Thursday, 21 January 2016

A New Book Project | A Wilder Life

Hello. It is I, the owner of this very neglected blog. I have returned to share a very exciting project that I started working on in August of 2014. As of today, I hold the finished product in my hands and it's beautiful.

This is Wilder Quarterly's first book, A Wilder Life, and it's a seasonal guide to "getting in touch with nature" which includes chapters on seasonal recipes, apothecary, DIY, foraging, and self-reliance among many other topics. It's a project that I'm proud to have been a part of, not least because the book is a thing of beauty and my illustrations share pages with work by photographers Krysta Jabczenski and Claire Cottrell.

Autumnal produce

I was asked to create watercolour illustrations to accompany many of the themes around nature, including seasonal produce to grow in your garden, medicinal plants to collect for tinctures, teas and homemade beauty products and wildlife to spot throughout the year.
Healing gemstones
These spot sized illustrations can be found in list from throughout the book - the crystals illustrate a chapter on beauty and healing. 
"Different cultures use crystals and gemstones differently - some complementary therapies encourage placing the stones on the body to connect to the body's energy fields or chakras, while others prefer the use of wands or pendulums. As nature lovers, we prefer to appreciate the stones for what they are: marvels of nature."
A Seasonal Apothecary 
The book contains a wealth of information on using foraged plants as well as spices and herbs to treat illness, soothe anxiety, boost the immune system and treat the skin along with many other uses. A recipe I'm excited to try is for a 'Calendula Salve' which uses the orange flower pictured above in a balm to soothe dry and cracked skin.
Colourful American birds

I also painted a series of still life watercolours that didn't quite make it into the final publication but that I thought I'd share below, because I quite like them (and waste not want not!).

An At-Home Herbalist Pharmacy

 Tasks to Do Around the Home

And there you have it. A big project that took up many months last year, which has cumulated in a book I'm extremely excited to take some time out with, with a cup of tea and a cosy corner. It's always a pleasure to work with independent and interesting clients, and Wilder Quarterly publish content that's "for people enthralled by the natural and growing worlds....‘a life through the lens of the growing world’— indoors and out, culture, travel, food and design." Which sounds just about perfect to me.

Buy the book here.

(P.S Many more botanical illustrations to share - but I'll include them in an up-coming post!)


  1. Wow! What an amazing project.My personal favourite is the 'seasonal apothecary;.

    1. thank you! I loved painting all of those useful plants :)

    2. With the help of Dr. Nicole Apelian, I was able to pinpoint the 3 most important plants you need to add to your diet to fight viruses, including coronavirus.

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      With this book, you'll get the most powerful natural remedies that grow near you

      >> The most powerful remedies growing in your state

  2. These illustrations are beautiful! I'm looking forward to seeing more. And so exciting to have the finished book in your hands!

  3. beautiful illustrations, can't wait to see more :)

  4. I also like your illustrations - esspecially the birds :)

  5. How inspiring! I am so interested in the process of freelance illustration, and you have such a lovely approach to your work. Plus it's gorgeous to look at! Xx

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  7. Demi-Louise ProcterFebruary 01, 2016

    These illustrations are absolutely beautiful and so talented! I particularly like the 'At home herbalist pharmacy'

  8. Such beautiful illustrations.

  9. Yay! You're back! Love the illustrations. I adore your application of color.

  10. Just bought this book because of your work!

  11. Hello Holly,

    Today I discovered you and your amazing work, and I'm completely inlove with it. I love the vibrant colours and the texture you get with watercolour layers, also with those tiny details.

    I'm also an illustrator from Brazil and I've been studying watercolour for 4 years. You're now an inspiration for me, thanks for sharing your beautiful work with us. ♥


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