's paddleboarding and that's quite fun. I'm just happy in the water on the water by the water because probably ball kicked to the bathroom. Nothing glamorous. I feel happy goldfish swimming about. That's why on the Yorkshire Mermaid I share, and probably my photography side of things, well, photography and things that I love and books, things I've discovered that my cake recipes they like that and then online gemstone creates Instagram is where I'm sharing all my jewelry now. Anything I'm drawing.
Bonny Snowdon 55:16
I need to unfollow that.
Yorkshire Mermaid 55:18
So, I've got my pencil sketches on there and my digital drawings and that's where I tried to fill that one up. So, it's just the art side viewings, and then we auction have made more of my everyday ramblings.
Bonny Snowdon 55:32
I like that. I love that. No, that's been so nice. So, nice to chat to you and learn more about you.
Yorkshire Mermaid 55:38
Good to meet you.
Bonny Snowdon 55:40
So, thank you very much.
Yorkshire Mermaid 55:41
Thank you for inspiring me to draw again. It's really nice to meet you.
Bonny Snowdon 55:47
I really hope you enjoyed listening to this episode of my It's a Bonny Old Life podcast. If you did, I'd be so grateful to you for emailing me or texting a link to the show, or sharing it on social media with those you know who might like it too. My mission with this podcast is all about sharing mine and my communities experience and hope by telling your fascinating personal stories, championing the other amazing humans in my personal, professional and membership community, and to create another channel through which I can support you to realize your colored pencil and life dreams. If you haven't done so yet. Please help me on my mission to spread positivity and joy throughout the colored pencil world by following me on my socials at Bonny Snowdon Academy, or by getting on my list at bonnysnowdonacademy.com, and remember, I truly believe if I can live the life of my dreams doing what I love, then you can too. We just need to keep championing and supporting each other along the way in order to make it happen. Till next time