Hi!

My name is Cat and I’ve been a part-time illustrator since 2021, and full-time pencil-wielder since 1982. I live in Yorkshire, UK with my husband, daughter, son, and two cats - Lumi and Kalamazoo.

I make editorial and branding illustrations for university-based social research projects, and nonprofit organisations, that are close to my heart, like these:

But I really want to make children’s books.

I was chosen to be a Picturehooks buddy in 2022/2023, and partnered with Chris Mould to begin dabbling my toes in children’s book illustration, and in January 2023 I became a mentee on Pathways Into Children’s Publishing, a pioneering new 2 year programme for under-recognised illustrators.

And now, I’m working on my very first commission from a publisher - reveal coming soon!

I started this newsletter to process the ups and downs of my illustration adventure, and probably share way too much in public - as is the true way of the internet.

What I’m Planning On Sharing:

  • Behind the scenes of my illustration process

  • Thoughts on creativity, the children’s publishing industry, and representation

  • A look at all my coursework for Pathways Into Children’s Publishing

  • Curated links to my current obsessions, that I think you might like too - it’s my love language

  • An honest and authentic window into nurturing a creative career as an autistic mother on a low income

  • Possibly some humour

  • Definitely some existential dread

  • And videos, if I’m feeling brave

I’d love it if you joined me,

Subscribe to The Quiet Blackbird

Chats on illustration, children’s books, creative voice, process, and freelance life, with a sprinkling of inspiration and cool finds.

People

Catherine Fortey

Hi! I’m an neurodivergent illustrator based in Yorkshire, UK. I was a picturehooks buddy mentored by Chris Mould in 2022/2023, and am currently a mentee on Pathways Into Children’s Publishing.