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When Written by Lyds met Thomkat Illustrations

…and how magic was made.

The Written by Lyds, Drawn by Thomkat logo
Written by Lyds, Drawn by Thomkat logo

"I believe in what we create together. Separately, we are good. Together, we're magical"

Are our paths laid out before us, predetermined and written in the stars? Are some things just meant to be, brought together by a higher power or forces outside of our control?

My logical brain tells me ‘no you ridiculous woman, what’s wrong with you?’

But every entity has its opposite. Whilst my logical mind is strong and, evidently, scathing, the other side of my brain lives in the land of witches and fairies and dreamers. She may be lacking in scientific reasoning, but she is way more fun.

And so, I find myself caught somewhere between the two.

That’s exactly where I am when I think about how the ‘Written by Lyds, Drawn by Thomkat’ collaboration came to be. Caught between the knowledge of logic and the belief of fate.

It is a fact that words complement pictures, and vice versa. It therefore follows that writers go with illustrators in the same way that scones go with cream, and tea goes with biscuits.

Can it really be surprising then, that this writer found an illustrator? I know that logic says no, but that is far too black and white for me to accept. It assumes I had been searching for an illustrator. I had not. I had barely even acknowledged that I was a writer.

The reality is a complex weave of threads:

  • Activity that may or may not have taken place in a lab/market/other (circle your answer) in a country that may or may not have been China, that may or may not have caused a global pandemic.

  • A 21 year career with an employer that offered generous redundancy terms in its contracts at the time I joined.

  • Malfunctioning ovaries.

  • A transformational coach realising her ideal client was women in their first year or two of business.

  • A friend succeeding at two incredible ventures; an award winning, vegan friendly, non toxic beauty salon; and online crystal sales.

Each one completely independent of each other. Each one absolutely nothing to do with my writing. Each one a complex weave of threads in their own right, made up of other multiple and seemingly random events.

Yet each one led to me creating and publishing an interview about my friend’s successful ventures. And that led to the moment I was notified of a new Instagram follower. A stranger.

It was a significant moment. Up until that point, all of my followers were people I already knew, or was acquainted with in some way. Yes, I had a website. Yes, I was writing a blog. Yes, the more I’d written, the more I’d dreamt of bringing joy and light, bright relief to hordes of readers. Dreamt. It was a dream.

But that one little notification winked at me. @thomkatpictures started following you.

I followed back. Instantly, I received an automatic thank you message, introducing Emily and the motivation behind her art.

“My passion is to create beautiful illustrations that are meaningful and heartfelt. That inspire, uplift and motivate, that share thoughts and feelings….If you are someone who sees the beauty in the world, if you care about kindness, compassion, happiness and purpose, I’d love to share my designs with you.”

Emily wanted to do with pictures, what I wanted to do with words.

I hopped on to her website and my heart began to beat faster. All of a sudden, writing projects that I’d finished and left idle on my computer, projects I was halfway through, and projects I hadn’t even begun, started to come to life in my head. Her style could make my words breathe. I was sure of it.

On their own, they were just for me, to satisfy my need to write and be creative. With Emily’s illustrations, they could be magic!

Of course, I was a total chicken-shit, so I did nothing about it for two whole weeks.

But eventually I pulled on my big girl pants and asked Emily the question. “Have you ever thought about illustrating books?”

And look at us now! Collaborators. Team mates. Friends.

Books are a long process, but rest assured, they are happening. Everything else that we’re creating together in the meantime has organically grown from our partnership.

An image of our Halloween illustrated poem.
This witch though! I adore her.

The illustrated poems we have created together are special. They’re unique. They are different to anything I’ve seen before, and I love each and every one of them. I’ve heard ‘self praise is no praise’ but boo-hoo to that. I believe in what we create together. Separately, we are good. Together, we’re magical.

We’re even bringing that magic into the corporate world, joining forces to create animated videos that bring their messages to life.

We have so many exciting plans, we both know that we can do so much. It won’t be fast and it certainly won’t be easy, let’s not forget we’re both building up our individual businesses at the same time. But oh my, it is so much fun. We both get to spend our days, doing what we love, and as a small but mighty team.

I know that choices I made and choices Emily made helped lead us here. I know our own actions, hard work, and courage deserve all the credit for our blossoming partnership. Logic tells me so.

But when what we create is so magical, I will always believe that somehow, someway, magic played a part.

Lyds, out x

If you need some magic in your life, keep following us both on Instagram (@writtenbylyds and @thomkatpictures). If you need some magic in your business, drop us a message, let’s talk!


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