A selection of some of the illustration work I have created is displayed below. Most of the illustrations have been created as part of my own collections which I sell as cards and art prints through my shop and in a host of galleries and independent gift shops around the UK, as well as work that has been commissioned or created for publications and exhibitions.
Most of my illustration work starts life as hand-drawn black pen drawings, which I then scan in, convert to vector based designs to edit, compose and colour digitally and combine with photographic textures.
I love to play with colour, bold graphics and minimalist layouts to create beautiful pieces that make people smile.
Childhood // An editorial illustration created for Unpsychology Magazine Issue 3 responding to the theme of Childhood and inspired by 'Kith: The Riddle of the Childscape' by Jay Griffiths
Streetlight // Inspired by a magical late night walk home in the snow I wanted to capture the beautiful streetlight, dark moody atmosphere and silhouettes of people huddling under their umbrellas.
Unsung Heroes front cover and Wild Swimming Illustration // An editorial illustration (left and centre) created for Issue 4 of Severine magazine which was chosen to be used as the front cover art. With the theme of 'Heroes' I decided to create this piece inspired by and for the people who are committed to protecting our oceans; preserving our forests; nurturing our lands; cleaning our air and saving our endangered species. I was later commissioned to create a wild swimming illustration (right) based on the colour palette and style of the Unsung Heroes piece.
Unpsychology Magazine // A series of illustrations created for Issue 3 of Unpsychology Magazine - the Childhood edition. Each illustration has been created to sit alongside different pieces of writing within the magazine which includes poetry, fiction, commentaries and essays all responding to the theme of childhood.
Stereo City // I had a lot of fun producing this illustration as my submission for the 'Sounds of the City' AOI Prize for Illustration 2017. This illustration is a celebration of the diverse spaces within and around our cities: from the vibrant lively buzz of the urban streets and buildings; to the calm retreats of our city parks and rivers; and further afield to the incredible natural landscapes that are often seen, but not heard from the rhythmic beat and pulse of the city centre. Our cities and buildings are an ever changing composition of light and activity, which is reminiscent of the graphic equalizer lights you see on stereos. This has inspired the architecture of my imaginary ‘Stereo City’.
Winter Trees // Illustrations created for a range of christmas cards
Autumn // Editorial illustration created for the autumn issue Edition 8 of The Barefoot Diaries.
Cabin // Created as an art print and greeting card. A warm homely cabin within a wintery forest setting which forms part of a series of black & white prints with pops of yellow inspired by the theme of home.
Wilderness Series // A series inspired by travel and adventure in the wilderness. I've loved working in black and white with accents of yellow in this series. Available as art prints and cards in my shop.
Northern Sun Series // This series of prints was inspired by an ancient word 'Apricity' which means 'the warmth of the winter sun'. The lovely Arteria Gallery who regularly stock my work had told me that they were planning their next winter exhibition around this lovely word and that was all the inspiration I needed to start a new collection. Having loved working with the large sun in my previous Journey collection, I decided to explore using it in a different colour palette. Available as art prints and cards in my shop.
Journey Series // My journey series was created after being asked to create a couple of illustrated art prints for the SCIP Book Show 2018 in Seaford. The brief was to create art inspied by classic children's literature. My inspiration came from 'The Tiny Seed' story written and illustrated by Eric Carle. With the success of the these first two pieces for the show, (Sail on the Wind (top centre ) and The Tallest Flower (bottom right)) I was inspired to create a wider collection around the theme of 'Journey'. This sunny collection of art prints and cards can be found in my shop.
Wild Meadow Series // A series inspired by wild summer meadows and available as art prints and cards in my shop.
Alchemy Exhibition - The Transformative Power of Poetry // combines poetry and illustration around the themes of transformation and change: ecological, personal and cultural. The exhibition comprises a number of stunning large banners, printed on recycled plastic fabric, and including a combination of words (by poet and therapist, Steve Thorp) and images (by illustrator, Ruth Thorp). Each banner is based on an aspect of Steve’s ecologically and psychologically themed poetry.
The exhibition was first shown at Oriel y Parc in St Davids in March/April 2018 as part of Steve’s participation in the gallery’s artist in residence programme. It was accompanied by a series of talks and workshops led by Steve, in which he explored the relationship of poetry (and other art-forms) with ecology, activism, climate change and personal transformation.
The exhibition concept and design was brought to life by Ruth, and the motifs around the exhibition are taken from the beautiful artwork she has produced to illustrate Steve’s books which are publshed by Raw Mixture Pubishing and available to buy in their shop. FIND OUT MORE HERE.
“Alchemy/any magical power or process of transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into a substance of great value”.
Paradise Series // The inspiration for my Paradise Collection came originally from the vibrant colour palette I created as I was keen to create some new work using hot pinks and bright oranges. The combination conjured a feeling of warmth and happiness for me so it seemed the natural direction was to create pieces inspired by hot holiday days in exotic places! The fiery sun, warm waters and lush foliage coalesced to create a feeling of serenity and calm within each illustration with the intention of transporting you on a daily basis to those perfect days and inspiring places. A little bit of daily meditation!
This collection also inspired my contribution to the 2019 SCIP Green Show in Seaford. The brief was to create a piece of art inspied by themes of nature, landscape and the environment/climate change. ‘To Earth, with love’ (centre bottom) highlights the importance of our sustained connection with, protection of, and experience within the natural world. It is a celebration of our beautiful planet and the wild places that we humans seek and value to bring balance, health and joy to our minds and bodies. This collection of art prints and cards can be found in my shop and ‘To Earth, with love’ will be available to exclusively from The Green Show and on their website from mid August.
Ocean Series // Inspired by our great oceans, exploring above and below the surface, this collection captures the wonder and magic of the sea. A series for the adventurous who like to dive headfirst into the cold waters, or equally for those who just like to feel the sea breeze on their face and listening to the waves breaking on the sand.
Autumn Series // A collection inspired by and celebrating the magical colours of autumn. I think more than any other season you can always sense the start of autumn. The light changes and the air has a new freshness to it and I know for me it always feels like new beginnings. Maybe it’s the feeling of the start of the new school year which I was always so excited about as a kid. It just brings back happy memories and with it a sense of joy which I hope to have captured in this series.