A Market Harborough artist's future is looking as pretty as a picture as she blazes an exciting new trail in the world of art.
Suzi Player, 51, has quit her job delivering meals on wheels to devote herself to drawing and painting full time.
And the brilliant artist is now working flat out to keep her clients happy as commissions are starting to roll in left and right.
Specialising in lifelike animal portraits, Suzi told the Harborough Mail: “I couldn’t be happier.
“Giving up my job in November to commit myself totally to art is the best thing I’ve ever done.
“It’s just been so empowering, so liberating!
“I’ve not looked back and I can’t wait to go into our kitchen on a morning and get down to work.”
The former casino and shop worker said she’s loved painting and drawing since she was at school.
“I used to draw pop stars Adam Ant and Toyah Willcox as well as supergroup Abba when I was a kid.
“I’ve tried about four times to jump off the everyday roundabout and dedicate myself to art full stop,” said Suzi, of Bath Street, Market Harborough.
“It’s never quite worked out.
“But this time I’m determined to succeed – and I’ve got off to a fantastic start.
“I’m drawing a falcon called Storm at the moment – he’s such a beautiful bird, he’s a pleasure to draw.
“I’ve done people as well over the years but now I’m focusing on animals.
“I’ve drawn quite a few dogs lately for people.
“It’s very emotional and poignant, especially when owners have lost their pets.
“Women tell me I’ve actually made their husbands cry for the first time because my portraits have been so lifelike and so powerful!
“So it’s vital that I pay scrupulous attention to detail.
“Customers send me a picture of their pet and I scan that and send them the original back before getting down to business.
“I do water colours and I’m loving working with a coloured pencil right now because I can be so detailed and precise with it.
“I must have done about 100 commissions for people all over the country altogether – and five or six since November alone.
“I’ll work for four hours or so before taking a break or I’d go boss-eyed.
“A typical picture will take me 20 hours, perhaps more,” said Suzi, who reached the quarter-finals of top TV game show Countdown in 2012.
“It’s like doing a super complicated jigsaw puzzle.
“I’ve just done an online mentoring course teaching me how to make my blossoming art business even more successful and profitable.
“And I’m sure that it will pay off,” said animal lover Suzi, who charges about £200 to draw one dog and £300 for two dogs.
“It’s hard work – but this is a labour of love, a fierce passion.
“I’ve taken control of my life and future now.
“I pour my whole heart and soul into this – and it feels as if I literally put some of my soul into my pictures themselves.
“And it gives me so much joy and fulfilment when I hand over my drawings to people and they are so delighted with them.”
If you would like to take a closer look at Suzi’s works of art you can check her out on her Facebook and Instagram pages: