Emily Le Tocq interview cover photo
Meet Emily Le Tocq, known as Ems by her friends and family. Born and raised in Guernsey, she has an unwavering love for her island home, cherishing everything it has to offer. Emily is the proud owner of a small business where she shares her creative flair through the sale of unique cards and illustrations.

During our conversation, we delved into topics such as Emily’s artistic influences, the challenges she encounters in her creative business, and her favorite spots on the island.

Can you share with us your journey as a creative, designing illustrated prints and cards? How did your interest in this craft develop, and how did you get started?

I have always been creative in some way. As a child I used to be told off at school for being at the colouring table for too long! I always chose the creative subjects for my choices at school and then went on to the Arts University in Bournemouth to do an Art Foundation for a year before deciding to study a subject called Visual Communication.

This was a bit of a surprise to me as I had always thought I’d do a ‘proper art degree’ (whatever that is) and Visual Communication is more along the lines of Graphic Design so quite a bit more design based than fine art or illustration.

My tutors were amazing at uni and really encouraged me to do more illustration within my projects and they helped bring out my style of drawing and using hand written text.

I took a bit of a break after studying and went into working full time in retail back in Guernsey and I stopped drawing for almost 3 years. I had lovely friends and family who kept encouraging me to draw and keep being creative. I felt a bit like I didn’t have the space to do that and so one day I bought an iPad and started drawing on an application called Procreate. This was what really brought me back to illustration and enjoying drawing again!

How would you describe the aesthetic or theme that defines your artwork?

Simple, crafty and colourful!

Are there specific artists or movements that have influenced your work?

I’m a huge fan of children’s illustrations and my favourite illustrator is Olive Jeffers. A lot of people will know him from illustrating the books ‘The Day The Crayons Quit’ and ‘This Moose Belongs To Me’. I love his style and I love how he captures such joy and amazing expressions on his characters’ faces but he still manages to keep it quite simple.

Although I think tonnes of time and work goes into everything he does. I also love David Shigley’s work. His bold colours and hand written text just stands out and you can really tell it’s his work when you see his posters and artwork. But again quite simple too. But the use of colour is so important to his art.

Do you have a favorite piece or collection that you’ve created, and what makes it special to you?

In my life time it would have to be my illustrated story for my final piece at uni which was about my Nana and Papa adopting my Dad. It’s personal to me, something that really holds a lot of importance in my life as it’s such a wonderful story.

My grandparents were such an inspiration and were great role models to me and my family. They were patient, kind and filled with joy even in some really difficult situations and would show love to any and everybody.

It was also the first project which I really went full on with my style of illustration and hand written text. But for my business I would say my Guernsey cards are my favourite collection. They are also my most popular. And I love to sell them and also send them to my loved ones as it always puts a smile on people faces!

Photo credit: Emily Le Tocq

Photo credit: Emily Le Tocq

What challenges do you face in your creative business, and how do you overcome them?

Making money, haha! I work part time as well as having a small business and so I do rely on my business for part of my income and it’s very up and down. It’s hard to know how much of something to order in as I’m not sure how much will sell and I don’t want to be left with lots of product and waste paper or materials.

But I know ordering in more products can help sales so it’s a balance that I haven’t quite cracked yet. I think if you’re running a business you have to have faith and trust that everything will be ok! And to be honest over the past 3 years it definitely has always worked out!

How do you market and promote your products, both online and offline? Also, where can we purchase them?

I promote my cards and illustrated products on Instagram mainly but I also have a website:

And then I sell in a few shops locally:

St Peter’s post office
Maison Demain
Tiger Lily florist
The National Trust Shop at 26 Cornet Street
Pebble Home & Lifestyle Jersey

And I try to have a stall at a market every now and then, a couple in the summer and a few nearer to Christmas.

What advice would you offer to someone who is interested in starting their journey in illustration and design?

Be creative and yourself! Figure out your style and just continue focusing on that! People love unique artwork and products, what will make you stand out is being yourself and confident in your style. It’s so much easier to sell stuff that you love, customers can tell when you love and have a passion for something!

Are there any upcoming projects, collaborations, or new releases that your customers can look forward to?

I’m hoping to get some more Guernsey French cards designed soon (once I get my dad to translate everything for me), I’m really excited about these as I’ve been wanting more Guernsey cards in my collection!

Photo credit: Emily Le Tocq

Photo credit: Emily Le Tocq

When you need to unwind in Guernsey, where do you go? What are your favourite spots on the island?

I have lived in Cobo my whole life and so Cobo Bay is definitely a beach I love to walk on when I need some peace. Especially in the in-between months (autumn and spring) when it’s cooler and less busy on the beach but not horrendous weather!

How would you describe the character or personality of Guernsey and what sets it apart from other places?

Guernsey is such a unique place, it has similar qualities to the UK and then also France. I feel like it’s not one or the other though. Everywhere you walk in Guernsey you can see so much beauty. It’s peaceful but also has a buzz to it. There are amazing restaurants and shops. What I love the most is that independent shops and restaurants really thrive here, we have such loyal customers who love to support locals.

If you’re in search of beautifully illustrated cards or prints, look no further! Visit Emily’s website to explore and purchase these delightful creations.