Martha Ratcliff has this huge and contagious smile on her face and brings joy every time you see her or her beautiful illustrations appearing on Instagram.
Let's meet Martha and her inspiring universe!
Ahoy Martha! Welcome to our journal! We are very happy having you with us today. Could you please introduce yourself? Where are you from? What do you do?
Hola! I'm Martha! I was born and raised in London, England and am now based in Leeds, in the north of England. I am a freelance illustrator and designer
and so my day to day involves all sorts! From illustrating children's books to drawing personalised portraits, working on branding projects or designing greetings cards! Every day is very different and super fun!
We immediately loved your sweet and whimsical style when we stumbled upon your work on your Instagram page. Have you always wanted to be an illustrator? Was it a difficult journey?
I think deep down yes, I have always known I have wanted to be an illustrator. I have always had a huge passion and love for art and it was a no brainer to study it at University. I found my degree not quite what I wanted. Very abstract art, not fun quirky illustrations that I loved working on. So, I started illustrating on the side and selling my own greetings cards whilst finishing off my degree.
I guess this just grew and grew and people were really interested in my work! I then went into the greetings card industry and was employed by a huge greetings card company and worked for them for 5 years before making the massive jump to full time freelance. It was honestly the best decision I could have made but I couldn't have done it without the 5 years design industry experience. There were moment when I thought that moment would never come and I would work for someone else for the rest of my life but I actually was moved onto a new team that I didn't have a huge passion for so that fast tracked me into taking the plunge I guess!
We would spend hours appreciating all the details of your beautiful illustrations. Where do you find the inspiration to create such cozy scenes?
Hmm good question - I get asked this a lot! I love curating and designing my home, making it as cosy as possible. So... I guess its just a reflection of the things I love! But also, I often illustrate a little dog in my drawings, which I do not own haha! So maybe it's also me, dreaming up scenarios I would love!
A little bird told us your husband is from Valencia, Spain! Do you find his culture very different from yours? What do you like the most about his traditions?
That little birdy is correct! My husband, Juan, is Valencian! We met in Leeds whilst he was studying abroad over here in England and we have been together for 5 years! I totally love Spanish culture but yes, we have definitely grown up in very different cultures! One of the things I love most about his traditions are... 'sobremesa' - the concept of just chatting and relaxing together after a meal rather than eating and then rushing off to the next thing! Community, family and food are a massive thing in Spanish culture and it's something that I totally LOVE! Plus, the amazing weather is a total bonus! We bring the best of both Spanish and English culture into our marriage!
We noticed you already followed Don Fisher when we started following your Instagram account. What did you like about our universe?
Yes, I have been following Don Fisher for a while! I was firstly totally captivated by your gorgeous colour palettes! Colour is a HUGE important to me and my brand so you guys are totally inspiring and such a fun brand to follow! I have some of your Bonitos and totally love them! They are so well made and the colours bring such joy! They are so unique, I haven't seen anything quite like it and so on trend!
Thank you for joining us today, Martha! We loved getting to know you a bit more!
Do follow Martha's work on Instagram, join her Patreon page or hire her if you need a beautiful custom portrait!