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    News

    Meet Megan Lin Tucker

    A new series of interviews from us at the Gallery, taking you a step closer to knowing your artist or artisan maker. This month we're featuring the lovely work of Welsh artist Megan Tucker, you can shop her collection here.

    Introduce yourself and describe your work a little.

    My name is Megan Tucker & I’m an illustrator based in Swansea. I specialise in hand-lettering, artwork for home decor and children's illustration. My work has innocent and uplifting charm, and can be found in many gift boutiques across Wales. In recent years, I have begun specialising in Welsh language artwork which has been incredibly well received and I am delighted to help customers celebrate their language and heritage through my work

    What is your studio like? (spotted our Keith Brymer Jones mug on your desk!)

    I work from home. Last year my husband and I moved house and we currently share a studio we have set up in one of the rooms as he also works within the creative industry. We plan to build a new studio space in our garden in the summer to provide us with more room for our individual businesses.

    What is your preferred medium and why?

    I always begin my work with a pencil. Its a basic tool, but as an illustrator sketching is always my starting line for any project. I then move onto ink or gouache depending the on the finish I am trying to achieve and from there I use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to finish my work off. There are lots of stages from the initial concept for a piece of artwork to the finished piece but this approach helps me to be flexible in order to create the right look.

    What inspired you to start your Welsh collection?

    When I began working as a freelancer, I focused mainly on artwork for Children. I noticed a lack of modern Welsh artwork for kids and decided to create a Welsh version of an Alphabet print I had illustrated. This was picked up by a Welsh Gift shop in North Wales and sold well. As a result I was asked if I would consider offering more Welsh language artwork, which then led on to other shops getting in touch and asking to stock my work.  I am so pleased with how the demand has grown my business . I love the response I have received over the years from customers and stockists alike and its very rewarding to help support the language in some small way.

    Where would you like to be in five years time?

    In five years time I would ideally like to working more directly with clients as an illustrator. I think I will most likely always have my work in shops but I would like to challenge myself a little more and work towards potentially having an agent and take on far more illustration projects with publishers etc. My biggest dream is to write and illustrate my own Children’s books!

    Do you have a favourite piece from your own collections?

    Currently, my favourite piece would have to be my Pembrokeshire map. I love drawing maps and getting to know an area while I illustrate it. The response to my maps has been fantastic and there’s something about the colours and nostalgic feel of my Pembrokeshire illustration that makes me happy. It’s such a lovely corner of Wales and whenever I look at it, it makes me want to go for a little break on the coast!

    What artists or designers do you admire locally and nationally?

    I recently came across the work of Matthew Snowden. I love how his paintings display the dramatic landscape of Wales and his use of colour to capture light quality. They are beautiful. Further afield- my favourite illustrator of all time is a lady by the name of Teagan White from America. She works within two styles- one is very playful and child friendly, while the other is very traditional and features a lot detailed flora and fauna. Her illustrations are so crisp and controlled- If I could learn to paint half as well as she does I would be thrilled!

    What do you want people who own your work to feel when they look at a piece of yours?

    I think as the Welsh side of things now dominates my work, I would like to hope that people feel a sense of “home” when they look at my illustrations. Culture, heritage and a sense of belonging are deeply personal things and I hope that my work helps people to connect with that.

    What’s your favourite place in Wales?

    My favourite place in Wales has to be Llanberis pass in Gwynedd. The drive through the dramatic, slate covered mountains never fails to impress me.

    Would you say your style has evolved? And if so what has influenced this?

    Yes most definitely. I think when you work as an illustrator you need to keep your finger on the pulse of current trends and demand while maintaining a style that is true to your own way of working as well. Earlier in my career I think I felt the pressure to draw in particular styles but was never quite happy with what I produced. I have since learned to accept and enjoy the work that I naturally create and I often tell students to embrace the way they draw rather than fight against it. Once I did this I found it much easier to create new artwork and naturally grew my skills and confidence which led to better work.

     

    Thanks for chatting to us!

    Love, the Gallery

    A whole bunch of reasons we love Wales!

    Over the past 25 years, we've learnt a thing or two about classic design. Excellent quality, organic skincare and artisan craftmanship all stand the test of time, and we know you appreciate them as much as we do. Which is why we are so proud to bring to you our Welsh Collection.

    A distinctive collection of products made in Wales, hand picked by us and celebrating the very best of where we are lucky enough to live. We're adding new, and exclusive products to us, all the time so be sure to check back soon.
     
     Some of the new artisans we've enjoyed discovering, from the very borders of the country or right on our own doorstep: Sarah Jones-Morris and her wonderful ceramic love spoons, Welsh Lavender products made in the mid-Wales hills, Megan Tuckers carefully characterful artworks, and The pembrokeshire Beach Food Company's wild harvested morsels from our favourite Pembs beaches. 

    Time to book a holiday and do some more uncovering of fabulous Welsh goods- Do you know of any you'd like us to stock? Or are you excited about a new Welsh project of your own? Drop us a line in the comments or on our Facebook page- we'd love to hear your tips!
     Love, the Gallery

     

    Dydd Santes Dwynwen - Welsh Valentines Day

    On the 25 of January every year, we celebrate Saint Dwynwen, the Welsh equivalent to Valentines Day.

    The story goes that Dwynwen fell in love with Maelon, but her father forbade them marry (meanie), so Dwynwen prays to fall out of love with him because it hurts too much to love him and not be together.

    You could always fall in love with Pembrokeshire itself with one of these Retro Pembrokeshire Coast Prints?

    Dwynwen is visited by an angel, who appeared carrying a memory potion so she can forget Maelon and who turns him into a block of ice.

    She then gives Dwynwen three wishes;  First she wishes that Maelon is freed from the ice and can go and live his life, secondly that God protects all future lovers and thirdly that she'll never get married.

    Dwynwen then left home for the isle of Anglesey where she was a nun for the rest of her life and founded Llanddwyn church (the ruins of which you can still see today).


                        Hand-made, wrought-iron love tokens and love spoons from blacksmith Mike Davies... or contemporary Cariad, Cwtch & Caru ti mugs and cups from Keith Brymer Jones.

    So to help all you lovers out there, we've put together a few ideas for sweet Welsh and Pembrokeshire based gifts.

    How about making your carried dinner with some sexy Welsh ingredients from The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company?

    Aaaand if anyone feels the need to send us flowers/cake/champagne/love letters we'd be delighted! Ahem.

    Love, The Gallery

    5 Christmas Gifts For Her

    There's only two weeks to go so let's get started- our top five Christmas presents for a special lady.

    1. Something small and pretty...

    We love gently untying a ribbon bow, or searching through some raffia to find a hidden box to uncover something small and unique and completely useless- except it's beautiful.  Earrings. A bracelet. A brooch. A hairclip. Try Michael Michaud or Ayala Bar for a statement, or Maria Allen for something quirky.

    2. We like things to smell nice. Ourselves, our house, you...

    Does she love to light candles? Try St. Eval for ethical, handmade and beautiful scents or True Grace for flair. Does she love toiletries? L'Occitane and Neals Yard always go down well- and they're beautifully presented. Or choose something a little more individual like The Natural Spa Factory and encourage her to pamper herself.

     

    3. Romance isn't dead...

    Remember your first date? Your first holiday? A place or object from her childhood? How wonderful would it be to recreate those memories…now, we're not saying that this is better than a weekend away to revisit them, but what about a limited edition print to remind you of somewhere special? They're more reasonable than you think and the meaning behind it is totally individual, short of a walk on the beach itself you won't get much more romantic...

    4. It's the little things...

    It's not really the price tag that's important (although thats what the adverts will have you believe), it's the thought. Has she always wanted to write? To paint? To have more time for herself? Think about the things she doesn't get to do, and encourage her. This might mean booking an evening class or a weekend away, but it could just be a beautiful notebook, thick, un-bleached paper, some graphite pencils and an invitation to take some time for herself.

     

    If you have an idea, but you're not quite sure how to go about it, ask us. We can put together and gift wrap a package with your help for absolutely free- helping is what we do best :)

    5. We drop hints all year long...

    That book she keeps talking about? The new moisturiser her friend says is amazing? That place she keeps going on about visiting one day? Yes. They're all notes to you. Consider yourself told.

    And one more thing…

    6. She loves you, don't worry so much. If you've taken the time to pick something out, we're sure she'll adore it.

     

    Love, The Gallery.

     

    5 Christmas Gifts For Him

    We don't know about you, but a quick office poll of the 15 beautiful ladies that we work with all agreed that buying for their significant other, dad, or son is the hardest thing to do at Christmas!

    So we thought we'd pool our resources and bring you our Top 5 Christmas Gift Ideas for the men in your life.

    ​

     

    1. Beards are in...

    There ain't no use in denying ladies- beards are still very much in. Let's embrace the facial hair and enjoy having a slightly more rugged man about the house. 

    So with that in mind, beard softening oil anyone? (you'll thank me later!) We love the Men's Society range cause they smell of lemony thyme and a little goes a long way. Try Captain Fawcett's for a matching set though, beautiful packaging to boot.

    2. Spend out on one big present...

    If you know they're going to love something, it's better to give them one big present that they'll cherish, than what may look like a lot under the tree, but in reality they won't use past January. Besides, we all know good things come in small packages right? ;)

    Try a Newgate watch, stylish, uban, a statement piece of timekeeping equipment that will really last. Perhaps a print of home if they're off to pastures new? David Wilson's iconic photography of Wales always goes down well, Andrea Kelland for sea lovers, Jackie Morris for dreamers...

     

    3. For the dapper man...

    We all love a man in a suit, so why not encourage some self confidence when dressing up with some accessories? The age old tradition of giving cufflinks is still something to treasure, try Tyler & Tyler for style and personality, or for something funkier, a tie or wallet clip from Izola

    4. We mean business...

    Career focussed? Travel a lot? Think about what they already use but could be much nicer. The Tyler and Tyler overnight bag is made from stunning dark brown leather with a bright satin interior- pricey but so worth it (matching washbag?). Or go for the brogue detailed Ted Baker travel manicure set and similiarly designed shoe shine kit  - perfect for a gent on the go.

     

     

    5. Dads are a blooming nightmare...

    We don't know about you, but our dad's aren't much into Christmas. They like a nice bottle of brandy, a book, some peace and quiet, and walks with the dog. So for those kind of Dad's we're thinking that maybe they'd appreciate some LSA? Handblown Lager / Whiskey / Brandy glasses and decanters that won't break the bank. Pair it with a hipflask and funnel, or a bottle of Jamesons and we think you're onto a winner!

    Hope we helped!

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