It’s important to have your eyes open at all times. I learnt this from an amazing woman at a previous job - Priscilla Carluccio - you can find inspiration in everything! The first thought of the Mark Hearld commission came about when I was having a chat with Roger Thorp (Tate’s publishing director) in his office. Now, this man’s office is a treasure trove of gems to the eye! Everywhere you look there are amazing books, pictures and mementos that artists and writers have sent Roger over the years.

Roger Thorps desk
Roger Thorp's desk – a treasure trove

I saw on Roger’s pinboard a leaflet that Mark had done for the York book fair and I loved the style of illustration. I went away and did some research to see more of his work and the more I saw, the more I was convinced that we could potentially work together on an exclusive product range.

Mark Hearlds York book fair illustration
Mark Hearld's York Book Fair illustration – the seed that was planted!

The fact that he is English was another important factor. I already wanted to do a range supporting British manufacturing and championing British creative talent. I also felt his style captured the zeitgeist of the time: the resurgence of interest in crafts. Possibly due to the recession, the way people are shopping is changing away from disposable items to a trend in buying for longevity and quality, where you buy something because you love it. Plus Mark is well-respected and established in the illustration world, but I liked the fact that he was not yet a household name and that we got him at the right time - timing is very important!

Jo Mazzota research
Some of my research images – the more I looked into Mark's work, the more I thought there was potential for a great collaboration

From there Roger and I went to visit Mark at his home in York to discuss the idea of working together and to brainstorm. His house is incredible but I can tell you more about that in the next blog!



wonderful unique style !.....beautiful !

deirdre mcardle

and this "'captures the zeitgeist(which MEANS spirit of the time) of the time" as much as errrm, Harry Potter does.His birdies and bunnies are charming of course and we all hope the Tate does earn from this stuff (but where is punk when you need it!)


Oh, I love this!

Arilda Messenger

Well done Jo - you are a clever girl! How was Paris? Love from god mum - Arilda xxx