STRUGGLING to cope with the crippling isolation of lockdown, an aspiring illustrator living in South Oxfordshire decided to show what a year during the Covid-19 crisis looks like through drawings.

While the nation baked banana bread and binge-watched TV series like Tiger King in lockdown, 40-year-old Rebecca Peberdy sketched every day and posted her fun work on Facebook with the hashtag Isolation Illustration.

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The mother-of-two from Abingdon embarked on the ambitious journey in March last year and the initial idea was simply to keep her busy and keep her mind off of the doom and gloom news about the pandemic.

Ms Peberdy’s colourful illustrations capture the big and small moments that made up life in 2020.

The hobby helped her tackle ‘cabin fever’ and it was not long until people noticed her illustrations and requests started coming in for handmade greeting cards.

Save the Arts piece that draws attention to struggling world of culture during the pandemic

'Save the Arts' piece that draws attention to struggling world of culture during the pandemic

Having a background in Art Studies did not hurt too.

The 40-year-old creative said: “I found that taking a moment to do a little sketch regularly was a real saviour for my mental health, giving me a small window of total escapism.

“Some days I would know exactly what I wanted to draw – maybe inspired by the news or my own experiences that day, whilst other times it was just a case of putting a pen to paper and seeing what resulted.

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“Some pictures looked better than others, but I always felt better for having just got creative and grabbed that little bit of ‘me’ time.”

In the run up to Christmas, Ms Peberdy decided to collate some of her best work in a photo book that she gifted to family and friends.

Other people were also interested, so the artist had to contact the printers for another round three times.

Illustration of Ms Peberdys daily life

Illustration of Ms Peberdy's daily life

Speaking about the success of the book, she said: “A few passing comments from friends led me to offer the book to a wider audience and I was overwhelmed by the response that I got.

“My first print run sold out on the day of release and I ended up ordering another two print runs.

“I have sold more than 100 copies and currently have a waiting list for more orders.”

To follow Ms Peberdy’s work visit her Facebook page RJP Art.