The award-winning illustrator talks about her Sketchbook Community, pop-up books and Shakespeare.

Award-winning illustrator, Jennie Maizels runs the increasingly popular Online Sketchbook Club. Three years ago, she started hosting a weekly club from her rural studio in Hampshire and later took the course online so that everyone could access it. Every fortnight, Jennie releases another drawing module online, along with accompanying hashtags. The Sketchbook Community is growing and growing. Jennie also runs corporate Sketchbook Club events, and is a frequent public speaker on the subject of Sketchbooks.


Jennie has published twenty-two books and sold over a million copies worldwide. Her speciality is very detailed Pop Up Books; her Pop-Up London was a bestseller and her most recent book, Pop Up Complete Works of Shakespeare was a collaboration with The Reduced Shakespeare Company.


Here Jennie shares her online picks.

My favourite website… Anthropologie - I spend far too long perusing the beauty and splendour of Anthropologie. We are building a house so I fantasise about their flamboyant furniture and fabrics.

My favourite app… I love Strava - I run every weekday with my dog, Charlie. My studio is very remote so to be able to track my progress as I run around various ‘middle of nowhere’ fields is really useful. I also love Plantsnap. I love knowing the names of all the wild flowers I see whilst out running.

My blog of choice… I am obsessed with interior designers’ blogs. Building a contemporary house from scratch means injecting personality into a ghost-less minimal shell, a daunting prospect. One of my favourites at the moment is In/Out. I love how eclectic their features are and how timeless their chosen projects are.

My internet hero… I have always admired Brittany Watson Jepson (The House That Lars Built) - I love how she has crafted a brand that is totally unique and is unashamedly, individually ‘her’. She inspires so many. My then thirteen-year-old daughter, who loved her colours, first introduced me to her work. Brittany makes people happy and that is very inspiring.

My favourite podcasts... I recently worked on a book with The Reduced Shakespeare Company Pop-Up Shakespeare. They interviewed me for their podcast and ever since I have become completely addicted. They are just SO funny. Properly, properly funny. Plus I get to brush up on Shakespeare too.

My most recent buy online... I have just received a big order from ASOS for my teenage daughters - Because we live rurally, they pretty much shop 100% online and free returns is great. A HUGE box arrives followed by a really fun trying on session and then half of it goes back!

Book just downloaded/ read… I have just finished reading ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ - It is incredibly poignant but at the same time hugely heart warming.

Favourite tweeter… I love Graham Lineham’s tweets - I do think he is one of the funniest and most pioneering comedy writers of our time.

Favourite instagrammer… Oh so many! I am not one of those people who tries to be cool and not follow many people. I love following interesting accounts. I think people who are creating fresh new content are hugely inspiring and Paperboyo is doing just that. I heard a lecture by him once and I loved his honesty. He refreshingly stated that he 100% invented a style that no one else had. He wanted to be new and stand out. He has built a hugely impressive profile working with top global brands as a result.

Social media allowed me to meet… Oh my goodness, like everyone - Instagram basically provides me with all my commissions, all my customers and all my marketing opportunities. Recently I met Amanda Machin via Instagram (@littleboxofcrochet. Not only has she flooded me with illustration work (hooray!), but we have become firm friends.

Most worthwhile newsletter subscribed to… I like receiving updates from Pentreath and Hall - Not just because I adore their products but also for the updates on their stunning Dorset country home. It’s a complete mouth watering indulgence. I have wasted far too many evenings pouring over their newsletters.

Pet hate about life online… There is nothing worse than anger. (She says angrily). I dislike seeing lots of boring outpours of the ‘trauma’ of the wrong item arriving in the post or the long queue at the airport. I know it's good to share and to get it off your chest and all but...

Stand out online memory… My best selling book, Pop-Up London, was featured on Liberty London Girl and as a result, completely sold out on Amazon.

October 2018