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Julia Ashby Smyth - Manx illustrator and curator of The Hodgson Loom Art Gallery

Julia actually possess's a BA Hons degree in Multi Disciplinary Design, but not once has a client ever asked to see it. She has been a freelance illustrator since 1989 and has produced all manner of work for all manner of clients; including Manx National Heritage, Isle of Man Post Office, Okells Ales, various banks, the BBC, big private commissions, teeny weeny little commissions and has even designed the interior of a supermarket.


Jobs are varied - one day doing technical reconstruction drawings of Viking longhouses (extremely interesting), the next day the inside of a nasal cavity (not quite so interesting). There's been caricatures of ex-gangster bosses (scary), portraits of brides (even scarier) and lots and lots of hairy beasties from Manx folklore.


Favourite medium has to be pencil, she say's it's just the best for getting from imagination to paper without the brain getting in the way. Julia likes to mess around with media that isn't necessarily supposed to end up on paper, and generally uses a mixture of pens, felt tips, watercolour and whatever else is to hand. She also find that she works particularly well with chocolate.


Julia is also the curator of the Hodgson Loom Gallery at Laxey Woollen Mills where the exhibitions change monthly.


Although Julia is busier than anyone should ever be, she can  also be commisioned for tattoo designs and charicatures.


Julia has a very popular following and her greetings cards and prints are always in demand. These can be found at MostlyManx and also The Manx Tartan Shop at Laxey Woollen Mills