A NORTHERN ILLUSTRATOR WITH A NEW TAKE ON FAMILY PORTRAITS
I'm Steph and I'm 27 and live near the northern seaside not far from glitzy old Blackpool with my grizzly bear of a husband, Ciaran, and grizzlier baby beast, Erik Oberon. Who is less baby and more wild and hulking toddler and I'm still adjusting to how fast he's growing - and how little he’s napping...
I’m the illustrator, designer, social media gal, aspiring product photographer, packing queen, nap co-ordinator, and Ciaran would say chief “mess-maker”.
Ciaran is the Tiny Bison head cheerleader, tech support and chief coffee maker and head chef. Occasionally he is also our postie and assistant photographer.
Erik is a part-time model, Tiny Bison influencer, junior assistant mess-maker, sticker thief and nap assassin.
Tiny Bison came out of many things but most notably it was the overwhelming love I had for my own tiny bison, “Eriko”, my desire to work flexibly around my new tiny family, and the rediscovery of my love for drawing which helped me see light after a period of postnatal depression. Motherhood was dizzying, wonderful, constantly a whirl of emotions and I wanted to capture them all not just in photographs but in “our own way”. I wanted these tiny treasured moments to last a lifetime in our homes and so I begun experimenting with acetate illustrations - just a mama and her marker frantically sketching while her baby slept (often back then!). I layered portraits of Erik as he turned from newborn to a little chunk propped on the sofa, to the tiny boy he was turning into. A few family and friend commissions later and on New Year’s Day 2020 I turned to Ciaran and said “ok, I’ll give it six months and see if anyone actually likes my stuff”. Well, it’s the 26th of June, just shy of the six months and here I am opening my own website after the most amazing, rewarding and deeply heartwarming six months.
By shopping tiny you’ve transformed this tiny family and this mama with her marker. I’ve gone digital, developed signature pieces and I actually have a logo! Tiny Bison has become so much more than my family, what makes it is yours.