• Emily Powell

Meet my values, the foundations of Thomkat

Cut me open to find my core, find an frog, an otter and so much more..


“How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most” (Steven Covey).

reference image courtesy of antonhenley.co.uk

A great benefit of being a small business owner, is that I can manage my whole self with what really matters most to me in mind.


I couldn’t always name my values, I haven’t always been consciously aware of what they are. But I do know that every time I do something that’s in tune with them, and every time I do something that doesn’t, I feel it in my soul. That feeling has the power to make you shine, and to make you a shadow.


I feel so lucky to be able to live and breathe my values all day, every day, that I really wanted to do them justice. I wanted to be really clear on what I stand for, and to share them with you all, in my own unique way.


So get ready! They are fun, they are joyful, they are playful. They embody all the child-like spirit that I hope to never ever lose.


(Drum roll please…)


The Family Frog

Family first. Always.


It’s so easy to get caught up with work. The dream is that having your own business automatically changes that. But when your business is so close to your heart, it can be all consuming. That vision of more family time can become a reality, but you have to work at it and build it into your routine. I remind myself why I made this choice and think of it as a success measure along with all those business goals.


Did I walk Thomas to school every day this week? Did I forget about work for the whole weekend?


It’s still aspirational right now as I’ve had some incredible commissions . But I always return to the fact that family life and spending time with my children are most important.


The Joyful Jellyfish

We can get so caught up in being sensible and serious 'grown-ups', with serious jobs, reading serious things, that we can sometimes forget the fun. I think we lose something when we forget to have fun and be joyful. I don’t want to forget.


So I need to remember that the joy is why I’m doing this. The joy I feel when I draw is the very reason I took that huge leap to leave my career behind. I want to look back on a life that was full of joy every day, not one that was filled with drudgery and serious grown-upness!

Uplifting Swifts

I know that the world isn’t all cupcakes and rainbows (Trolls (2016)). But if you look at the world as if it’s a cesspit of doom, then that’s what you’ll see.


Twitter used to drag me down with all the unhappy posts. It was an onslaught of angst and venting. Then I noticed that someone I followed only ever shared things that were uplifting and positive. I decided to do the same. To create what I wanted to see.

I’m not blind to the fact that there are big problems in the world, but I choose to see the good and create content that helps others see it too.


Cats for Creativity

What’s Thomkat Illustrations without cats and creativity?!


Creativity is my passion. It’s at the core of what I do, in my illustrations and in the way that I interpret each brief so that it’s imaginative, inventive and unique.


But it means so much more. It’s about creating a life that I love to live with my family and friends; a thriving business that’s more than a side gig; the systems that will help me to succeed; and beautiful, heartfelt designs that will uplift and inspire my customers.


Most of all, I want to create more space and time to be with my family and create beautiful and lasting memories of my children’s childhood.


The Aardvark of Authenticity

Be who you say you are, do what you say you'll do.


I will never share content that doesn’t feel like me. I’ll never manipulate or deceive. The things I offer in my business will be things that I love and that fit with all of my values.

I don’t and won’t take work or share posts that don’t feel right to me, nor for the sake of followers and likes. I’ll find my people and they will find me in the right way and at the right time.


I will not sell my soul for success. I won’t support things I don’t believe in, and I wouldn’t work with or for anyone who would require me to.


The Honest Otters


Honesty is so important to me. There's no need not to be.

I’m not super virtuous, and like most people, I sometimes lie. My son is convinced I have a direct line to Father Christmas, even though we all know mobile reception is rubbish at the North Pole.

But I don’t like dishonesty just for the sake of spinning a yarn, or pulling the wool over someone’s eyes to trick them for your own gain. Lying and dishonesty are unpleasant. So here’s a truth for you all…there’ll be none of that in my business!


I have loved illustrating my values and bringing them to life. I feel like I’m making my own rules and deciding my own path, rather than following the rules set by others and getting lost in all the busyness of business.


Do you know what your core values are? Do any of mine resonate with you? It can be an intense process, to delve that deep within ourselves, especially if we’re doing it alone. So please, if you’re on this same journey and would like to share, drop me an email at emily@thomkatillustrations.co.uk. I’d love to hear from you.

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