Creator Spotlight: Made By Harriet

From Casual Doodler to Business Owner: Meet the Creator Behind the RSPCA Christmas Collection

In case you missed it, we’re excited to be partnering up with the RSPCA, who have created an exclusive range of charity Christmas cards with Made by Harriet to raise money for their Christmas Rescue. We caught up with Harriet to find out more about her experience, creative process and thoughts around this special collaboration.

What did you enjoy most about designing the RSPCA Christmas card collection?

I mostly draw dogs, but as the RSPCA support a large variety of animals it meant that I had the opportunity to draw lots of new creatures. Although daunting at times, it was great to push myself out my comfort zone! I hope to create more different animals in 2023, especially foxes, badgers and pigeons! 

How did you find the creative process and where did you get your inspiration from?

I used reference images provided by the RSPCA, as well as looking back through old sketchbooks to see my past work. I would usually create my characters on paper with my favourite materials such as pencil crayons, brush pens and crayons, and then make digital amends after. However, as I’ve been on the road a lot, I ended up working solely on my iPad, which was a brand new experience for me. Working digitally really complimented this project, making playing with the animal characters really quick and easy. Learning a new medium was challenging, but I had so much fun changing the characters expressions and really exploring the textures the iPad could create! 

Which design from the RSPCA x thortful collection is your favourite?

Oooh, it’s so hard to pick! I love the group of dogs and the group of cats cards. I love having lots of personalities and characters in one design, and how everyone will be able to relate to at least one of the characters.

Why do you think the collection is important?

I was honoured to be involved with this project to help raise money for a great cause. The work that the RSPCA does is so important, so it’s imperative they have enough funds to continue. It’s so great for me to be involved in such an exciting project that’s close to my heart. We wanted to keep the images light-hearted and fun, whilst highlighting the variety of work the RSPCA does.

How did you get into being a card creator for thortful?

I joined thortful’s creator community back in 2018. I’d started drawing and wanted to start my own business, creating a range of products. Thortful was a great way to make my drawings accessible and available to buy as cards, without the worry of having to order and manage stock myself. Creating designs and uploading to my account was so easy, and was such a great way to offer my work to a wide audience.

Why do you specifically choose animals to illustrate?

It all happened rather by accident. I was travelling a lot and drawing as I was out and about in sketchbooks, or doodling on bits of loose paper or the back of boarding passes with a biro. I’d always loved animals, so they felt like a natural thing for me to want to draw. I did try drawing on location, nice views and buildings, but they just didn’t excite me as much as capturing the personality of an animal did! 

What is it that you love most about illustration and design?

I love feeling excited about a new project, a new character, or a new illustration. There’s normally a weird bit in the middle of the process where nothing seems to look right, but when it all comes together, it’s a great feeling. I love that something which once only existed in my mind is now ‘right there’ on paper, and that giddy feeling I get when a new character appears on my page. I love trying out new colours and new materials too, and exploring the ways different marks, textures and colours can add to my characters.

If you want to help support the RSPCA and their Christmas Rescue with us, you can shop the RSPCA Christmas Card collection now.  For every A5 card sold from this collection we’ll be giving £1.

And if you can spare a little more to help keep animals safe this winter, you can donate directly to the RSPCA through our JustGiving page.