Illustrator Alison Hardcastle - My Yorkshire Weekend

Alison Hardcastle at her studio

Alison Hardcastle at her studio - Credit: Archant

Meet the artist creating bright ad bold new works for the Royal Armouries in Leeds

Some of the cards Alison has created for the Royal Armouries

Some of the cards Alison has created for the Royal Armouries - Credit: Archant

The week is about:

Obviously everyone’s normal working week has gone out of the window over the last six months but typically I’m in the studio every day possible. Pre-Covid and the subsequent home-schooling and summer holidays this was a good 3-4 days in the studio. Over lockdown there were some peaceful but tiring 5:30am starts to get work done! My youngest has just started reception so now back on track and able to work a full 5 days a week in the studio. Bliss!

I design and produce contemporary greetings cards, stationery and prints from my studio in the garden at home. After an early morning run, breakfast and the school run my mornings generally consist of checking emails, sorting wholesale and retail orders, admin and any marketing work. Afternoons are short and sweet thanks to school pick-up but I try to focus on design work or collaborative projects that I’m working on at the time. The most recent collaboration is with the Royal Armouries museum in Leeds but previous collaborations have included projects with the Natural History Museum, Tatty Devine and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Friday night means:

This is going to sound very dull but Friday night has recently resumed to being football training for our eldest, Martha. Just at the point where I’m contemplating a glass of wine, I have to take her to training. Ordinarily I would say I’m a glass of red wine and a good film kind of person.

Saturday morning - Parkrun or papers?

Most Read

Saturday mornings are either a short lie-in with a cup of tea and a good book or an early morning run. Martha always has a football match on a Saturday morning so it’s off to football again for us!

Food loves:

I love all food and I’m the least fussy of anyone I know. I’m probably not a very experimental cook but I do love to make a good pie or roast which I know will be devoured by my family. Breakfast is undoubtedly my favourite meal of the day and I could spend ages with a pot of coffee, porridge, freshly baked bread or almond croissants. I do also love to eat something which I wouldn’t get to eat normally – and I love a good risotto.

Saturday night perfection:

A takeaway and a night in with my family. Although I am also tempted to say a lovely meal at a local pub with my husband.

Retail therapy

I love a wander around York and visiting my favourite shops like O+M Snowhome, Walter & May and Botanic. If I’m visiting Hull, I’ll head to Humber Street to all the independents and definitely stock up on beautiful stationery in Form. And I’m delighted that another new shop has just opened in my local town of Pocklington. Root sells an amazing array of plants and botanical-based accessories. Online my favourites tend to be independent brands and the kind of shops who are my stockists. I love discovering a new independent brand or shop on Instagram and I have a lot of time for the Holly & Co initiative to highlight independent brands run by one of the founders of Not On The High Street Holly Tucker. I honestly think that now more than ever we need to get behind all our independents and support the local high streets. Footfall is suffering massively this year and if you can’t visit an independent in person then shop online with them or ring them up. It’s way more rewarding than a click on Amazon!

Sunday times:

Sundays are for re-setting. It’s definitely time with the family plus some exercise - a run and/or a family walk. Exercise and being outdoors became more important to me than ever over the last six months. I need that head space, thinking time and of course the fresh air does wonders. As a family our favourite destinations are; Yorkshire Sculpture Park, a walk in Millington Pastures or in the Yorkshire Wolds somewhere, Yorkshire Arboretum, Dutch pancakes up at Crayke at The Dutch House, a wander around Beverley or a walk on Beverley Westwood (with an ice cream if it’s warm enough) or a walk on the beach at Fraisthorpe. As a family we love our picnics so if there’s a picnic involved and perhaps fish and chips at Bridlington at the end of day then we’re generally happy!

Sunday night:

Get the children to bed in good time, bags and uniform sorted for the new week and relax with a cup of tea and tv.

See the collection at: as well as from the Royal Armouries museum shop.