It was after my first inspiring trip to Japan that I started Anzu, which means apricot in Japanese. I found the Japanese aesthetic, textiles and love of illustration incredibly inspiring. In particular seeing the geisha go their appointments at dusk in their incredible kimonos, and also just the sheer quantity of illustration that you see everywhere. Above, a detail from a Japanese screen.
In Japan, you see illustrations just far more in everyday life. Above, a large illustrated wall in the hairdressers,
a fun sign for a restaurant (I love how they have both turned into little piggies!),
a sign at the hot spring baths,
another beautifully painted screen,
posters that line the outside of a new Studio Ghibli shop in Fukuoka. So sad I missed it before it opened, it looked magical when I peaked in.
Anzu was very happy to be a part of the Japanese department store Hankyu's British Fair recently. We met some lovely people. This special little girl above won my heart with her big smile! She even came back to see me the following day and spent ten minutes waving goodbye. She chose the jewels card in advance for her 5th birthday.
I painted throughout the fair - this is one of my pieces that I did. It was a nice place to work with all the encouraging comments and sweet people I met. I don't often get to meet our customers and hear all their stories, and it's so special to hear the lovely reasons people are buying Anzu cards. Thank you so much everyone!
This gorgeous little girl came with her Mum and liked Anzu illustrations. The following day her Mum came and bought our teacups print for her as a surprise - this is her coming home from school to find the surprise. Such a lovely sweet photo! Thank you so much Emi for sending it to me!
Mia (hope I have the spelling right) was just so cool and fab! She came back to the stand dressed very Anzu with her bejewelled crown hat and Swarovski boots. She also bought me some very tasty funny Animal sweets - thank you!
My dear friend Sumi-san came from Tokyo. I was so happy to see her!
Thanks Sumi-san for being such a great friend
This gentleman took a lot of time choosing just the right card for his wife for their wedding anniversary and in the end chose our heart locket card. He asked me to write it out to his wife and two sons.
This gentleman bought our ballet shoes card as he has always been a fan of the film the Red Shoes, also a favourite of mine. The following day he came back to show me the catalogue for the film.
This sweet girl bought a Valentines card and asked me to write it out to her and her Mum, which I thought was such a lovely idea!
This lady was really fun and positive and it was lovely to meet her. If you read Japanese, please check out the blog she did on us too Thank you Peach-mama!
And last but not least Boris, who took away our bicycle, grand vin and ballet cards!
The Queen has now only just overtaken Queen Victoria as Britain's longest reigning monarch! Amazing to think that Queen Victoria also had such a long reign. Above our Royal crown card featuring St. Edward's crown, the crown worn by both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth on their coronations and one of the oldest of the British crown jewels dating from 1661
Above the Anzu Queen's crown card featuring Queen Victoria's small diamond crown, which despite it's diminutive size contains an incredible 1,187 diamonds which is now on permanent display in the Tower of London
We have yet to illustrate this diadem! Worn by both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II, it comprises 1333 diamonds including diamond bouquets of rose, thistle and shamrock symbolising the U.K