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Mandy in her own words

Mary Solomon, as drawn by Mandy Stanley when she was three years old.
Mandy Stanley, aged 3.
Grandma, Mary Solomon wearing her signature beret and tartan slippers with pom poms.


Since I can remember, I have always loved writing, drawing, painting, snipping, stitching and sticking.  When I was very young, I spent many hours with my grandma learning how to knit, sew, crochet and cook. I clearly remember her showing me her favourite colourways using embroidery silks to demonstrate.  What’s amazing, is that even to this day, I still use those colour palettes.

I’m very lucky that I’ve been able to make a career from doing something I love. Design and illustration still fascinates to me today as much as it did when I first started my business in my parents’ converted attic thirty-three years ago.  My business start up kit was small; a few pencils, paper, paint and an old, borrowed typewriter from my mum’s friend.  The digital revolution has meant that now, I rarely use any of those things – just an iMac with creative software – Adobe Photoshop CS 6.

My studio now is at home in Beccles, Suffolk.  It’s painted white because it reminds me of two of my favourite things…snow and clean white paper.  I love the way it takes on the colours of the things in the room and is a great platform for shadows and reflections.

There’s more about how I work and what I’m doing in my Blog about illustration, children’s books and working as an illustrator.