Hello, my name is Angela Croft
I'm a graphic designer, artist and housesitter. I love to travel, I love animals and I love making art!
I am proud to be a NZ citizen but I was born in England and emigrated here in 2003.
In the UK I was a landscape architect and enjoyed the design element, but when I got to NZ, I decided to return to study and for over ten years now, I've been employed as a graphic designer, making art in my spare time. I lived in Rotorua in the Bay of Plenty and was a short term resident artist at the Rotorua Arts Village, then moved to Mount Maunganui and was one of the first artists in residence at The Incubator in Tauranga. I had my first joint show of prints at The Incubator in 2014 and my first Solo show of paintings in 2015.
In 2016 my 23 year marriage came to an end. At an extremely low point emotionally and at a crossroads I searched the internet for something meaningful to throw myself into. I knew that travel animals and art were my core interests and at first I thought that retraining as a dog groomer in the UK was my new calling, it involved animals and travel, but then I found trustedhousitters.com, a global voluntary housesitting company. This had quite an impact. I joined up instantly and within days I'd booked and confirmed four housesits - three in New Zealand and a fourth in Perth, Australia. Travel and animals! I was hooked!
By December 2016, less than six months later, I'd sold my house, handed in my notice as a graphic designer and booked my flights. My immediate plan was to get to the UK and I had managed to secure a six week sit with five cats on the South Coast. I was eager to see my family in the UK and to celebrate dad's 85th birthday, which I did in March 2017. But before that I spent a month in western Australia looking after an amazing array of fish, birds, reptiles and mammals!
Almost 2 years later having completed over twenty five fantastic housesits I'm back in New Zealand at a new crossroads.
I made this website at the beginning of my travels so that my friends and family could read about each sit in my journal. It was also intended as a marketing tool to show prospective housesitting hosts what they would receive if they chose me to be their housesitter. My pledge at the start was to leave a free drawing of one of the animals I looked after and put them on the artist page.
I decided when I got back to New Zealand that I wanted to write a book about the animals and my experiences. I began drawing some pencil illustrations while I was was still housesitting and I am now very excited to be turning some of them into full colour digital illustrations. I hope that this book will inspire other people to search for something that will bring them as much fulfilment as my adventures brought me.
I am currently in the far north of New Zealand with well known New Zealand artist Lester Hall. I am grateful to Lester for investing in me so generously. He has provided the space, time, and equipment to grow my digital drawing skills and is encouraging and supporting my efforts to write and illustrate my book. In return I am helping Lester with his website and graphic design requirements.
I am also incredibly grateful to Maisie, my daughter, without her strength and support I would not have been able to go on the journey and meet the animals.
....and finally, a huge thank you to the rest of my family. But also my friends, some I've known for years, some I've made on this journey. You have all been a crucial part in this journey and will all play a significant part in the book.