Toots Design was founded by Lorna Gibson, an author and illustrator. Through her drawings, she has created not just amazing characters and stories, but hope and optimism among her audience.
Lorna’s work is manifold, yet she always connects the tale to the illustration in a way that really resonates. The warmth, magic and love that are bred within each piece make them timeless, and she’s managed to evoke powerful emotions in people across the world. Indeed, her style has been compared to the artwork of The Wind in the Willows, Winnie the Pooh and The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
Whilst her creative process does involve the use of Apple products, a shared love of Macs is not what Lorna and our Managing Director James bonded over. In fact, both of them were on very different paths when they first met…
The Toots Design story
Back in 2006, James and Lorna had the same ambition: to become a ski instructor. They both ended up in Wanaka, New Zealand, on a course to do just that.
Lorna stuck within the industry for a while, spending a decade in the snow and owning a ski hat company. She’d always had an eye for design, and found herself using her skills in the corporate world a few years later for logos and branding.
It was at this time that she started up Toots Design. She loved drawing for herself alongside her day job, and posted her illustrations on Instagram just so other people could enjoy them too.
They loved the nostalgia associated with her illustrations, and Lorna quickly started gaining commissions. Through her high level of care and personable approach, this aspect of her business grew organically over the course of three years. Eventually, she was able to go full time.
The future is bright for Toots Design. Lorna has published a set of books featuring one of her best-loved characters, Mr Bear, and has plans to collate the short stories she’s written into another book. She’s also about to release the Mr Bear movie in time for Christmas… and it’s for this that she needed the help of some all-important Apple products.
A very merry Mac-created Christmas movie
It’s been many years since they were both undertaking their ski training in New Zealand, but James and Lorna have remained good friends – regardless of the different journeys they’re now on. Whilst James kick-started his own Mac leasing business in Shropshire, Lorna set up her design company an hour away in Cheshire.
Mac products have always been important for her work, but especially the Mr Bear movie. She shot the film on her iPhone and MacBook, and she animated it through Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects. She built the movie all by herself using Apple-only products.
It’s been a six-month project and has involved a lot of long days, but it’s been a rewarding process too. Lorna can’t wait to see her stories brought to life when the movie is released on Friday 11th December. Make sure you don’t miss it by following the Toots Design Instagram page!
The release comes at a busy time for Lorna. She has had her posts on Instagram go viral, including one of a greeting card featuring a poem called ‘If Christmas Is Hard’. Part of the proceeds for this card are donated to mental health charity Your Voice Cornwall, and it has since sold out. The Lease Loop team are excited to see what Lorna has in store for us all next.
To find out more about Lorna and Toots Design, please visit her website.