Welcome to Tea & Tattle Podcast.

I'm your host, Miranda Mills. Join me every Tuesday for weekly discussions on culture, books, creativity and wellbeing, as well as interviews with inspiring women.

I can't wait to have you! 

59 | A Chat With Johanna Basford

59 | A Chat With Johanna Basford


Listen to Episode 59: A Chat With Johanna Basford

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Episode Summary

Happy Tuesday! In today's Tea & Tattle episode, I'm so delighted to be in conversation with the fabulous illustrator, Johanna Basford.

Johanna took the world by storm when her first adult colouring book, Secret Garden, was published in 2013. The book sold a million copies within the first year of publication, and since then, Johanna has gone from strength to strength, producing many more bestselling colouring books and being awarded an OBE in 2016.

Image provided by Johanna Basford
Johanna Basford in her studio in Scotland, photographed by Hayley Fraser

I love Johanna's distinctive, hand-drawn ink illustrations, and I've collected several of her colouring books over the years.

In our chat together, I ask Johanna how she stays grounded when experiencing such tremendous success, and how she balances her busy working schedule with her family life. Johanna also gives some great tips on what pencils and techniques she likes to use for colouring in, and she shares the inspiration behind her latest book, Ivy and the Inky Butterfly, which charmingly combines storytelling with drawing.

Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford. Stylist: Clare Nicolson. Photographer: Yeshen Venema. 

This is a brilliant episode for anyone who loves illustration and the mindful art of colouring, as well as being a truly inspiring success story showing how hard-work and passion really do pay off. 

Listen to learn more about Johanna's journey to success, as well as her latest book and colouring tips.

Episode Breakdown

  • 00:25 - Miranda introduces Johanna Basford.
  • 02:12 - How Johanna's love for drawing first began.
  • 03:20 - Johanna explains how the idea for an adult colouring book first came to her.
  • 05:30 - How Johanna found the inner resilience and self-belief to keep going with her passion project.
  • 08:31 - Why Johanna's first book, Secret Garden, struck an instant chord with so many people.
  • 10:25 - Johanna's favourite pens and pencils to use for colouring in.
  • 12:48 - How Johanna stays grounded when dealing with such fantastic success.
  • 14:50 - Johanna shares the inspiration behind Ivy and the Inky Butterfly.
  • 18:58 - The creative process behind Johanna's books.
  • 21:54 - Why there are no 'rules' to colouring in.
  • 24:04 - What Johanna likes to listen to when she's drawing.
  • 25:19 - How Johanna manages to balance her home-life with her successful career.
  • 27:02 - What's next for Johanna.

Episode Links

Tweet Me!

click on the Twitter icon to share my favourite quote from this episode

Tweet: 'Colouring is a wonderful way to carve out a bit of time to do something creative and for yourself.' ~ @JohannaBasford on #teaandtattlepodcast: http://bit.ly/2E0w3t7

Colouring is a wonderful way to carve out a bit of time to do something creative and for yourself.

 -Johanna Basford

Your Thoughts

Thank you so much for listening and being a part of Tea & Tattle podcast. As always, I love to hear your thoughts, so please let me know:

What did you enjoy most about this episode? Are you a fan of colouring, and which is your favourite of Johanna's books?

Next Time...

I'm delighted to say that my co-host, Sophie, is back on Tea & Tattle, and we're sharing our theme word for the year ahead, as well as discussing our response to The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. We're also making an exciting announcement about Tea & Tattle that you won't want to miss!

Happy Listening!

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60 | Gretchen Rubin's 'The Four Tendencies'

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