What The Dickins: A Tale Of Edinburgh City

Meet Edinburgh Illustrator Helen C Stark

Helen C Stark Illustrator Edinburgh

We’ve been lucky enough to work with a very talented illustrator recently called Helen C Stark – and there is no better day to tell you a bit more about Helen than on International Women’s Day! We spotted Helen’s gorgeous drawings on Instagram, got in touch and are now proud to present two incredibly pretty postcards Helen has created for our guests. The postcards will be placed in all of our homes, accompanied with pens for colouring in – and we hope our guests will take the challenge and have fun adding some colour to the cards!

Dickins Edinburgh postcards

The new Dickins postcards that guests will be able to colour in, made by illustrator Helen C Stark.

Coloured in Dickins card

One of the cards coloured in by Dickins owner Louise.

We’re always curious about what other people’s lives look like, so we’ve asked Helen a few questions about her career as an illustrator. Helen has also kindly agreed to give away a set of her Colouring Edinburgh Postcard Set. And to add to the fun our lovely Dundas Street neighbours, the iconic Greyfriars Art Shop, is giving away a set of 24 Staedtler Watercolour pencils so that the lucky winner can colour in the postcards! Please scroll down to the end of the blog to find out how to enter. (The giveaway is now closed.)

Helen C Stark Edinburgh Postcards

The giveaway prize is a set of 5 of Helen’s beautiful Edinburgh-themed postcards and a set of 24 Staedtler watercolour pencils from Greyfriars Art Shop.

For our readers who haven’t heard about you before: what is it that you do?

I make colouring illustrations of local landmarks, paint bespoke watercolour designs and I do modern calligraphy and lettering. My book ‘Colouring Edinburgh’ got published last autumn and I sell postcards for people to colour too.

Helen C Stark Hygge

Helen’s notes on hygge, taken on a recent family holiday in Crieff.

When and how did you discover that drawing/illustration is what you want to do?

I’ve always been drawing, since I was very little. It’s only after our first son was born that I decided to move on from secondary school teaching to something more flexible and creative.

What does a typical working day look like for you?

It’s very different from most people. I’m a full-time mum of two wonderful toddlers from 6:30am-7pm. In actual fact, I only get to work Friday mornings and in the evenings. My work involves photography, social media and communicating with clients as well as sitting at my desk creating artwork.

Helen C Stark Illustrations

An illustration for an Order of Service Helen is working on just now.

What is the favourite part of your job?

Being able to spend quality time with my children is priceless. I only take as much work as is manageable around my little family. We’ve had to cut back on a few luxuries but it’s been worth it. Apart from that, drawing and painting is absolute bliss.

What do you like drawing the most?

Front doors, coffee cups, bicycles, botanics are among my favourite. I loved drawing Circus Lane, various coffee shop fronts, the Balmoral Hotel and the Scotsman for my colouring book and postcards.

Helen C Stark Edinburgh map

An illustrated map of favourite spots in Edinburgh.

Do you have a favourite spot in Edinburgh where you like to draw?

I love drawing in coffee shops, my favourites are Artisan Roast in Bruntsfield, the Beach House in Porty, Lovecrumbs on West Port and Wellington on George Street.

Where can one buy your illustrations?

My colouring postcards are on my website and I hope to develop a collection of art prints too. My book Colouring Edinburgh is in Waterstone’s, Blackwells and other local gift shops. I also do bespoke designs depending on how busy I am.

Colouring Edinburgh by Helen C Stark

Helen’s Colouring Edinburgh colouring book for adults – available on Helen’s website!

Do you have any advice for someone who would like to become an illustrator?

Just do it! All you need is a pencil or a pen, some paper and some time. Keep at it. Start posting on Instagram or Facebook and learn as you go along.

What is your next step/plans for the close future?

I’m launching a YouTube channel at the end of the month with tutorials. I’m also hoping to start calligraphy, sketch-noting and brushlettering workshops locally so that’ll be very exciting.

How do I enter the competition?


The competition runs from noon on the 8th of March until noon on Monday the 13th of March 2017. The giveaway is open to everybody over 18 in the UK. We will pick the winner within 24 hours after the competition has ended and contact the lucky person either through email or the social media platform they have used to enter the giveaway.

To be in with a chance to win a set of 5 Colouring Edinburgh Postcards by Helen C Stark accompanied by a set of 24 Staedtler Watercolour Pencils by Greyfriars Art Shop, choose one of the options below:

1. Like Helen C Stark & Dickins on Facebook and comment on and share the competition post on Dickins Facebook Page.

2. Follow Dickins on Twitter and retweet one of the competition tweets on the Dickins account.

3. Follow Helen C Stark & Dickins on Instagram and comment on the competition post on the Dickins account.

4. Simply comment on this blog post.

5. Email [email protected] stating your full name.

Make sure you follow us on social media so you don’t miss out on our fabulous giveaways!



  • Heather Haigh

    March 13, 2017 at 10:25 am

    How delightful! Count me in please.


  • Anne Adlington

    March 13, 2017 at 7:57 am

    Fabulous would be a lovely treat great giveaway thanks for the chance.


  • Dave Barker

    March 13, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Super would be great if I’m lucky enough to win please


  • Gemma Massey

    March 12, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    Lovely giveaway I love art painting and colouring so combining would be fun and help me de stress, thanks for the chance xx


  • Tracey Peach

    March 10, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Beautiful postcards & lovely watercolour pencils too 🙂 x


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