August 04, 2023

Today we are traveling to Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK, to meet Joy-Louise Robinson, the very talented designer and illustrator behind Felicity & Ink. 

Can you describe your process of making art?

I find my process of making art changes quite a lot and rarely follows the same linear process each time. It's important to me that I'm quite loose and free with my art and try out any new techniques or materials that I fancy. What has become my signature style is black ink drawings using fine liners though, and I do love to start out my pieces by drawing in this way. I then build upon my ink drawings by experimenting with adding colour using different digital and traditional mediums and really layering in some mixed media such as watercolour paints for texture and depth and gold leaf for a bit of sparkle to finish things off. As I have a mixed creative background in fine art, digital illustration and graphic design I love to combine all of these elements together. One set process I have is creating a digital library of all of the individual pieces I draw, that way I can experiment with putting different pieces together digitally into new compositions or patterns. I have hundreds of individual pieces in my library and the combinations that can be created with them are endless!

How do you start? 

I feel the urge to create new art most of the time and naturally I want to be drawing whenever I can, my main problem is usually being stretched for time! Although there are often times when I want to draw, I'm lacking in inspiration. In those cases I find it best to start by building my inspiration back up. There are a few things I usually try to get back to this point including; changing my scenery, even if it is just going out for a walk, listening to some new music or finding an old playlist that sparks my interest, creating a board on Pinterest with some rough themes, colours or shapes as a starting point and seeing how it grows from there and if all of that fails I'll take a step back and give myself time to regain inspiration naturally.

Is there something you do everyday to help you?

Surrounding myself in an environment that relaxes and inspires me is very important. I see my home and workspace as an extension of my personality and by filling it with the things I love creates a sanctuary where I can fully be myself and be constantly inspired.

How do you get to the flow state? 

Personally I don't feel like I can force a flow state and it just seems to happen naturally when I'm creating something I'm truly enjoying and I can see the outcome being something special. My best guess is being free with my process, not forcing myself to create when I'm not feeling it and experimenting with new mediums to keep my process feeling fresh, are steps that help me.

Do you have any favourite tools? (a cup of tea, a playlist, a meditation, moving your body etc.)

I love a good cup of coffee, a fresh blank spread in my sketchbook, 0.05 fineliners, plants and fresh flowers in my home and workspace, yoga and music.

 About Joy-Louise

When I'm not teaching others my creative tips, tricks and techniques at, I'm working with clients on a freelance basis, drawing and painting for fun or working on developing new products such as how to draw books.

Felicity & Ink started out in 2017 as an Instagram account where I shared my artwork under the alias Felicity & Ink. I was a bit shy about sharing my art online at first, but I still wanted a username that was in some way relevant to who I am and what I do. Felicity having the same meaning as my own name Joy and ink being the material I predominantly drew with back then and still do now. It kind of makes sense when I say the meaning now but it took me a while to come up with!

I was overwhelmed with how positive strangers online were about my artwork, especially since in terms of drawing and illustration I am self taught and vividly remember a time when I was no good at drawing! I absolutely loved it though so I carried on practicing and as a result I’m extremely passionate about teaching anyone and everyone who wants to draw, how to! It doesn’t have to be a technical skill to learn and should be fun, relaxing and a positive experience. I 100% believe anyone who practices can improve the skill and my goal is to inspire others to embrace their creativity through fun and accessible tutorials.

I started to monetise my content and turn it into a business around 2019, after two years of sharing my work, as I was getting a lot of questions about my process. This led me to start sharing tutorials online, and eventually I created my first How To Draw Book which was How To Draw Garden Flowers in February 2020. Since then I've brought out 4 more self published books. In the past I have sold these as physical copies but due to manufacturing price increases these are all now available as ebooks.

Every single book has been drawn, designed, published and marketed by myself. I've sold them at a few places online alongside my own platforms, including Not On The High Street, on TV through The Craft Store and wholesale. Alongside creating How To Draw books, I publish tutorials, classes and inspirational art based online on my website, Instagram, YouTube and Patreon.

I have also sold physical products throughout those years in the form of printed books, stationery adorned in my hand drawn repeat patterns, prints and even hand painted upcycled decor.

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