Hello, My name is Steven!
I’m a Non-Binary illustrator living in the West Yorkshire countryside. Have a gander around for a lot of laughs, made with a lot of heart. I draw based on things I care deeply about, and make them happy because I believe the best way to spread a message is to make it funny. If you fancy a deep dive into my experiences I’ve put together a bunch of facts and anecdotes below :).
I have 4 cats, one of them is named after my favourite biscuit (Figgs)
‘Neighbourhood 2 - Laika’ by Arcade fire. I first heard it when i was 17 and not in a great place and it always reminds me how far I’ve come. Also it has the best accordion solo.
A quote or mantra you live by:
What is for you wont go by you! - a reminder for when things feel incredibly uphill or like I’m making no progress that I will get there if I’m supposed to.
What do you do?
I hope that I can make people smile or feel better about themselves with my art. I have a very honest internet presence, which is sometimes hard, but when you get a message from someone going through the same thing and appreciating me being vulnerable to normalise these feelings, it makes it all worth while. This is a happy thing to celebrate, so my work always leans into being thick, bright and as colourful as i can manage to reflect that.
So what is your main body of work?
Mostly greetings cards, with a dash of goodies to keep around the house, wear, or drink from.
How did you get started:
My nanna used to buy me those big colouring in cards where all the black was made of felt meaning you couldn’t go outside the lines and you only got 3 felt-tips so you had to colour people in blue or some other ridiculous colour. Every time I got pocket money, I would spend it on more pens or pencils or sketch books and that is still the case in my 30’s. They used to tell you Art isn’t a career when you were growing up though, so I focused on Maths in education and ended up in office jobs that made me pretty miserable. In 2015 my partner and I got a chance to raise money for Mind by hosting a little Christmas stall in my work cafeteria. She made Christmas tree decorations and I designed Christmas cards. We ended up raising £600 over a couple of lunch breaks. That made me realise that not only could I do this for a career, but I could also use it to help charities close to my heart. Now 10% of my online turnover is donated to Mermaids UK who help gender diverse or trans children and their families in the UK.
What do you enjoy most about The Happy Chappo?
So much! I appreciate getting to do what i love everyday! It's been a tough year on a personal level so having this job to fall back on is something I appreciate everyday. Drawing is definitely still what i enjoy the most. I love coming up with ideas and accidentally making myself laugh, or showing Becky, my partner, a drawing I’ve done that makes her laugh. Laughs are what I live for really. I love markets too. You get a lot of laughs there.
Has your life changed much since coming out as Gender Diverse?
There's so much positivity about my whole experience. I’ve made new friends in similar situations and found a community of people that make me feel so at home in a body that has repulsed me for 30 years. My marriage is significantly happier and my relationships with my friends have all been escalated. Being honest with my surroundings has removed a wall that I was hiding behind and its great to feel so much closer to the people I love.
I think I was very scared to come out at first because of what it would mean for these relationships. But what I’ve learned is that being your honest self leads you to your people. If your current friends don’t like that you’re bisexual or non binary then they were never your friends in the first place and you will find better ones. But chances are they will love you more for coming out.
There's a contact me section on the website or more contact details on my Instagram