Meet the Designer: Siobhan Harrison

By AlisonManey, Thu, 2017-07-06 11:30

Cross stitch designer Siobhan Harrison of April Rose Illustration is back in the pages of Crazy with seven sweet cake-themed cards! To celebrate, we present this Meet the Designer interview with Siobhan from issue 199 of Crazy! Check it out here, and don't forget to stitch her designs in Crazy issue 232, on sale now!

We chat to Siobhan Harrison, the artist behind April Rose Illustration!

How did you first get into cross stitch designing?

I met some of the Crazy team at a trade show a few years ago. They liked my illustrations and so commissioned me to do my first cross stitch design. I've been enjoying creating designs ever since.

What inspires you?

I enjoy sourcing books that use old printing processes as inspiration or a starting point for some of my illustrations. As well as old books, I love looking in retro-style shops which have unusual pieces of furniture and ceramics. Travelling to another country is always inspiring, too. I enjoyed visiting Bologna in Italy for the Children's Book Fair earlier this year.

Where might we have seen your illustrations before? 

Well, I've illustrated a lot of children's books, greetings cards, stationary and ceramics - all different product areas, really. So, you've possibly bought something with my illustration work on. I also used to work in-house for Marks and Spencer, illustrating their greetings cards. And I currently have an own-brand range of greetings cards, which is stocked at a selection of small independent shops in the UK.

What is a typical working day for you?

Most of my days seem fairly busy with illustration and organising my own-brand products for sale. I regularly have my own stand at trade shows, too, so time is also spent organising and preparing for these. I have a local studio space shared with other designers and makers, which I work from for part of the week. When I'm not at my desk, I love to be out in the fresh air. Fitting in a leisurely walk along the beach always makes my day!

How did you decide upon the name April Rose Illustration?

I came up with it quite by accident, really! I wanted to separate my watercolour work from the children's book illustration work - which is quite different - and I wanted something that reflected my interest in painting studies of flowers, birds and insects. Now I use the name for all the watercolour work I do.

Are you a stitcher, and do you enjoy any other crafts?

I've always made things, but I've only just recently started cross stitching. I promise I'll put the results on my blog soon! I used to do a lot of sewing, as I studied for a degree in fashion design before studying further for illustration.

Visit to find out more about Siobhan's work, and check out Cross Stitch Crazy issue 232 to stitch her latest cake-themed cards!

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