February 06, 2021

Behind the Line - Growing up in Archery with Sarah and Izzy

This episode of Behind the Line is about two friends who have had the delight of growing up in archery. Sarah and Izzy found their friendship through archery.

Growing up with archery is great, but growing up with your close friend because of archery? Even better! Sarah Moon and Izzy Carpenter both started archery as youth archers. They trained together, competed together and grew together.

Now they have written and illustrated a book together. Here are their stories.

Sarah Moon - How it started

Courtsey of World Archery

I started competitive archery around 2016. From there I managed to get onto the GB development squad in 2017. This is where I met Izzy and the GB Team. During this time Izzy and I shot together multiple times together with other teammates and won medals.

When we stepped up into the senior circuit we didn't get to shoot as an official team. However, over the years we had all become very good friends and shot together in training. The strength as a team was helpful during our time as undergraduates at university.

Having someone who understood the struggle of balancing serious sport and university work was so helpful. I have someone to talk to during BUCS competitions who gets it.

Outside of Archery

Apart from archery and my academics, I also enjoy art. Izzy has been so supportive of my hobby and even approached me to design a cover for one of her pieces of course work. This was along with the cover for a book which was written for her cousin.

In December, Izzy proposed turning the story into an actual book. These would be bound by hand and with illustrations. Having read much of Izzy's work (including her children's stories and sci-fi) I was ecstatic to be given this opportunity.

Illustrations & The Snow Dragon

I specialise in cartoon illustration using digital media, primarily for the fact that it is much more convenient than carrying around tons of art supplies and the images are easier to transfer.

For the most part, I draw canines and sometimes I attempt realism. Before this project, I had never drawn a dragon, so it was a learning curve. The protagonist design was based on a drawing that Izzy's little cousin did of a dragon.

I read her book carefully and chose some key story components that were highly visual to turn them into images. After I completed them, I sent them to Izzy, which she then put into the document. It was amazing to see it come together piece by piece into a real book.

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When all the illustration were done, Izzy made it real. However, because of COVID, we couldn't work together in person. So all I could do is watch from the side-lines and cheer her on.

Izzy printed and hand-stitched each signature and bound them together with a cover and inner lining. I was blown away by the quality of what she produced. Also how organised she was so that she could keep up with the number of orders.

Izzy - How it started

Courtesy of World Archery

I've been shooting for over eleven years now, and I have been a GB Team member since the age of fifteen. When Sarah joined in 2017, I felt like we connected very quickly. Of course, this made competing and training together all the more fun. During our first season as teammates, we had a successful year out on the international stage.

For me, it was really nice to have a friend who was also learning to balance competitive archery with university studies. Quite often, we would send each other our assignments to share opinions and offer suggestions for improvements.

One of my most favourite trips was the World University Games in Naples in 2019. Sarah and I were lucky enough to be selected and compete together as a team, and I was very happy with how we performed.

Passion for writing

Outside of academics, I have always been an avid writer. I really enjoyed being able to merge my love for writing and my experience in archery and create pieces of journalism. The first piece I did in college for World Archery was about balancing archery with schoolwork. This was a topic that people always asked about.

I then went on to have a go at interview pieces for Bow International magazine which I really enjoyed doing. Recently, I have done various pieces for Archery GB about planning and productivity and National event write-ups.

Primarily, my biggest passion is creative writing. As an undergraduate, I got my BA in English. I'm currently doing my Masters degree in creative writing. My genre of choice is usually sci-fi or thriller, and I'm hoping to use this year to complete my novel.

Writing The Snow Dragon

For Christmas 2019, I went out of my comfort zone to try something new. I wrote a children's story for my little cousin.

By the time Christmas 2020 came around, I decided to release my story. This was a way to raise spirits given the mental health effects COVID had inflicted.

I approached Sarah and asked her to illustrate my book, as I knew her cartoon-style drawings would be perfect for children. Sarah was able to perfectly capture the images I wrote about. She made them come to life on the page.

I never expected to receive such a positive reaction to the book. So much so that the orders came flooding in quicker than I could sew. In the end, I handmade 75 copies and posted them country-wide (a few copies even made their way to the US!).

I'm very proud to have raised almost £70 for a local Leeds-based children's hospice from the donations of my book.

I can't thank Sarah enough for her contributions to this project. I know for a fact that this I just the start of our creative collaborations together.

These two have shown that growing up with archery can blossom into business adventures. It's not just about archery, it's about the wider world, the friendships.

What is The Snow Dragon about

"Luke's Christmas Eve adventure into the forest leads him to a portal to another world. This is where he makes the most unlikely of friends. In a land of legends and creatures, Luke helps the young dragon journey to the top of a mountain, so he can breathe the first snow of Christmas."

Izzy chose Martin House Hospice to donate money from the profits. The reason being, her great aunt volunteers there, and wanted to keep things close to family.

Currently, Izzy is not planning a sequel but is looking to open up orders again for Christmas 2021.

These two have shown that growing up with archery can blossom into business adventures. It's not just about archery, it's about the wider world, the friendships.

Growing up with friends through sport, such as archery, is great. Do you have a similar story that you want to share? Get in touch now!

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