Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Read, Write, and Create with Tracey English

by Suzy Leopold

It's back to school time!. It's a new school year with a new beginning.
Colored pencil creation
by Suzy 
It’s time for creatives to begin the school year with fresh ideas.

Lives are busy and days are filled with demands. Doodling, drawing, painting, crafting can calm a racing mind and revitalize a weary body. Spending time creating offers healing benefits, new perspectives, and a sense of pride in your writing accomplishments. 

In April, I participated in a 100 Day Creative Project. During the challenge, I met many creative individuals on-line as we shared daily creations on Instagram.
I am pleased to introduce a creative friend, a British artist and author:
Tracey English.
Tracey English 😊
Q1: I understand your parents were both artists. As a child, perhaps you were surrounded by creativity. Did your parents encourage you to be curious and create?
My brother and I were constantly surrounded by creativity, my dad had a home studio, even when my parents divorced we always spent weekends with my dad who could normally be found working away on projects. Not sure they encouraged us as such, I think it was just something that was in our blood. My brother is a film director and producer now a day. My mum taught watercolor painting to adults but was also always producing her own work as well. I can't imagine not being creative.

Q2: How would you describe your lovely, whimsical creations? What inspires you? Where do you find ideas? Please expand on your quote, “I’m an illustrator who loves to create images by snipping designs from hand coloured tissue paper.” 
ABC Creation
by Tracey English

I would describe my work as fun, playful and filled with color. I’m inspired by nature, the environment and pattern, I love the way things grow and interlock together. I originally just worked with color tissue paper but over time found it too restrictive, so I now use all sorts of hand colored and found papers to create my images.
Tracey's journal
with painted paper

Q3: During the month of October 2018, you celebrated not one, not two, but three book birthdays! 

Both are published by Bloomsburg Activity Books. 

The third title published by Quarry Books, is a landscape painting and mixed media art. It guides the reader step-by-step.


Please tell us more. Share the experience and the process of writing and illustrating two children’s early learning books. Tell us about your journey to publication for the collage how-to guide.
It was a lovely surprise to be asked to illustrate Panda Claus and Painted Botanical collage both projects came from being seen on social media. For Panda Claus I was commissioned to only illustrate it, the publishers put together the text and gave me guidelines to what they required. 

Painted Botanical Collage was really just left down to me, the art director had seen some of my floral studies from the 2017 100 day project and that triggered off the idea for the book. It was lovely to create a step my step guide and I hope it has encouraged a few people to try out botanical collages.
Greeting Cards
by Tracey
Painted paper
by Tracey
Q4: In addition to your published books, share additional creations you design and sell.
I have an Etsy shop where I sell tea towels, posters and greeting cards that I produce myself, it is great to be able to sell direct to the general public. I also work through an agent where I license designs for various clients and commissioned pieces with art directors.

Q5: As a creative myself, I enjoy reading, writing, and creating. For the first time, I participated in The 100 Day Creative Project in April. Tell us about your experience with the 100 Day Project. Who can participate? What is the challenge all about?
This is the third time taking part in the 100 Day Project, this year I created 100 collaged postcards. It is a fun project, which helps to motivate you, and to enable you to discover new avenues. It’s definitely not easy and takes a fair bit of discipline. For me this year it helped me develop some new ideas and a new body of work.

Anyone can take part, you just need to think of a goal and a reason, it helps to share things on line and become part of the community that surrounds it, they in turn help you stick to your goals and remain focused.
Danish Houses
by Tracey
Q6: Share your advice and words of encouragement for aspiring writers, artists, and illustrators. Do you have suggestions or tips for writers and illustrators 
“under construction”? 
To stay motivated and inspired I think they are the two most important things, and also not to be afraid of hard work, it is a tough competitive industry that often isn’t very well rewarded. But if you are passionate about being creative, then hopefully good opportunities come along. It is always a bit of a roller coaster ride, lots of highs and lows. I took a long break while my family grew up but I am extremely happy to have returned to such a bright, vibrant community.

Finally, How can we connect with you on social media? Where can followers of the GROG Blog find more of your work?
Check out more of Tracey's creations and follow her on:
To purchase Tracey's whimsical art work, go to her Etsy Shop and Jehane Ltd sites.
Tracey's Studio
Thank you for your inspiration, Tracey. Thank you for creating beautiful, whimsical art and books filled fun, creative activities. 

For additional information to participate in future challenges, search online. You'll find various opportunities: Creative 100 Day Project

Here's what I created during the #100 Day Creative Challenge that began in April 2019. 

I don't read write, write, create, discover, and explore because I have to. I do it because I want to. 
Created with watercolor
by Suzy Leopold
#100 Day Creative Challenge
by Suzy Leopold
More #100 Day Creative Challenge
4 X 6 Postcards
by Suzy Leopold
Mediums used:
acrylic paints, colored pencils, watercolor,
painted paper, scrapbook paper
by Suzy Leopold

As a writer, you too, can incorporate creative concepts of art discovery in your stories. The benefits of creating may bring new energy and inspiration to your stories.
Consider adding art forms to your writing journey because you want to.
Read. Write. Create.
by Suzy


  1. Inspiring post, Suzy. I love Tracey's gorgeous collage and painted art designs. How wonderful that her talents were seen online and that connection created so many new opportunities for her. Your art is lovely, too, Suzy!

    1. We both appreciate Tracey's talents, Eileen. All of Tracey's creations are lovely, however, I'm drawn to her florals and birds.

      Thank you for the compliment about my creations.

      You are sure to discover many ideas from Tracey's book, PAINTED BOTANICAL COLLAGE. Enjoy creating.

      Tracey is delighted with today's orders for her books and items on Etsy.


  2. This entire post boost and shimmers with color. Ty for sharing Tracey's work with us.

    1. It is my pleasure to share Tracey's art creations with you.

      Hope your day is filled with color today, Kathy.

  3. I loved this post. What a fun challenge! Both Suzy and Tracey simmer with creativity.

    1. Oh, my! Thank you for the kind words, Julie.

      There are many ways to express creativity--photography, calligraphy, sewing, cooking, doodling, decorating, playing music, writing, and much more.

      May we all challenge ourselves with creative talents to support our writing goals.

  4. Creativity takes so many forms. Thanks for the wonderful reminder to step outside of writing to find new ways to create. LOVE this post.

    1. Definitely, Darlene; creativity is expressed in many ways. There are many purposes, too. Creativity touches on all of our senses.

      Thank you for your support of the GROG Blog.

  5. Tracey & Suzy -

    & much Fun.

    Happy to know about these books & this new-to-me-artist/author.
    The links will be great to follow & for connecting/ordering.
    Tracey your style is snazzy & whimsical - so winning.

    Suzy, it's not surprising to see your artistry as you are a Creative of high order - but I am bowled over by your wide, wonderful range of designs, especially
    "Read, Read, Read." On you on Etsy too?
    This 100 project is something to consider next Spring. Appreciations for the tip. Remind us just before April?

    Appreciations to you both for these offers.

    1. And you, too, are appreciated, Jan. Thank you for your enthusiasm for Tracey, her books and creations.

      "Creative of high order, " . . . Oh, my! I am blushing! I do not have an Etsy account.

      I enjoy creating for myself and loved ones. For now, my 100 Day Creative Challenge 4 X 6 cards are all inside a whimsical box. I've continued to make and create more and sent them as birthday & thank you postcards.

      When April rolls around once again, I'll share a reminder about the 100 Day Creative Challenge.

    2. p.s. I ordered tea towels from Tracey for our daughter's kitchen - I know she will love this surprise at either her birthday (October) or Christmas :) thanks again for the connections!

  6. I love that illustrators can sell their work in other venues besides picture books! Even those who don't read picture books can benefit. Love the colors in Tracey's work! And now I'm thinking about how I can create a little art of my own. Thanks!

    1. Thank you for your support of the GROG Blog, Jillanne.

      While Tracey currently focuses on pattern design and illustration, she's even had experience as a textile designer and color forecaster.

      Enjoy making and creating your own art.

  7. What fun! I love Tracey's artwork - and yours, too, Suzy. Makes me want to paint something bright and vibrant. Postcards, maybe....

    1. Begin with a postcard size, Sue, and enjoy creating. May your creations support your writing.

  8. Delightful! Thank you, Suzy and Tracey, for this insight into so much creativity-pure inspiration :)

    1. Thank you, Cute Charlotte for your support of the GROG Blog. May you enjoy your day reading, writing, and creating.

  9. Great article Suzy! Loved seeing Tracy's work, signing up to follow her. Such inspiring images!