Em's in our gang - oh yeh!

We love our community and this month we meet new member Emma Levey, a picture book author and illustrator powered by chickens, reading and pottery. Em is a fountain of knowledge, supportive, friendly and a bit mad - she fits right in.

Tell us a bit yourself

I am a freelance author/illustrator and I specialise in picture books. Over the past few years, I've illustrated a variety of children's books and am currently working on some to publish next year.

I'm totally in love with animals and plants and both make frequent appearances in my work.

I grew up on a smallholding so am a country bumpkin at heart. I love to cycle to the studio but wish I could bring my three naughty chickens with me.

I think they'd look brilliant letting their little feathers flow in the breeze atop my bicycle! I also dabble in ceramics. Can't beat a bit of 3D!

What first attracted you to the space?

Firstly it looks great but has the substance to surpass the visuals. For the last couple of years, I've attended various events hosted at TSS and I've always left feeling like I wanted to stay.

I think the most recent event held at Creative Mornings Cardiff was what helped me take the plunge.

How are you settling in? things you enjoy?

It's been the easiest transition and feels like I've been here ages! Everyone is so friendly, welcoming and fun!

Everday, we sit and have lunch together. Not only does this help structure my work day and force me to leave my desk, it's brilliant for getting to know everyone and have a good laugh too!

We've recently started a little 'Drawmore' group too and our first meet up at Cardiff Indoor Market went brilliantly.

Has being at TSS met or exceeded expectations?

I was so excited about joining and worried it may not live up to my happy-head imaginings but I can safely say it really is what I'd hoped for and more.

Have you found any positives in yourself personally and professionally since joining?

I feel way more motivated and confident since being here. I've met some awesome people who I feel like I've known for ages and the cycling to work has had a really positive impact too.

It's been so refreshing to have such a diverse range of people and conversations. It just feels like I can be me...no pressure. That's made a huge difference.

Would you recommend TSS membership to others?

In a heartbeat. I can't imagine not being here and It's been so good for my work and my head. I wish I'd done it sooner!

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