About Marceline

Marceline Smith

My Life So Far

  • Grew up in Lossiemouth in the North East of Scotland
  • 1996: BA in Printmaking from Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen
  • 1996-2008: Paid the bills as a computer technician, web designer and seasonal mail sorter.
  • 1998: Set up diskant.net (1998-2003), a music community and then blog with a team of writers.
  • 2000: Started my first blog (I’ve blogged at least weekly ever since)
  • 2000: Moved to Glasgow
  • 2002: John Peel says I have “a nice name” live on Radio 1.
  • 2004-2009: Played keyboards in Glasgow band Üter, signed to cult club Optimo’s label OSCARR.
  • 2007: Set up my own craft/illustration business Asking For Trouble.
  • 2007-2008: My work is included in exhibitions at The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, Manchester Craft & Design Centre and The Park Gallery in Falkirk.
  • 2008: Quit my corporate web design job to run Asking For Trouble and do freelance website design.
  • 2008: Commissioned by Shopify to design an official theme for new users, and later become an approved Shopify Expert.
  • 2008: Set up Super Cute Kawaii, a daily blog for Japanese kawaii brands and characters, and the independent designer/makers inspired by them.
  • 2008: Self-published my first Tokyo Shopping Guide zine after my second trip to Japan. Started writing regularly about Japan and self-publishing guide books.
  • 2008: Started licensing my characters and patterns for print-on-demand sites including Zazzle, Society6 and Spoonflower.
  • 2010: Designed ‘Sew Cute’ rain boots for Plueys
  • 2014: Moved to the seaside at Helensburgh
  • 2017: Signed my first book contract with Pop Press/Penguin Books to write The Super Cute Book of Kawaii
  • 2018: Successfully completed The 100 Day Project with 100 Days of Kawaii Characters
  • 2019: The Super Cute Book of Kawaii was published


Over the last twenty years, I’ve worked on projects for fantastic clients, including PlueysFolksy, 5pm.co.uk, Shopifyiomart Group (Easyspace and Netintelligence), The University of Glasgow (projects for Unicef, the Home Office, Save the Children, UNHCR) and Channel 4 IdeasFactory.