The Art of Bespoke


I am sure we all know that bespoke means something specially made to order for a particular person. Something is created, the design adapted, to suit a specific person. Perhaps images of a custom-made dress or a tailor-made suit spring to mind. But does this necessarily translate to drawing? How do you make an illustration ‘fit’ a person?

Well, for me, that’s where the fun starts!

My love of creating bespoke or custom illustrations stems from the desire to make great gifts for my family and friends. You know that feeling when you’re racking your brain for that perfect gift idea. What can I get so-and-so that will make their face light up as they tear into the gift-wrap? Something that tells them: I know them, I listen to them, I love them.

That’s the aim with my bespoke letter, monogram and word drawings. Not only do the letters or words represent the person but so do the items I draw in the pattern within or around them.

Let me walk you through an example of how one of my custom letters was designed specifically for someone:


This letter H was created for my mom, Heather.


Let’s start with the flowers, the best part in my opinion!

For Heather I picked chrysanthemums as not only do they represent cheerfulness; something she is always, but also as they are a personal favourite of hers. They also have the word 'mum' within their name!

Next I included daffodils as she has always said that they bring her happiness. Finally, I couldn’t resist including some heather as her name-sake flower.



Next I had to include her dogs in the pattern as not only does she adore them but they also form such a big part of her life. Charlie, a Tibetan Terrier, features in the top right hand corner and Ruby, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier Cross, features in the bottom left hand corner. I positioned them apart for balance and to make them harder to spot – that’s half the fun!

I then included some further references to her character and career. A worker bee is featured to symbolise her buzzing, busy lifestyle and her hard-working ethic while a hidden house alludes to her career, which has mostly centred on property in one way or another.


Finally, the surrounding space left was filled with patterns found from pouring over old pattern reference books, as I knew she had a penchant for paisley and William-Morris-esque patterns.

As a gift for someone I know so well, these ideas came naturally to me. They came from the heart.

If you want to create a gift for someone in a similar vane, then you just pass on the details of some of the items you want featured, which might include some of their favourite things or you could tell me some of the person’s characteristics that I can try to match with a flower, object or symbol. The possibilities really are endless!

And you can rest assured that it will be truly unique and totally bespoke.


You can commission your own bespoke illustration in the Custom Illustration Shop.


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© Simona Matuozzo