AN illustrator and storyteller who said York’s libraries have been 'a turning point' in her life has been repaying their generosity.

Stephanie Jardine has designed cards which have gone on sale at Haxby and Wigginton Library shop.

Some of the proceeds from the sales have been donated to Explore, the company contracted to provide public library and archive services in the city.

Stephanie's work as an artist has developed with the support of Dandelion Arts, a group which has used the safe spaces within the library walls to bring their own artists and expert craftspeople together with participants who are facing mental health problems.


Stephanie’s creations - her animated sprites, dragons and flies - were seen at the group’s Creative Ways exhibition, displayed at Explore York’s Reading Café and now feature on her cards, along with other characters and portraits.

York Press: Lorraine said the library would need to restock one of Stephanie's designs as they had sold outLorraine said the library would need to restock one of Stephanie's designs as they had sold out (Image: Kevin Glenton)

She said: “Working with Creative Ways means I spend my time talking to people, and I get a lot out of it.

“It’s made a big difference to my mental health and people I know say I’m not the same person I was before.

“It’s been amazing to find a place and a community where I belong.”

The Wigginton resident said working with Dandelion Arts has made such a big difference in her life and it meant so much to her to give something back.

Haxby and Wigginton library manager Lorraine Taylor said: “It’s been really exciting to meet Steph and support her.

“A lot of visitors love the characters and particularly the toadstools.”

She said the library will need to restock some of Stephanie’s five designs because they’ve sold out.

York Press: Haxby and Wigginton Library, in Oaken Grove, HaxbyHaxby and Wigginton Library, in Oaken Grove, Haxby (Image: Kevin Glenton)

Stephanie is currently writing an illustrated book using inspiration drawn from her works.

Dave Fleming, from Explore York Libraries and Archives said: “As a National Portfolio Organisation, we run an exhibition programme showcasing community projects, exhibitions that have community value, and work created by artists or communities linked to Explore projects.

“On the back of such a hugely successful end of year exhibition, Dandelion Arts now runs regular sessions in York Explore Makerspace and has contributed towards our York Disability Week exhibition.

“We are delighted to give one of the participants the opportunity to sell their cards in one of our shops.”