Creative fun

Spread the Smile

I’m so excited to share my newest projects with you.

August has been a crazy busy month for me as two children’s books containing my illustrations have been published and both went straight to number one in a couple of Amazon’s best seller categories 😁😁😁

The first book written by the wonderful Claire Clements of Positive Pants is a delightfully positive book for little ones looking for ways to bring positivity to their day and feel better when they are feeling glum. It was such a wonderful process working with Claire to bring her book to life. When I first started drawing as a young child I loved to try copying the illustrations in the Beano so it was great to be able to include this iconic comic in the book, thanks Beano 😁 Click on the image or follow the link to buy Claire’s amazing book.

The second book is a story that has been in our Emotions Toolkit packs for families, and the Early Years and Key Stage One, for a while now and I am so delighted to finally have this published in paperback. Spread the smile is a story all about two friends Jack and Jane. They go on an adventure and meet Bunny. Throughout the story each time the children experience a big emotion Bunny teaches them a new self-regulation strategy.

The book couldn’t have been finished and published at a better time as the new Early Years Framework goes live this September and within the changes is the much needed self-regulation early learning goal. For us at the Emotions Toolkit we believe that for children to learn to self-regulate their emotions at an early age and be able to manage big emotions is crucial. These strategies are adult techniques that we have made child friendly and this book really brings them to life, putting them in context for small children. These skills will be with them for life 😁

With more illustration projects on the horizon I’m looking to fill my bookshelves 🙂 If you would like to know more about how I can help you with your book illustrations and how I work please do get in touch. I’d also be happy to hear from local schools or nurseries that might like to book an author, illustrator and qualified teacher for book week 🙂

Big Smiles

Debsta 🙂

Creative fun

How do commissions actually work?

Planning a commission in the sketchbook

Owning an original piece of art that is unique is a very special thing. There are so many outlets where you can purchase canvas prints off the shelf but for something bespoke and special there is nothing better than original art.

Over the last year we have been forced to spend more time at home and many of us have been rethinking decor and making our homes the perfect place to be. One of the things I specialise in is providing the right piece of art to suit your style and taste. The perfect finish to your room.

So how do you go about commissioning a piece of art for your home or office or as a gift?

Every artist will be slightly different and will have their own styles of working. Here is what to expect when you commission a Debsta 🙂

  • A great commission starts with a good conversation. Contact me with your initial ideas and I will arrange to chat with you about exactly what you are looking for. We will talk about what art you like, colours, size and subject. We will discuss who the work is for or where it will hang and whether you want the work on canvas or paper or a wall in the case of a mural.
  • If we are a good fit I will go ahead and generate a no obligation quote. In some cases it may be necessary for me to provide a rough sketch so that you can imagine how the commission will look. I will also endeavour to give you a time scale of how long the commission may take.
  • The next step if you are happy to proceed is that I ask for 50% of the invoice up front. This allows me to purchase all of the resources needed to begin creating the project for you. Once this payment has been received I will go ahead with your project. Exciting times:)
  • When I am working on your commission I will film some or all of the process so that you can watch how your artwork was created.
  • I will keep you updated on the progress and even though most people wait for the big reveal I am more than happy to share progress photos along the way. Just ask.
  • Finally once the work is complete we can arrange the delivery, big reveal and final payment.

There are many decisions to be made along the way and I will offer advice and support to you every step of the way. One of the big decisions is framing. Some deep canvas paintings look amazing hung ‘naked’ with no frame, others benefit from a frame and I am happy to make recommendations of which style and colour would suit the work and your space and will also recommend local framers or those closer to where you live. If you would like me to get the work framed on your behalf this will be agreed in step one so that I can quote you for this and make sure that the frame is factored into your measurements.

Ultimately I would love you to enjoy the process and be extremely happy with your unique piece of art for years to come.

Contact me to arrange a commission and start the conversation.

A recent testimonial from a happy collector 🙂

Debsta x

Creative fun

Photography – When it makes me smile ☺ 

I love it when I download my photos from my camera, scroll through and find some absolute delights. 

I can remember photography ‘back in the day’ so it is a luxury now to be able take as many pictures as you like, review, edit and throw some in the trash, without feeling like it’s a waste 🙂

Then you are left with a selection of images that make you smile and capture the memories of people and places and emotions.

I am really lucky to be able to work with Karina at Studio 61 in Derbyshire.  She does an amazing job of professionally giclee printing my favourite photographs and art so that I can offer them for sale.

You can find limited editions of these and more at and I’ll soon be adding these to my Etsy listings too at 

In case you are wondering which camera I use to take my photographs I switch between my Canon 7D and my Huawei P30 pro depending where I am and what I have with me 🙂