Barra lass lost her job but has bounced back

Eilidh BlackerEilidh Blacker
Eilidh Blacker
A Scottish artist who lost her job because of the coronavirus pandemic has responded by designing a range of comic cards to celebrate “Covid Christmas”.

Eilidh Blacker has just put her humorous, hand-crafted Christmas cards on sale on the online marketing website Etsy under her ‘Wee Birdy’ brand.

She hopes her funny take on the current crisis will help dispel the shadow the pandemic has cast over this year’s festive season.

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One of Eilidh’s designs features a drawing of a “Santa-tiser” - a liquid dispensing bottle topped with a fur lined red hat.

The cartoon image pokes gentle fun at the current compulsion to sanitise our hands every few minutes.

Two other cards in the range for sale in Etsy feature the toilet roll shortage which was a feature of the start of the coronavirus outbreak as people flocked to supermarkets to bulk buy for some strange and unknown reason.

One card shows a single loo roll captioned “Roll on 2021”, and the other has a pyramid of toilet rolls topped with a red ribbon and the greeting: “Happy Holidays. May 2021 be less shitty!”

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Another gives the year 2020 a star rating of just one out of five with the conclusion: “Total crap – would not recommend”.

Eilidh told the Gazette: “I came up with the idea of making Christmas cards with a covid theme when the pandemic started to really hit home.

“I hope people appreciate my humorous take on what for many has been a very serious situation.”

Eilidh, 38, was brought up on the Isle of Barra where her parents, Bill and Patricia taught art and English respectively at Castlebay Community School.

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She left the Hebrides to study in Glasgow and went on to graduate from Caledonian University with a BA in Graphic Technology then from Glasgow School of Art with a Masters in Motion Graphics.

She spent some time working at the BBC at Pacific Quay before moving to Hong Kong with her husband Craig, where she spent five years working for Cartoon Network Asia and Philips.

Eilidh had their first son in Hong Kong in 2014 and, during maternity leave, started her ‘Wee Birdy’ business from home, making kids’ and nursery art and personalised prints.

She said: “It did really well and, even now, I still have repeat Hong Kong customers.

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“We moved to Nova Scotia, Canada in 2015 and, since being here, I’ve been working for a toy design company.

“I got laid off due to covid and went back to freelancing as a graphic designer from home.

“I got my Etsy store off the ground with a range of hand-made cards and other artwork and it’s really taken off.

“I’ve had them printed in Canada and Scotland so they can arrive in plenty of time for Christmas.”

A set of four cards costs £6 plus postage.

Eilidh and husband Craig, a physical education teacher, now have two sons: Ciobhan, 6, and Ruadhan, 4, with a third boy due to be born in February.

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