"Ava, now age seven, started drawing at the age of three and has been a very prolific and focused artist ever since. It is obvious that her visual and artistic strengths balance out her speech delay, which are in keeping with her diagnosis of autism which she received at age four and a half. 

I first met Rebecca in the playground at Ava's school. She was working with Ava on a one to one basis in a classroom setting and was very inspired by her drawings. She discussed the idea of designing an Easter card using Ava's original artwork and I was delighted that someone had taken an interest in her artistic flair. As a mother, of course I rejoiced in her drawings, but I thought perhaps that was just me.

I invited Rebecca round to look through all the hundreds of drawings which I had been filing for the last few years. We got very excited about the potential of her work.

The Easter chic card sold out at a stall that Rebecca was holding in Borough market, and the money was donated to children with autism. We received a universally positive reaction to the image from family and friends. The people wanted more!!! We will be donating 10% of each sale to the the National Autistic Society.

We spent many hours scanning in her art and passionately debating which images would work well together in sets of six. Due to the enormous scale of her output this has been quite a challenge.

Ava (who has recently become a vegetarian) is a big fan of pink and has emphatically expressed a desire to see as much of this hue as possible in future colour schemes..."

Katharine (Ava's Mum)  

 

" I first met Ava about a year ago in 2013. As katharine mentioned I was working with Ava on a one to one basis at her school. Even before I saw any of her drawings all the other teachers and classroom assistants at her school told me that she loved drawing and she was really good at it. So when I sat down with Ava one day during a creative session I was taking particular notice. Coming from a creative, visual background myself I was amazed initially at the way she drew with such confidence and speed. Her commitment as the pencil touched the page did not waver. In just a few strokes Ava managed to convey movement and life in the chicks she was drawing. This eventually became the "Easter chick card`'. 

When I met Katharine I was really keen to see more of Ava's work. I soon noticed that the sense of movement was strikingly prevalent in a vast majority of her pictures. Ava can draw a face and by simply placing a pencil line slightly to one side, you get the sense of where the character is facing, to the side or looking down. See "Original set" of Ava's line drawing of a single figure adorning a triangle shaped skirt! There is also a clear distinction in the style of movement, some appear to be leaping across the page, like her green character in  "Colourful friends" or simply taking a break after a long day! See Princess on bed from "Indulgent set" I also noticed the simple, confident strokes produced characters with emotion such as glee and happiness.  

I felt an immediate affinity to Ava's work, I felt as if I was looking at an artists vision of how they view the world. Ava has developed a style which is unmistakably a form of expression. With Katharine's  approval I felt the pictures that I was looking at should be shared, or somehow given a space for other people to view and share in such an insightful form of expression. They made me smile instantly. 

As a designer I have worked from scanned images of Ava's art work. Sometimes I have repeated one image or slightly re-aranged some figure's, such a "Chicks". Blocks of colour have also been added in designs from "Indulgent set" and "Royal set". Essentially, however I hope to have retained the essence of Ava's work.

Lastly, I asked Ava one day " Who are all these people Ava?" And she simply replied " They are all my friends!" 

 Rebecca Tommasi ( Designer )