Update: 08/06/22: I ended up raising 10% of my target (£100), which was really valuable in helping me to complete all of my drawings and get the installation up and complete for the Degree Show and assessment.


My Crowdfunder page has been live for ten days now, and so I thought I would make a little update on how it is going.

As you can see from the image above, I have now raised £60 in support of my project, which although not being a huge amount, is enough to cover any materials I need to finish the illustrations, as well as some extra to put towards the rewilding, or to create editions of work. I have been working on sharing my crowdfunder and project further today, as have my friends and family, so I hope that in the next few days, I will get a few more donations – as well as more signatures on my petition.

Although it has been growing slowly, I am nonetheless pleased with the progress that I have made with it and the amount that I have raised so far. Hopefully, it will continue to grow, and I will be able to achieve or come closer to my fundraising goal!


Over the past few weeks, I have had a few calls (and another set up for tomorrow) with a variety of people, in order to try and get the Rewilding project moving properly. Although they didn’t all take quite the form that I thought they would, they were nonetheless extremely valuable, and have given me a lot to think about.

The first call was extremely helpful in beginning to open doors and opportunities to get the project on the ground, as they were able to set me up with a contact in the local council. Additionally, they were able to shed some light on the situation of land ownership – in terms of the grass verges – how I might get to plant in them, and who to speak to about this. As such, I have emailed the relevent authorities, and am waiting for them to get back to me. I was also given the idea of proposing a pilot project for my rewilding project, which would make the council more likely to back and say yes to my project, as I would be able to support my pitch with actual evidence, such as how the verges will be maintained, the funding necessary, etc.

The second call was also very useful, although I had thought that it might be more about pitching my idea to the council than just chatting about my project and getting advice. In spite of this, I did gain a lot of advice and insight – particularly in the realm of bureaucracy and public opinion. The image below shows the advice that I was given:

From this, I have had the idea of making a survey or questionnaire, which I could give to the local residents in order to gauge their thoughts and feelings on the project, as well as how they feel about the biodiversity levels and plant cover here, which will give me an idea on how the rewilding effort is likely to be taken. This will be a vital resource in my project’s progression, as public feeling is vital to the success of a project such as this, where the work we do will have a lasting impact on the community. It is also important to remember that not everyone will feel and think as I do, and will probably be concerned only with the now, rather than the future of the planet, and creating a system change in order to create a lovable future for all. Over the next few days, I will begin creating this questionnaire, and will test it out on a few test subjects before releasing it to the public, in order to make sure that it is objective and fair.

Overall, I am pleased with how these calls went – they have undoubtedly helped me to plan my project more – and to progress it further towards fruition too. I am looking forward to my next call, where I will hopefully be able to get my project one step closer to action!


Last month, I asked Frances Fox, founder of Climate Live (CL), for advice on starting my project, and a few weeks ago, she answered my questions. The image below shows the notes that I made from her advice:

Her answers were extremely valuable to me, as they gave the confidence that I was going about my project planning in the right way, as well as providing useful insight into her decision making and organising process.

One of the most beneficial pieces of advice she gave me, was the fact that she had started a crowdfunder for CL as well, and that is a very worthwhile thing to do. This helped to give me the confidence I needed in order to start my own crowdfunder page (which you can see more about on a previous blog post). Additionally, the way in which she got people involved was encouraging, as it is very similar to what I am currently trying to achieve – although the scales of our projects (at the moment) are quite different – mine being local based to start with, while CL was global from the start.

Additionally the organisational advice she gave me was invaluable – for instance, making sure that I break everything down into really clear sections and roles when I am asking people to help, and have no problem with delegating to prevent overwhelm. I also have kept the fact that Telegram is the best platform for organising on – as it is most accessible – but my issue is that a lot of non-Fridays For Future people don’t use it, nor have they heard of it, which makes it more difficult to use. However, it will still be my preferred platform to organising.


Michael Landy is a British artist, probably most famous for his artwork Break Down (2001), where he destroyed everything he owned. However, I am most interested in the series of works that Landy created after the fact, called Nourishment (2002). These works are a collection of life-sized etching prints made of the weeds that Landy saw and collected as he journeyed around London (Taylor, 2003). To me, the most fascinating elements (and the elements that I am going to investigate and explore here) are the prints themselves and the level of detail which Landy has achieved in them.

Creeping Buttercup (Landy, 2002):

This is the etching Creeping Buttercup (2002), in which Landy has very carefully represented the entirety of the buttercup plant. Although very clearly an etching, the print is not unlike other botanical illustrations I have studied, where he has used simple line drawing and shading techniques to create a detailed outline of the plant. Additionally, this print (like all of Landy’s in this series) is placed in the centre of a white page, isolating it in the centre and allowing the eye to be drawn entirely to the subject and not become distracted by any other features. This is something that I aim to achieve in my own works; creating my illustrations on plain white pages highlights the detail of the plant and again emphasises its importance.

Landy has carried the theme of importance carefully throughout this series, and raised it to the prominent position of being one of the main themes (for me) – taking something so commonplace, and often ignored and looked down upon; transforming it into a beautiful artwork, which people will treasure and enjoy. It is possible that when Landy was making this work, he was consciously elevating the downtrodden, because of the life and position that he had placed himself in after Break Down (2001) – having destroyed all of his possessions, thus putting himself in a very similar position to the homeless who, like the weeds Landy drew, lived on the streets on London and were looked down upon. Irrespective of whether this was the impetus behind elevating these wonderful plants from their previous societal position, the illustrations certainly change the public opinion of them, as very few would be able to view the etchings and not feel moved and in awe of these little plants; their intricate network of roots, stems, leaves and flowers, which all work in absolute harmony to support the plant, but that are also hardy enough and adaptable enough to survive in such hostile and urbanised areas as London and other cities.

When looking at the work, it is very clear that Landy has studied these plants meticulously; capturing every little detail, every root, every fold and contour of the petals and leaves and the branching of the stems has been observed and recorded. As I mentioned previously, the technique (although a etching) that Landy has used when shading and outlining appears to be very similar to the ‘dotting’ technique that I use when illustrating herbarium specimens. Additionally, the composition of the plant also reflects this, as although there is an undeniable 3D structure to it, the shape of the plant appears to be flattened, in order for Landy to capture the entirety of the Buttercup. In spite of this similarity, the drawing feels very different to the ones that I have produced – it feels much less scientific and more emotional than botanical illustrations, which I think fits with the narrative and context of these illustrations – they undeniably have a much more emotional and subjective background and ‘life’ to them.


Shepherd’s Purse 2 (Landy, 2002):

As it is part of the same series, this etching is very similar to the previous, and has the same narrative and backstory. However, it is undeniable that this etching feels much more delicate than the previous, partly due to the structure and form of the plant itself, but also partly due to the depth and tone of the print. The depth of the blacks in this print are much less than those in Creeping Buttercup (2002), which automatically creates a suggestion of heightened fragility and ephemerality. This sense of fragility acts in the print’s favour however, enticing the viewers to look closer, and delve much deeper both into the art, and the narrative of the image. This is something that I am attempting to achieve with my own work – including great levels of detail, which then forces the viewer to not only look closer at the work itself, but also spend much longer looking at it, and therefore thinking about and the purpose of the work as well.



Update: 08/06/22: If only I had known about trace down paper when I was drawing this!! It would have made the whole process much easier and less drawn out than it ended up being, and I possibly would have been able to complete more drawings, rather than spending an inordinate amount of time on researching the sizes of the orchid, and then scaling it up (although I got the maths wrong, and ended up scaling it up by between 100-200 times, rather than 10-20…)


Over the past few weeks, I have been completing a drawing of the Montserrat Orchid, one of the plants off the endangered plant list.

For me, this was the most challenging plant to draw so far – because the reference image I was using was of a live specimen – meaning that it didn’t have any scale of reference for it (all of the herbarium specimens have a scale on the side, which allows you to see the actual size of each specimen – which has been important and useful for me when drawing them to scale). Therefore, I had to do some research (as I mentioned earlier in the blog), in order to discover the size of the plant. Unfortunately, according to the only source I could find, the flowers of the Montserrat Orchid are very small – each flower only being 2cm in size. As I knew I wouldn’t be able to capture the full detail of the flower at this size, nor did I have an image of the whole plant in flower from which to draw, I therefore decided to magnify the size of the image (in my drawing) by 100 times (I had meant to increase it by 10, but I unfortunately got my maths wrong), meaning that I could capture the detail of the flower.

My original idea had been to reference traditional botanical illustration in the composition of the drawing, and so I drew the flower in the bottom right of the page. I then began to draw the roots and stem of the plant above it on the left, at an angle. However, I was again having issues with the scale and sizing of the image (as I had no reference point), and the size of the roots were so small they were very difficult to draw. I therefore abandoned drawing them for the moment, and filled in the flower with colour, with the process shown below.

Coloured pencil is one of my favourite (if not my favourite) media to work in, as you can do so much with it, and it is so controllable. I have a lot of experience in using coloured pencil, although it was mainly in portraiture and in drawing objects that I had used it (see below), so it was an obvious choice for me, to want to try using it for my botanical illustrations.

I am extremely happy with the outcome. Although the drawing isn’t as ‘smooth’ as that achieved with watercolour, the coloured pencil allows for equal colour blending, resulting in a life-like illustration. My process of working with coloured pencils begins with creating a light base layer – in this case, a light layer of pale yellow, from which I can build up from. I then worked petal by petal around the flower, slowly building up the layers as I went along. I find it much easier and more effective to work this way, rather than building the layers up over the whole illustration in one go. I would much rather focus on a smaller area, as it provides a much greater sense of satisfaction and achievement when you complete it, and spurs you on to finish the next section.

I hadn’t drawn a coloured pencil drawing for a good few years before completing this one, so there was an element of the unknown about it. However, I am very glad that I did decide to work with them again, as it was an experience I very much enjoyed; I felt that I had complete control over what I was doing, and nothing had to be left to chance, which was something that had been happening in my previous illustrations, due to the media that I have been working in. Additionally, working in coloured pencil refers to the works of Hazel Wilks, another illustrator from Kew Gardens, who, unlike Lucy Smith, does use coloured pencil in her practice as a botanical illustrator.