#theBig30 by Tori Ratcliffe – Why we’re supporting her launch, and you should too!

Portrait and wildlife artist Torie Ratcliffe

Turning 30 is a huge milestone for anyone, yet Edinburgh-based pet portrait and wildlife artist Tori Ratcliffe isn’t celebrating her birthday in the same old way.

As a proud dog owner (shout out to Spud!) and lover of animals, she’s dedicating her day to raising more money for the charities close to her heart.

Her #theBig30 launch happened this spring – it officially went live on Sunday 9th May 2021 (at 8pm to be exact). Whilst Tori’s originals have already sold out, there’s still time to get your hands on your own piece – but more on that later! 

She’s released a collection of 60 stunning new paintings and is donating the proceeds of the sales to Arts Emergency. Arts Emergency is an award-winning mentoring charity and support network that helps young people flourish in the creative and cultural sectors.

But that’s enough from us, we’ll let Tori reveal all about her amazing charity work, why we’re collaborating with her and what she does best.

Tori Ratcliffe Art x So Cosy – the big collab

As you know, here at the House of So Cosy, we love to work with creatives who have a passion for their art, just as we do. That’s why collaborating with Tori made perfect sense.

Tori’s lively painting style is truly inspirational. With an interest in the works of Jackson Pollock and Ralph Steadman plus her love affair with ink, paint, charcoal, and pastels, her works are truly something extra special – we’re sure you’ll agree!

“I jumped at the chance to collaborate with So Cosy! Firstly, on a personal level, I have met the owners Vilija and Rimsky on their stall at a few of the fairs where I also sell my art, and they are such a genuine and lovely couple. 

They have so much passion and love for their brand, and it’s infectious – I actually already own a So Cosy blanket and my parents have one each! I love supporting fellow independent businesses,” said Tori.

Inspired by lockdown and accessible by all

Lockdown has impacted so many businesses, yet it was the inspiration behind Tori’s move into smaller artworks, as she details:

“I have been a professional wildlife and pet portrait artist for about 7 years now. At the start of the pandemic when I found out that all my usual shows and fairs for the year were cancelled, I knew I had to diversify my work in order to keep my business running during an uncertain time. 

One of the ways I decided to do this was to focus on really small artworks instead of creating larger pieces. 

The added benefit was that by doing this I could make my artwork more affordable and therefore more attainable – I think everyone should be able to access art.”

#thebig30 by Tori Ratcliffe

Introducing #theBig30 – we’re excited too!

As we mentioned, Tori turns 30 this month and she plans to spend it adding to the already impressive pot of charitable funds – which currently stands at over £25,000! 

We’ll let Tori tell you more about the incredible artworks that are on sale on behalf of her chosen charity and how you can grab your own Tori Ratcliffe original:

“I have two new sizes of paintings, the Tiny Originals (measuring just 9x9cm) and the Smol Originals (15x15cm). Each collection has a different theme, but this next one is going to be extra big! 

I love to challenge myself, and as it’s my 30th birthday, I thought a way to celebrate would be to release a collection of 30 Tinies and 30 Smols, called #theBig30. 

I have definitely had to spend every waking hour in the studio as there is a lot of painting to do as well as a lot of behind the scene prep work. But it will all be worth it!”

Supporting Arts Emergency

Tori has decided to support Arts Emergency with the proceeds of her launch. She’s aiming to raise £1,000 for the charity. 

Tori will be selling her latest collection as well as donating three prizes to a raffle – a Tiny commission (worth £80), a Smol commission (worth £105) and a print of your choice from her website (up to £45). But why Arts Emergency?

“I have recently been thinking a lot about how to become an artist often involves a lot of privilege. I am extremely fortunate to be where I am today because I had parents that could let me live at home for free while I set myself up. 

In the beginning, when I was just starting out, I was lucky enough to have family friends and parents eager to support me and commission paintings. 

I would not be where I am today without that leg up and yet not everyone has access to this kind of help,” explained Tori.

“Arts Emergency are working to level the playing field and support young artists from less privileged backgrounds to get a fair start. 

I think this is such a great cause because art has the potential to be a powerful form of communication and the more diverse our society’s artists the better!”

Tori’s #theBig30 has officially launched so be sure to show your support! Whilst her originals have now sold out, you can purchase your own Tiny or Smol print right here. There’s 28 designs available featuring the most popular paintings from #theBig30 collection! Each design is limited to just 20 prints to keep them extra special.

Tori’s raffle is also live. More information is available on her Instagram @toriratcliffeart or you can sign up to Tori’s newsletter via her website to stay up-to-date with the latest.