Púca Printhouse was born in a Yorkshire town in the cold, drizzly nights of the first UK Covid lockdown. It just didn't know it yet.
Neil was trying to discover interesting places to hike and decided to combine his love of the outdoors with his love of folklore. He began scouring the mysterious corners of England that are home to these elusive, bizarre and wonderful creations that our ancestors dreamed into existence in an attempt to help themselves understand the strange world they inhabited - and equally importantly, the things with claws and teeth that seemed to inhabit the world with them .
Being a visual learner, he decided what was needed was a map. And then being the creative type he is decided it would only be decent to try and make the map look good by drawing the creatures... and then some castles...and some trees, and if we're drawing trees there should be some hills, and wouldn't some ships look nice over...ooo and what about some lighthouses! And so it went on. Until the first illustrated map snapped into focus - "Mythical beasts of the British and Irish Isles".
Quite pleased with the result and believing a few other like-minded people may enjoy it, he shared it with a folklore group he was part of. Hours later it was appearing all over and had taken on a life entirely of its own. Then came Ancient Greece and Scandinavia and the USA and on it went, building steam, sparking new conversations, being shared by people who had connected with the project.
The project and indeed the people relocated to the Scottish wilderness late 2021 and Charley joined the team (technically by definition two is the smallest team you could have).
We take our time to research the stories, collect some social history and find the locations that myths can be placed (because it wouldn't be a map if you didn't really). We are occasionally lucky enough to spend time talking to experts and people working in the field of folklore and mythology. This is a privilege we had not expected but adds tremendous depth to the project and our learning - We also get the opportunity to hear some stories that we just wouldn't have been able to find without them.
The visual style of the maps is intended to give a modern, clean look at these old stories and move away from fantasy tropes, injecting a contemporary illustrative style into this subject has allowed us to reach audiences who may have avoided the subject previously.
Our mission is to keep collecting the stories and representing them the best we can. They tell us something very deep about human psychology, our relationship to the land, and our heritage that is just as relevant today. We hope to keep growing, connecting, and enjoying the ride.
We are so grateful to everyone who has supported and helped us. Likewise, we certainly couldn't do it without your support.
All our love - The tiny team at Púca Printhouse -Neil and Charley
Meet The Team
Research and design
Neil spent the best part of 2 decades working as a Street Artist.
In this time he carved his niche within the burgeoning live art movement, painted hundreds of murals, exhibited across the globe and worked for some of the world's best known brands including Toms, The National Trust, Adidas, House of Marley and many more.
He stepped away from his creative practice to work in environmental conservation and later the heritage sector.
Neil returned to illustration at the end of 2020 after a 5-year break and is currently mainly focused on work for Puca Printhouse.
Administration and development
Charley graduated from Brighton and Hove University with a 1st class degree in Sociology. Post graduating, she completed her PGCE and embarked on a career as a Teacher.
At the beginning of 2022 Charley stepped in to help at Púca Printhouse in an official capacity. She had always been present behind the scenes but will become more hands-on over the coming year - looking at how we can grow and offer more to our supporters, as well as taking the lead on admin and logistics.