Ruby Cascarina

Todays Orange Peel post its from our Youngest Artist Feature so far! And we are super excited to showcase Ruby’s art work!

Keep reading bellow to find out more about her creative process…

Q1: What is your Name, Age, and Where are you based?

A: My name is Ruby Cascarina, 16, based in Hertfordshire.

Q2: How did you first get into your creative practice/ work?

A: Growing up I felt quite talentless. I wasn’t very sporty or good at any musical instruments etc, just average and there was nothing special about me.However, I was always a creative person but it wasn’t up until I moved into secondary school that I really started to enjoy art and thought it was something I could be good at. Particularly going into year 10, at the start of the GCSE course, I really started to practice more and it was encouraging to hear positive comments from teachers and classmates. From there I continued to draw and paint both for school work and for fun and it is satisfying to see myself improve over the years!

Q3: Are there any main or overarching themes you explore in your work?

A: Doing art at school, all of my sketchbooks had a theme. Whether that be issues surrounding mental health, climate change etc. and it was inspiring to research artists and see that the majority of them had a reason to create art and a message they wanted to spread. Although I have made paintings about topics I am passionate about, including the Black Lives Matter movement, there isn’t just one idea that I always link back to!

I also know that I am still miles away from meeting my potential when it comes to my art so as I progress and find my style, I hope to find a purpose in the things I create

Image from Rubys Instagram @artandruby

 Q4: Highlight one of your biggest inspirations!

A: My whole family are creative people; my dad is an animator, my mum is in the fashion industry and my grandparents were artists. My preferred style of art relates closest to my grandparents and I hope to one day be as good as they were, so I would say they are my biggest inspiration. I am lucky to be surrounded by art in my home and be able to look back on the works of my grandparents as I think that it is important to experience other peoples art in order to improve at my own.

Q5: Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

A: In 5 years time I hope to be studying art at university or maybe doing an apprenticeship for something art related. My biggest fear is ending up doing some sort of uncreative job that will bore me all day!

In an ideal world I will be able to sell my art full-time but ultimately I just want to continue to improve, challenge myself and experiment, but whatever I am doing in 5 years I will definitely still be painting!

Painting by Ruby Cascarina
Painting by Ruby Cascarina
Painting by Ruby Cascarina

If you want to find Ruby you can follow her on Instagram !

And to see more content from amazing young artists you can follow our Instagram and this blog!


Molly Russon

We are really getting into summer now..

We have a brand new Full Artist Feature by talented Illustration Molly Russon! Keep Reading to find out more…

Q1: What is your Name, Age, and Where are you based?

I’m Molly Russon, I’m 22 and I’m an illustrator based in London.

Q2: How did you first get into your creative practice/ work?

A: I’ve always been interested in art and I think just had it in my head that art was what I was going to do. My mum is an artist, so I grew up drawing and painting, but I think I wanted to Illustration when I realised that working with lots of different clients means you can work on so many different sorts of projects. I’m one of those people that wants to do everything, so the fact illustration gets used in so many ways really appeals to me!

Q3: Are there any main or overarching themes you explore in your work?

A: I don’t really purposefully have themes in my work, but I always want to make work that kind of points at maybe the mundane, ordinary or the stuff we take for granted, and says ‘ah, that’s a weird/beautiful/funny thing’. 

I also really love history and want to do more work telling stories about people from the past and how they lived their lives as it really interests me. I’ve done a few projects looking at figures from the past. My book about Alfred Wallis which looked at his work but also his battle with mental health, and also the LGBT lives of the Bloomsbury Group. Often the stories that don’t get told interest me a lot.

Q4: How has the COVID- 19 Pandemic affected your work?

A: Lockdown has allowed it to just be me and my work, and that has been really good. I think because I’m quite good at comparing my work to others, having this time to just focus a bit more has been great. Also being forced to get into a good routine and work out how to work from home- as that would be the situation for me Covid or no Covid- has been really useful in setting myself up for being a freelancer after uni!

Q5: Highlight one of your biggest inspirations!

A: I suppose I kind of have to say Alfred Wallis. I’m obsessed with him. Then I wrote about his work and life and that got worse. He’s a folk artist – so completely untrained – and he just communicates his love, obsession, knowledge and concern for the sea and boats in a way that I don’t think any trained artist could. It’s that translation of passion and a point of view into art, that I would love to be able to do. For it to come completely from someone’s heart and to be able to feel that as another person is amazing to me, and often kind of dampened by training a lot of the time. It’s very rare to find trained artists that are able to do that.

Alfred Wallis
The Blue Ship

Q6: Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

A: I don’t know really. Part of me wants to just sing the lyrics to the Noah and the Whale song as a response instead ! I do have things I’d like to do though. I’d liked to have worked on illustration jobs for magazines or publications by then. That’s one place I’d like to see my illustrations. I also would like to have maybe written or illustrated another book? Ive got a few ideas so maybe by then I would have decided which one to do. I also love the idea of working with other people such as writers on collaborative projects. Also ceramics, I hope I get access to doing that again soon. Apart from that in five years I’d like to maybe have a studio space somewhere!

Q7: If you could share a message with the world, what would it be?

A: I think probably just be compassionate. To others and especially to yourself. How you treat yourself will help your interactions with others. Respect yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. Give yourself time to learn and grow. Listen to yourself. Once you’re doing all that for yourself you can do all that for others. So everyone should start there. 

Illustration by Molly Russon
Illustration by Molly Russon
Illustration by Molly Russon

You can find more of molly’s GORGE art work on her Instagram! And also her Website




Today we are Featuring Norwich based Mural Artist KNAPPLE, who came to our attention this year during the height of the BLM Protests due to one of their murals…

Keep reading to find out more!

Q1: What is your Name, Age, and Where are you based?

A: I’m Knapple, I’m 42 and I’m currently based in Norwich.

Q2: How did you first get into your creative practice/ work?

A: I chose art as a career because as my children got older I wanted to show them you could carve your own path, plus I really felt I needed a creative outlet so I enrolled on a BTEC course at Wensum Lodge and then a foundation degree just to get myself started with some techniques.

Q3: Are there any main or overarching themes you explore in your work?

A: My main focus throughout my art is positivity but with a hint of wit, self help and the power of thought. People don’t realise how much creative power our minds have and I want to show that change first comes from within. I’ve also started to explore human rights issues.

Q4: Highlight one of your biggest inspirations!

A: My biggest inspiration is Keith Haring, when I saw his work in the Liverpool Tate last year I could feel a powerful energy emanating from them, he did activism so perfectly. 

Q5: Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

A: In 5 years time I expect to be living in or nearer to London and to be running Youth Mural projects, empowering and inspiring the next generation is my aim in life, so many inner city kids are ignored by society and I want to help give them a voice!

One Campaign KNAPPLE supports is ‘The Black Curriculum’ which is a Campaign ‘founded in 2019 by young people to address the lack of Black British history in the UK Curriculum. We believe that by delivering arts focused Black history programmes, providing teacher training and campaigning through mobilising young people, we can facilitate social change.’

You can visit their website to learn more and support this campaign!

You can also learn more about KNAPPLE’s BLM Mural in Norwich here…

And follow them at their Instagram!


BLM Protest in Cornwall- Ellice March.

First on BLM Week at the OP we are in conversation with one of the Organisers of the BLM Protest in Truro, Cornwall on the 15th of Jue 2020. Ellice Marsh.

Keep reading to find out more about the Day off the Protest+ how it effected her community…

Q1: What is your name, age and where are you from?

A:  Ellice Marsh//Redruth, Cornwall//19 (18 at the time of the protest).

Q2: What made you want to organise the BLM protest in your community?

A: I was+am so tired by the amount of racism and hatred in Cornwall, and I wanted to let the black people in the community know that there are lots of us that care and will stand up for them!

Q3: What was the most difficult aspect of organising the protest?

A: The hardest part was probably ensuring that everything was safe and social distanced as COVID-19 is obviously still a huge issue, but we managed to keep everyone 2m apart and still have over 1500 people attend!

Q4: What was the most rewarding moment?

A: The most rewarding moments were just letting black people in the community speak and share their experiences and witness their pain and raw emotion, and to hear their thanks for organising the protest, I really felt like I was helping people!

Q5: Has anything come from the protest/ had a lasting effect on your community?

A: More people in the community have shared their experiences with racism and exposed how much it happens in Cornwall, people have also contacted local schools etc and spoke to them about educating kids on the true history of the British empire and racism in Britain!

Q6: Do you have any tips for others wanting to organise their own BLM ( or other) Protest?

A: In terms of tips for organising, make sure there’s a small team of you as it’s a lot of work on your own, consider risk assessments and every possibility or things that could go wrong to make sure everyone is as safe as possible, and just gaining as much support as possible from local MP’s and people in positions of power, also contacting and cooperating with local news stations too!

For example I did an interview for bbc radio Cornwall, and for ITV westcountry (and was actually on tv which was crazy) but we got loads of great coverage and proved how much people care about Black lives matter!

To read another article about the event you can visit ‘Cornwall Live’ ! And also find other local BLM Protest on Facebook Events! OR ORGANISE YOUR OWN!


Francesca Thornton


Lets have another Artist Feauture shall we! This week we are in conversation with Music Photographer Francesca, talking about Gigs, artwork, and how the Pandemic is effecting her along with many other creatives!…

Q1: What is your name, age, and where are you based?

A: Francesca, 22 and I’m based in Brighton.

Q2: What is your creative practice/ Artwork?

A: I’m a music, live events and portraiture photographer, but I also pursue illustration on the side as a hobby.

Q3: Are there any main/ overarching themes you explore in your work?

A: I’ve always loved music growing up, and have always attended live gigs. I attended my first festival when I was 6 years old (It was Pop Beach in 2004 and the only memory I have of it is dancing to Girls Aloud – safe to say my taste has progressed since then!) and so from that experience music and live performance has become my main theme to my work; you’ll find me either working in the security pit at a festival, or sneaking my camera into the crowd at a gig. I love capturing the energy at gigs and live events, be it the artists on stage or the crowds attending. I love photographing people because you never run out of stories to tell in that one frame!

Q4: How has the COVID- 19 Pandemic affected your work?

A: COVID has drastically affected my work. My photography depends upon interacting with people in packed venues and live music – which are all canceled currently. What I wouldn’t give to be back at a gig or festival right now taking photos! I’ve also had to leave Brighton and return to my family home in Norfolk, so I no longer have the same connection to a city of vibrant people currently. However, it has led me to explore new avenues of work. I’ve taken to photographing the small, sleepy life of my little village, and it’s challenging in a new way, which I really enjoy. Who knew trying to get a clear, clean-cut photograph of a bee on a flower would be so hard? My photography at home however doesn’t have the same money demand as it did back in Brighton, and so I am missing out in terms of financial gains of my photography work – but it is helping me to boost my portfolio in new areas.

Lockdown has also led me to have more spare time, and I’ve been exploring illustration again. I had set up an online shop a while back and then hadn’t updated it in years. I’ve just now started sprucing it up with my new work, which is quite refreshing. I like being to have another creative avenue to explore when one is so people, high energy focused, and the other dependent upon time, patience and isolation. I guess photography and illustration reflect both my extrovert and introvert qualities – so I guess I could say it has been therapeutic… but I will be jumping at the first chance to photograph a gig!

Q5: Highlight one of your biggest inspiration!

A: In terms of portraiture photography I love Brandon Woelfel – he has such creative ways of capturing people and making his images look like you’ve just stepped into a dream scene.

Outside of photography, my general artistic inspiration is Vincent Van Gogh. Anyone who knows me knows I love Vincent! His work is so vibrant, imaginative, and the way he has converted all his pains and fears into such startlingly vivid works of art is astounding.

Q6: Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

A: There are SO many different places I see myself. Ultimately I’d love to be signed to a band as their personal gig photographer and exploring the world with them on their tour. But then I also enjoy studying the arts, and there is a MA course in Museum Curation & Art History that has really piqued my interest, so I may end up working in a museum. Or I may become an English and Media teacher! I’m really open – as long as I’m doing something creative, I’ll be happy.

Q7: If you could share a message with the world, what would it be?

A: Do what makes you happy, and if it puts a little good into the world, then that is even better. 

Check out more of Francescas work on Instagram @ francesca.thornton

-Or go to her Website –

Thanks for Reading!!


‘Depression and Creativity’

Hello! My name is Daisy, I’m the second co-founder of The OP along with Elsie, and I just wanted to write something introducing myself! A little background information about me, I had an easy childhood but always struggled academically due to Dyslexia which sometimes held me back + I am very open about my feelings and the challenges I have faced. I started writing this article weeks after finishing my A levels, which was an extremely stressful time in my life. And I think this may also help young creatives my age who are facing the same struggles.

Depression and Creativity

As someone who always has new ideas for projects and things I want to create it was extremely worrying and upsetting when my creativity seems to vanish. I realized this was happening over a few months, starting in August 2017 and it took me a few months to link my feelings together.

With the support of my boyfriend at the time I managed to open up to my mum about my negative and on going feelings, going to the doctors the next day at the start of October. I was hoping for help and support with these feelings that were so unknown to me, instead I was offered tablets and to come back 3 months later. I thought, like I’d seen on TV and movies that these anti- depressants would transform me into the person I previously was and fill the currently dark world in my eyes with rainbows and self love, how wrong I was. I was told it would take a few weeks for my anti depressants to start working, so I gave myself 2 weeks to almost relax and try to be stress free, watching my favourite programs and eatings as I pleased. I couldn’t even look at doing art of anything creative which was a completely knew feeling for me. I sadly started to realise that these tablets were not going to be the easy fix I had first hoped for. They made the days more bearable, I was able to get some sleep and have hours of not feeling completely drained and useless.

I’ve always seen articles about artists and how their depression and unstable mental health allowed them to create their best work, Artists such as Tracey Emin, Amy Winehouse or Ian Curtis, who I admire greatly. But this wasn’t me, I felt I’d let myself down. Not that I ever wanted to be in a depressive state but if I created something out of it then at least it would have some advantage . My life from September till January wasn’t blissful. I couldn’t sleep, didn’t feel like doing anything. Any art I created angered me as I felt it was of a low and boring standard. I kept trying but wasn’t interested or inspired enough to really delve deep into my art.

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 17.25.25

I had no ideas, no creative flare, nothing. For the first time in my life I felt let down by the ideas that has previously bombarded my head. I thought that maybe it was never going to come back, that my education was ruined and finished.

Finally, from February 2018 my mental health started to improve, not miles or leaps but little bits like being able to sleep and deal with negative thoughts of my own work.

So I have learned a lot in this last year about depression and creativity and how to deal with both on a middle ground. It’s just learning to deal with it and not forcing creativity, this only makes you more frustrated, try and be kind to yourself and allow yourself time to figure stuff out. Being open to the changes and Kind to myself.

Looking back on this academic year, I feel very proud of myself for not giving in and giving myself time to learn what triggers me and my negative thoughts. I feel I have learned a hella lot about myself as a person in both my mental state and the strength I had to keep going as well as the creativity that flows through me.

This is not a happy ending, I am still a long way from being happy and feeling ‘normal’ or ‘myslef again’ but I know I had a period of being rock bottom and I have made it through. I am far from an expert, I am only 19! I am still unstable, having days I do nothing but cry, but these are now followed by days I enjoy with friends and family.

It just takes time!




If you have any questions please email me at or message me on Instagram!

If you would like to feature on the orange peel or write an article please don’t hesitate to contact us!

A Fresh Start

The Orange OJI first took this picture in the summer of 2017, months later after rediscovering the roll of film from this day did I realise it was probably one of my favourite images I’ve ever taken. Something a simple as a peeled orange on grass brought back so many memories from that summer and everything id achieved throughout the year.

The Orange Peel itself represents a fresh start, the protective barrier of something special and complex. Hopefully, this platform will become complex, interesting and diverse over time, being a space for young creatives and voices of progression and change.

Thursday 15th March, 2018.