To celebrate the release of our new White Logo Collection puzzles, we're getting to know some of the talented artists who illustrated and designed the artworks!
This week, we spoke with Alice Tams, the illustrator behind our wonderful Pigeons of Britain puzzle. We hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as we did!
Hi Alice, it's great to have the chance to chat. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi! My name’s Alice and I’m a freelance artist and illustrator from the UK, currently based in Taiwan. I’ve been painting birds professionally for nearly ten years now and asides from the ornithological world I love biking, hiking, nature and a good gin.
What made you start drawing birds? Have you always had an interest in animals and birds in particular?
I’ve always had an interest in animals but the interest in birds was actually born out of drawing them. I was at university and wanted an ongoing project to work on and ‘birds in hats’ was created after a Barn Owl drawing gone slightly wrong gained a baseball cap. The more I drew birds, the more I came to realise what an incredibly diverse and fascinating class of animals they are.
We love your design Pigeons of Britain. Do you have a favourite pigeon that features in the puzzle?
Super hard but if I have to pick… it’s got to be David Bowie. Close second goes to David Attenborough though.
How do you decide which birds and what hats they wear?
Often by researching the bird - something about its behaviour or geography will start to suggest a hat or outfit to me. Though when they’re celebrity birds then of course it’s the personality that dictates the hat.
What inspired your move across to Taiwan? How is it different to life in the UK?I think I realised a few years ago that I loved travelling, particularly in Asia, and that I had outsourced all the parts of my business that physically required me (bar the painting, of course) so… it was a no brainer to move Birds in Hats onto the road! Taiwan ticked the most boxes of all the prospective places but I had no idea I’d be based here so long. It has birds, mountains and great bike routes, great food, lovely people and an amazingly unique culture.
It’s a subtropical island so the climate is very, very different to the UK. I love the heat but the 40C, 100% humidity summers can get a bit much sometimes. Also instead of snow days, we have typhoon days here where everyone gets the day off work!
Do you have a large hat collection yourself? If so, which is your favourite hat?
Haha, I do have quite a few! I have a cycling cap a friend bought me for Christmas that I’m very fond of but my favourite hat is an orange Patagonia wooly hat that I’ve climbed a few mountains here in Taiwan in. Getting 3000m above sea level is one way of escaping the heat.
You can find more information about Alice Tams on her website.