Julia Bethan

Line Made by Walking

Julia Bethan

This piece was inspired by the wonderful book A Line Made by Walking by Sara Baume. My dad was the first person to recommend this book to me, though warning me that it might be “too close to home” for me, a failing artist (his words). After assuring him that I did know a little bit about what I was doing, I did connect to a lot of the inner artist struggle of the book’s protagonist (but I didn’t tell Dad that one). This was one of those books where I highlight every other sentence. It’s written so beautifully that it was no surprise I felt inspired to paint from it.

Here is the line that inspired me:

“A soft, pink clock nobody remembered to wind. I go to my grandmother’s bedroom and lie down in the place where her hospice bed used to be, on the patch where the dog died. I lay my cheek against the floor. I smell the carpet.”


Julia Bethan is a freelance illustrator and occasional writer based in Sheffield, UK. She favors traditional mediums, and also works digitally in stop motion animation. Her style is characterful, expressive and full of texture. She loves to exaggerate the small and celebrate the mundane. A huge lover of books, most of her work is inspired by words that she’s read and the images that they have conjured. As a former pediatric nurse, she is particularly interested in making work for children that encourages play, inclusivity, & reassurance in feelings and the self. She has animated for children’s television, taught children classes on drawing & expressive mark making, and is proudly represented by T2 Agency in children’s publishing.