Emma Parkins.

I live with my husband, 2 fantastic daughters, a cat and two pet rats in the beautiful Derbyshire town of Belper.  We try to lead a holistic lifestyle and I am passionate about green issues and the environment which is evident in my work.

I graduated from Derby Uni in 1995 where I studied Graphic Design,  this was followed by a masters in Visual Communication.

While being a freelance illustrator, I worked within a design studio which specialised in licensed characters and was involved with an artist’s co-operative.

From 2000 – 2006 I was based in ‘Banks Mill Studio’s Derby and I worked for an artist’s agency who have sold my illustrations all over the world.  Throughout this time I  ran many workshops in the communtiy, and taught in adult education.

Over the last 6 years I have been producing environmentally friendly arts and crafts, which have led me to do workshops based on this ethos.


I believe it is possible to combine nature and art to produce work that is ethical,  therapeutic and fun.  The results – ‘Junky Monkey!’


Junky Monkey was thought up at a children’s soft play.  I was wondering what to do with my life and how to fit work around the children.  My passion for saving the planet and my love of natural materials got me thinking how I could use this in my work.  I wanted to bring an awareness to children and families, in a fun way, the message of reduce, reuse, recycle.  So I started small by creating arts and crafts projects from recycled and found bits and running creative sessions at local soft plays.  I would save everything and became very resourceful.  This then grew and grew to bigger projects and ideas.  Then came the introduction of  foraging for natural materials.  I found a way to encourage children to really look around their environment and get outside into the elements.  Combining the recycled materials with the natural ones was a good combination.   Junky Monkey became a business that is ethical, fun and sustainable.