Over the last ten years I have created several illustrations of Queen Elizabeth and her family, most of them at the request of retailers around the world, who wanted to sell merchandise commemorating the Queen on special occasions.
The first time was for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, 10 years ago, when the National Gallery of Art and the National Portrait Gallery asked my canvas tote bag manufacturing business, BIDBI, for bags in celebration of the Queen and the Jubilee, for their gift stores. It resulted in my first collection "Fit for a Queen" dedicated to Her Majesty, portraying her with a British sense of humour and fondness.
It also created a best seller: Walkies, a natural, canvas tote bag, which sold in its thousands over the last 10 years and is still on sale in shops in Japan today.
Images of the Royal Family wider, were printed onto and sold into gift shops by my licensees. Mugs, magnets and coasters became decorated with the Royal couples and their children and sold as stylish and sustainable souvenirs.
The wedding of Will and Kate sparked another collection, and became a collectible in Japan. The birth of Prince George resulted in another hatch of tote bags celebrated the coming of a new prince and future heir to the throne.
So when the Queen began her Platinum Jubilee year, I turned my creative eye to Her Majesty again and with that, one of my personal favourites: God Save The Queen. I created a rainbow within which sits a young Elizabeth, inspired by photos from her Coronation seventy years before, drawn in regal purple and gold. I wrote the national anthem within the rainbow, in my naive handwriting, conveying a sense of awe and wonder of a child at this special and significant matriach. The rainbow symbolises hope over adversity, something which the queen must have experienced many times in her life. I still sell this design as an art print.
I don't think of myself as a Royalist but I have the utmost respect for the Queen, who has also commanded herself and our country with dignity, determination and diplomacy. My final portrait and art print of the Queen shows her as she is now, like a Snow Queen in a globe. Centred, calm ... regal. Rest in peace Queen Elizabeth x