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Tilly Fudge

Words: Simon Paterson Images: Vicky Bell & EKR Pictures

Vicky Bell (Tilly Fudge) is this month’s cover artist. She is a hugely talented illustrator who specialises in wedding stationery and art. I caught up with her to chat about her illustration of West Studios, where the name Tilly Fudge came from and her creative process.

This month’s front cover is a beautiful illustration of one of my happy places, West Studios, where Tilly Fudge, Defeye Creative, Unhampered, S40 and S41 Local Magazines all share a creative space.

Can you take me through your creative process for the cover please?

"Thanks Simon. I’ve loved doing it. I hand draw most of my work on Adobe Illustrator. I use a tablet with a special pen which enables me to use the computer screen as a piece of paper! Illustrator allows me to use different brush strokes, techniques and create anything really. For the West Studios one I worked from an image and worked to recreate it in my own style."

Vicky started Tilly Fudge back in 2014 whilst on maternity leave with her second son. She had been working for eight years as a family support worker but was under threat of redundancy. So, she created a list of all the things she wanted to do and at the top of it was art and design. She studied Design at Chesterfield College and went on to study fashion design at Derby University.

Tell me a little bit about Tilly Fudge?

"The majority of the work I do is wedding stationery; save the dates, seating plans, invitations etc... It was a hard market to break into and is highly competitive. The couples need to trust the person doing the designs, and you need a track record to gain it. I’ve always loved stationery and was forever buying pens as a child. It’s not just my job, it’s my hobby, my passion."

My cousin and her new husband used Vicky for their wedding and had this to say;

'Vicky provided a first-class, personal service from start to finish. We loved her designs, they were very, us! Sadly, we had to rearrange our wedding several times due to, you know what, but Vicky was very understanding and accommodating. We’d highly recommend paying her a visit at West Studios.'

Where did the name Tilly Fudge from come and has anyone ever tried buying fudge from you?

"It’s what my mum used to call me when I was young! It’s just a pet name and I went with it for the business. Someone did try to buy some chocolate and orange fudge from me once, but I didn’t sell them any ha ha!"

Who inspires you in the business or art world?

"Holly Tucker, who created Not On the High Street. I'm looking forward to reading her second book. I've vowed to read more books this year."

What's the hardest thing about running your own business?

"It never leaves you! You can be sat there late at night thinking, shall I just reply to that email, maybe be I should do such and's hard to switch off."

What's the best thing about running Tilly Fudge?

"The sense of achievement. Creating something special for someone and knowing it's just me, I did that and made someone happy."

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?

"Streamline what you do. Do one thing, do it well, and keep it simple to begin with."

Well, it’s clear Vicky does her thing well, and is making her customers very happy!

FB:Tilly Fudge Design

IG: tilly_fudge

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