MEET THE ARTIST: ISOBEL BARBER

One of our cover artists crafts beautiful illustrations entirely from paper. See how she works.

The artist’s studio is a peaceful sanctuary with doors opening onto a private garden – perfect for Otto to run in and out at his leisure when Izzy is too busy to play!



She came to illustration almost by accident, having initially trained as a textile designer.

One day, while preparing a mock-up for an Elizabethan ruffle collar dress, she discovered her love of working with paper. “I was instantly drawn to its versatility and how it could be manipulated in so many different ways. From that point on everything I did was paper first… the fabric became incidental!”

Her workspace is like her art—cheery and bright. On one wall hangs a chalkboard where she jots down her to-do list and ideas. And her desk is cleaner than you’d imagine: she keeps all her paper and supplies organized and tucked away in storage cabinets. There’s lots of daylight in her studio, and off the rear, French doors lead to a garden.

It was so delightful a place to be, we ended up spending the whole day with her and Otto.

Being close to the coast means Otto gets a lovely walk every day. Sandbanks Beach in nearby Poole is a favorite haunt.



The Urban Reef restaurant is another great place to spend time. It serves up fantastic food, a great atmosphere and beautiful sea views. There’s also a shop where you can buy the same groceries they use in their menu.