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Ten years spent raising her 4 children on the Central Coast of NSW, altered Graphic Designer Belinda's focus in life so her return to the workforce to the form of her own small business - the Thought Gallery - creating hand-illustrated fine art prints and affirmation cards to inspire and empower children.

08 April 2022

Designer Spotlight: Thought Gallery

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Illustrator inspiring & empowering children through art, Belinda: ‘Children are some of our most precious beings within society and stand to inherit a complex world, so why not inspire them

Hello there! I’m Belinda, the artist and designer behind the creative biz, the Thought Gallery. The Thought Gallery features fine art prints and thoughtful affirmation cards, all illustrated by hand.

Trays of artist’s colour pencils and a selection of Belinda’s hand-illustrated childrens artworks on a wooden table

My gallery is an outpouring of ideas and artworks designed to inspire and empower children. Having 4 children of my own, and a deep fascination into the growing mind, I strive to create art that encourages self-awareness. Children are some of our most precious beings within society and stand to inherit a complex world, so why not inspire them with art that makes them think and question?

Ten years spent raising her 4 children on the Central Coast of NSW, altered Graphic Designer Belinda's focus in life so her return to the workforce to the form of her own small business - the Thought Gallery - creating hand-illustrated fine art prints and affirmation cards to inspire and empower children.

I’d describe myself as quite an ordered person, which I believe is partly innate but has also grown out of my design background. And so my creative process usually begins with getting my ideas out of my head onto paper, normally in written form first.

‘All the different ways to be wonder-full’ printed beneath a hand-illustrated watercolour rainbow: ‘I’m also a very conceptually driven artist’

I’m also a very conceptually driven artist and so it is often words than need to be converted to imagery. In the case of the Beautiful Individual lady beetle artwork, I began with these words: “I am the only one of my kind; I am unlike anyone else; I am unique”.

Hand illustrated children’s fine art print by the Thought Gallery picturing two ladybeetles, one in traditional red and black colouring and the other in a kaleidoscope of colours representing all that a child can be

This artwork explores the notion of self expression, individuality and self acceptance, and so the words were gradually abbreviated to ‘The same but not the saME’. The artwork followed the words, so two reflective lady beetles, one the highly recognisable red and black spotted beetle and the other a kaleidoscope of colours representing all that a child is and can be, when they accept and celebrate who they are, just as they are.

Framed watercolour illustration of a gumnut child holding a branch of wattle; ‘Creativity and philosophy have always been an integral part of who I am.’

Creativity and philosophy have always been an integral part of who I am. As a young child I would make, bake and create whenever I could. As a teenager I illustrated and wrote poetry. It was only natural that as a young adult I embarked on a University Degree in Design from the College of Fine Arts, UNSW. I graduated with an Honours Degree in 2002.

Pots of ink, paint brushes and parchment, and an illustrated book with the quote: ‘The possibilities are endless when you colour outside of the lines.’

For the next 8 years I took on a number of creative roles including freelance graphic design and owner and designer of a boutique stationery business. Some of my clients over those years included Boeing, Insurance Australia Group and many local artists and businesses.

Belinda’s home art studio on the NSW Central Coast; ‘I made a life-altering decision to stay at home with my children during their formative years’

In 2009 our first 'little man' arrived and I made a life-altering decision to stay at home with my children during their formative years. My husband and I made a sea change from Sydney to the beautiful Central Coast and whilst some days have been challenging, it has been the most rewarding experience of my life.

A number of Thought Gallery children’s art prints on a cutting mat on a timber table

10 years and four children later, I was ready to delve back into the creative world and spending a decade raising little humans had altered and crystallised my focus. In 2018 the Thought Gallery was born.

A watercolour illustration of a young girl walking along the edge of a stone wall in a garden; ‘Spending a decade raising little humans had altered and crystallised my focus’

For the 'love of handmade' is one of my store's philosophies. I have always valued quality, hand crafted items, both as a consumer and a maker. It's the story behind each handmade piece, and the journey and time invested from concept to creation that gives handmade its value.

A calico bag with a hand-stamped Thought Gallery logo with a simple timber slot frame and a stack of affirmation cards on a table; ‘The Thought Gallery also aims to have a thoughtful impact’

In the vein of producing thoughtful pieces of art, the Thought Gallery also aims to have a thoughtful impact. The artworks are all carefully designed, they are reproduced to the highest of standards (archival museum grade paper and inks) and I utilise a local Australian fine art printer for my reproductions. My artworks are intended as keepsakes for years to come, they’re not designed or produced as throw-away consumables.

The view over the shoulder of a young girl in a garden holding an affirmation card with an illustrated child with an umbrella that says: ‘I am thoughtful, and do kind things for others.’

Madeit is a great platform to showcase my art. It exclusively represents Australian artisans and hand-made makers. It allows me to keep that personable relationship with my customers, as all pieces are directly dispatched from my studio. I really value that as a small creative biz.

Belinda is offering Madeit’s community newsletter subscribers at 10% discount on all orders at the Thought Gallery Madeit store for a limited time. Subscribe below to get the coupon, plus weekly handmade shopping guides, designer spotlight stories and discounts:



Visit Thought Gallery to find inspiring and empowering illustrations for children: thethoughtgallery

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