Dawn Cooper Illustration

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Sustainable Swaps

Posted on: January 11th, 2022 by Dawn

For ages I’ve been wanting to share some of my favourite sustainable swaps I’ve made in my shopping and lifestyle habits over the last few years, so I thought I’d draw some! ✏️

I hope that you can decipher my emoji key below, and find some helpful sustainable alternatives for your own eco missions!

🧼 The humble bar of soap is a great replacement for bottled shower gel. I also get a big container of hand soap refilled at our local zero waste shop @preserve_foods when our pump dispensers are running low.

🥛 Consider switching from cow’s milk to oat milk (@minorfigures is my favourite, and claims to be ‘carbon neutral’), or if you drink dairy, find out if you can get milk delivered to your door as part of the local milk round.

☕️ Some teabags contain plastic! Try a biodegradable brand, like PG Tips.

🥚 If you eat eggs, consider buying organic. Free-range may sound like the best option, but organic assures much higher welfare standards for hens. If you’re interested, find out more info here.

🥕 Get a food waste bin! They’re free in Bristol, collected weekly, and the waste is used to make bio-fertiliser for farmers, generate electricity and fuel Bristol’s bio-bus. If you can’t recycle food waste locally, get in touch with your local MP or councillor.

🥕 Veg boxes can be on the higher end of the affordability scale, but so worthwhile if it works with your budget. Less packaging, seasonal and often local.

🧦 One of my favourite swaps I’ve made is 100% plastic free laundry detergent capsules posted through my door from @smolproducts. They’re really good value and affordable on a smaller budget.

💧 You can re-use your old cleaning spray bottles by using plastic-free soluble anti-bacterial sachets like @ironandvelvet, or use refillable spray bottles from @smolproducts.

🧺 Consider swapping your usual scouring pad for machine washable dish cloths. I use @tabithaeveco; a slightly higher price tag, but long-lasting and good for harder scrubbing!

✉️ I keep a lot of the postal packaging I receive to re-use for Etsy orders or returns. You can jazz it up and save money!

👚 Buy second-hand! There are often lovely things in charity shops, and I sometimes buy pre-loved clothes on Depop.

🧩 You can also find amazing used toys on Facebook Marketplace, but you sometimes have to travel to pick them up. If you’re buying wooden toys new, look for the FSC certified wood mark.

🏠 If you can afford to, take a staycation instead of a holiday abroad. I hope rail prices will become more affordable soon to support this style of holidaying.

🦷 I’ve found cornstarch toothbrushes and plastic-free dental floss to be just as good or better than plastic alternatives. You can also get recyclable toothbrush heads for your electric toothbrush from @livecocouk.

💳 Green your money! I recently switched my Barclays account for a @triodosuk account when I found out how much Barclays had invested in fossil fuels in 2020. The Triodos customer support team is based in Bristol and they only invest in ethical schemes. Hit me up if you know of any ethical credit cards, because I’m still searching.

🥾 Vegan Doc Martens – possibly my favourite gift from last year! They’re not cheap, but they have seen many a muddy walk and always keep me dry and look brand new after a quick clean. I think they will easily stand the test of time.

🥚 Lastly, another egg-shaped product. @Lush has a brilliant natural range of foundations called Slapstick which are almost completely zero waste.

Please share with me your personal favourite ethical products. You can find me at @drawnbydawn. I’m keen to learn! I’m sure there are plenty of things I’ve forgotten (low-waste makeup, recyclable razors) – perhaps a follow-up post is due some other time!

I’m on BBC Radio Bristol!

Posted on: July 2nd, 2018 by Dawn


I was very surprised and excited to be invited onto Dr Phil Hammond’s BBC Radio Bristol show, the Happy Hour on Saturday 23 June, to talk about my work and the things that make me happy! As coincidence had it, I was joined by a friend, the very colourful character (you’ll see what I mean if you take a look at her Instagram page) that is music journalist and writer Sammy Maine.

I talked about Ocean Emporium (which hit the shops on 28 June!), the curious creatures of the sea, why walking is the best remedy, how much I love my baby, why I’ll never be able to rival Mary Berry, and the restorative power of bookshops. You can take a listen here while it’s still available on catch-up.

Project Calm magazine

Posted on: March 26th, 2018 by Dawn


I was thrilled to be featured in the latest issue of Project Calm, a beautifully illustrated magazine promoting mindfulness through craft and creativity. In this issue, you can cut out my seed packet bookmarks, featuring line drawings of cow parsley, bluebells and winter flowering cherry (and accompanying quotes!), and stash whatever you like inside them.


I was also very pleased to be asked a few questions about my work practice, which you can read in this little interview, where I talk about my love of bookshops, taking photographs and therapeutic desk tidying.

The issue also features a stunning front cover by one of my favourite illustrators, Boyoun Kim (I bought one of her beautiful screen prints for my partner’s birthday, and I happen to think she’s a bit of a wizard when it comes to colour, and creating pictures you want to climb inside of).



New work

Posted on: March 25th, 2018 by Dawn


I’ve given my Artworks portfolio page a bit of a spruce! Head over here to have a look at some of my latest projects, including some of the Heath & Heather tea range and some brand new book covers for Puffin.

Shakespeare’s New Place

Posted on: September 10th, 2016 by Dawn

Shakespeare's Garden

I recently teamed up with the lovely people at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to illustrate a new product range for the opening of Shakespeare’s New Place, which comprises a beautiful Tudor knot garden, restored for the first time since it was created in 1920.

I used the garden plans and flower varieties to create a contemporary illustration of the knot garden, which appears on the Shakespeare’s Garden product range. Products in the range include a canvas bag, cosmetic bag and soaps, cushion, notebook, tea towel and more.


Feathers & Fur exhibition

Posted on: September 10th, 2016 by Dawn


This summer, myself and nine other Bristol illustrators teamed up with local writer Emily Koch to illustrate her beautiful haikus celebrating the diversity of urban wildlife.

The exhibition is currently on show at the Grain Barge until 11 October.


I was given Emily’s kingfisher poem to illustrate, which was lots of fun. The kingfisher is joined by a fox, a duck, a playful dog, a squirrel, some sneaky seagulls, a beautiful toad, some ally cats, a robin, and a butterfly. The illustrators on show are:

Dave Bain, Dawn Cooper, Sarah Dennis, Anna Higgie, Harriet Lee Merrion, Lindsay McDonagh, Bett Norris, Laurie Stansfield, Rosanna Tasker and Amy Timms.

If you can’t make it to the Grain Barge this autumn, you can view and purchase all of the prints on Etsy, here.

Insect Emporium, out now!

Posted on: September 10th, 2016 by Dawn


That’s right! The Insect Emporium has officially been published by Egmont. A few of my family members were thrilled to spot it when shopping in the Tate Modern this week.

There’s a sweet animation on Egmont’s Facebook page offering a preview to some of the book’s contents (which I hope to post shortly!) and celebrating its release. You can view it here.

You can also purchase a copy online here, but do keep an eye out for it in your local independent bookshop!

Insect Emporium #NIW2016

Posted on: June 21st, 2016 by Dawn


It’s National Insect Week 2016, which gives me the perfect opportunity (excuse) to share some bits and pieces from my upcoming book with Egmont. Insect Emporium publishes in September 2016, and is bursting with insects of all shapes, sizes and origins, each with their own stories and curious behaviours. (Pictured above is a crop from my original artwork for the cover. The final approved version can be found here.)


This Mediterranean fruit fly is one of the many colourful creatures I had the pleasure of illustrating for this book. Below is a crop from the pull-out print which accompanies the book.

‘Insects are nature’s great survivors, found almost everywhere on our planet. They creep through undergrowth, lurk in cracks, dart underwater and soar through the sky. From the aerobatics of a dragonfly to the mighty construction of a termites’ nest, this book explores their secrets. Prepare to discover a spellbinding world within the Insect Emporium.’
– Susie Brooks


Egmont have just released a beautiful little animated teaser trailer for the book, in which some of the insects come to life! You can take a look at it here.


Flower magazine

Posted on: April 19th, 2016 by Dawn


Today I received my contributor’s copy of Flower magazine, a beautiful publication based in Birmingham, Alabama.

The commission was as joyful to work on as the pictures suggest! The illustrations accompany an article about how to tailor your garden to excite each of our five senses; sight, sound, taste, smell and touch.

Here is a little peak at the spreads.




I especially enjoyed making the little spot illustrations, which made me want to get out to the allotment (and buy a cat and a pink watering can)!

Puffin Classics

Posted on: March 11th, 2016 by Dawn


I recently had the pleasure and privilege of designing the cover for the new Puffin Classics edition of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, which was an absolute dream! I worked with the wonderful Anna Morrison, who tweeted the lovely picture above. You can see more from the stunning new series here.

I have also been avidly listening to Radio 4’s adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s classic, Jane Eyre, which I heartily recommend to any fans (or might-be-fans).