Five For Five with Wynding To The Sea

Five For Five with Wynding To The Sea

Welcome to my new series Five For Five where a fellow creative asks me five questions and in return I share five photos of their work. 

It's a fantastic way to introduce you to amazing creative businesses while also giving me the chance to answer the questions you might have about my own work, process and inspirations. It’s all about fostering connections, sharing inspiration and learning from one another. 

For this first Five For Five, I couldn't have asked for a better guest than Fiona Hunter Wynde, owner of 'Wynding To The Sea'. Fiona's not only a longtime friend, but her scientific mind, curiosity and deep respect for the arts make her the perfect person to launch this series with.

Dr Fi as I call her, is a biologist with a special focus in the environment, psychology and health. She is currently a postgraduate student in psychology and this will be her second masters. I didn’t ask her to write her own bio for this piece as she is far too modest to say any of this, but trust me when I tell you she is super clever, extremely kind and a very busy lady.

Between her studies, Fiona finds joy crafting jewellery from sea glass collected with her dog, Biscuit, on their beach walks. I own some of her hooped earrings which I wear all the time and my husband kindly bought me one of her matching necklaces as a surprise. 

Five Images

Image showing Fiona and her sea glass jewellery

You can find her work at:


Five Questions

Q1: How do you decide what to include in an illustration? Does it start with an iconic feature that captures your eye or something else?

All of my work starts with a feeling. It doesn’t matter what the subject matter is or the medium. I always start by getting clear on the emotion that I am trying to convey. Take something simple and straightforward such as my Whitby travel print which was one of my earliest illustrations.

There are many ways someone could illustrate Whitby - different viewpoints, times of day, angles and a variety of iconic structures to focus on. I knew I wanted to create a sense of expectation, mystery and 'after dark goings on’ - tapping into that gothic vibe. So I decided to set the scene at night with a full moon, a few lights still on in some houses, things becoming quieter. And of course the iconic 199 steps leading the eye into unseen alleys and the harbour beyond. 

Q2: I know that you are an artist as well as a designer. It must be very different creating on paper and ‘painting’ on the computer. What does it feel like to work up a piece on the computer in comparison to a drawing or a painting?

I think the first difference to note, and this may surprise some people, is that it generally takes me longer to create work digitally. I think the reason for this is twofold. 

Firstly, when I create work digitally I build it all up layer by layer and I am very deliberate and precise. I don’t use effects or filters or live trace. There is no magic button. Although one could argue that AI is bringing us ever closer to that. I also second guess myself more with digital work, creating different versions and reworking something until I am happy. The upside is that once I have finished a design I can sell it many times over so the time spent on it is well worth it. The downside of this is that I sometimes lose interest and designs that I laboured over remain unfinished, lonely and unloved in folders on my hard drive.

The second reason is a simple one - I paint really fast. I paint in one sitting preferably. A snapshot of me, my current skills, my mood and my subject on that day. Sometimes this ends up in a piece I am proud of and just as often it gets painted over. But I absolutely love the process of painting and feel at my most peaceful when I’m in this zen like state. Painting feels like a full body and soul experience and I hope that come across in my art. 

Many of the skillsets are interchangeable though and I hope my love for composition and colour can be seen in both my digital and traditional art. I feel very fortunate to be able to work in a variety of mediums and I hope to keep learning, improving and adapting.

Q3: Does it make a difference if you have an emotional connection with a place to the way you approach your work?

On some level I will always find an emotional connection to any work I am doing. Whether it be designing a logo for a start up business or creating a travel poster for somewhere I’ve never been. I will seek out a connection as that’s the only way I can bring ‘me’ to the work. 

That said, what I guess you are asking is how does it affect my work when I have a deep first hand emotional response to somewhere or something. I think to help answer that I would like to share a painting that I did after my dear friend Philippa died in 2022. I didn’t, and still don’t have the words to describe how I feel about her not being in my day to day life anymore but I felt compelled to paint this.

It’s called The Last Goodbye. I’ve not shown it anywhere before, but this feels like the right context and hopefully helps illustrate my point. 

Also when I paint, I really am painting from my heart and from a desire to express myself and capture an emotion, so in that sense I would say it’s easier to see the emotional connection in my paintings. There is a precision to my digital work that can seem to dilute the emotion but that’s why I often amp up the shadows and highlights in my digital work to create that drama. I hope you can sense emotion in both the painting above (left) and the digitally created print (right).

Q4: What made you decide to go from being a designer for an organisation to setting up your own creative business? Was it something you’d always aimed for, or was it more opportunistic than that?

I wanted to have a job that I could fit around caring for my two children so setting up on my own seemed the natural solution for this. I’ve been self employed for over 16 years now and to-date I have over 150 art prints in my shop, plus an ever growing portfolio of original fine art. 

Q5: What was the thing you found most difficult when you set up your business and what advice could you give now about that?

The best advice I could give someone is ‘start’. Action will always get you to the next step. You don’t have to have all your ducks in a row for a big launch. Just start. Be brave. Get it out there and be open to adjusting as needed. Big plans rarely survive the first battle so you don’t have to think too far ahead. Just get going. You can adapt, duck and dive, course correct, pivot all you like. But if you're still stuck in your head planning the perfect business you’ll never get off the starting blocks let alone get to the first hurdle -  of which there will be many. Which is where learning to jump really helps.

If you want more information you can read my blog Top 10 tips for selling your makes online. 

Want to take part in Five For Five?

If you have a creative business and would like to be featured in Five For Five then please get in touch. You can use my contact form or message me over on Instagram.  Let’s spread the creative love.

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