projects & collaborations
In this section you’ll find details about commercial and private projects, exhibitions and collaborations.
Exhibiting in my first show
I was thrilled to win TWO awards for my crazy alien vegetable drawing of a Romanesco cauliflower/broccoli, at the SBA Plantae exhibition at Mall Galleries, London, in June.
"Roman" won a prestigious Certificate of Botanical Merit, which are independently judged to recognise "noteworthy work, observing precise, scientific standards, and which contribute to botanical art in both a technical and artistic way". I've since been told that I can use the letters CBM after my name (one for the back pocket, I feel).
He also won the Exhibiting Excellence Award for Graphite.
I spent two full months drawing Roman, from March to April 2020, at the very start of the Pandemic. I remember my husband and mum saying I was mad to tackle it in the first place, but I was determined to impress my tutor with a complex and rarely-attempted subject. Then lockdown hit, I was 6months pregnant and having to homeschool a 6 and 4 year old. I was knackered. This assignment seemed unconquerable. I strongly considered deferring my Diploma for a year (this was only Assignment 2, with two more year's work to go, and I was due to give birth within a few months!) From the news, it felt like the world was ending. I doggedly sat up every single night, scratching away at the infinite fractal florets of this weird broccoli-cauliflower lovechild. In many ways, this drawing came to be my escape - a rather desperate, obstinate symbol of not giving up when everything else seemed to have spiralled into grim chaos. I also believe, when the universe seems against you or life is hitting you hard, going macro into Nature's Design, especially the perfection of Fibonacci spirals, can bring a lot of comfort. SO, that's why this broccoli alien creation became very important to me. It was also a ginormous boost, at the time, that I achieved 10/10 in all 9 marking categories (a rare 100%) which spurred me on through the birth of Kit, more hideous lockdown homeschooling, and some incredibly tough assignments.
Back to the show - Plantae'22. It was the first show I applied for and I was still a student, so I was delighted to have two pieces accepted in Jan'22 (the other one, my rose and clematis complex composition, won me the de Jäger commission, details below!)
I was super excited about seeing my work hung on the walls of a prestigious London gallery, alongside the art of people I've admired and studied for the past few years. At the Preview Evening, the galleries were packed and buzzing with the thrill of an in-person show after a couple of years' Pandemic hiatus. When my friends and I spotted the bright little Awards stickers next to Roman, I was completely gobsmacked. Suffice to say, we had *a few* glasses of champagne to celebrate. I couldn't help thinking how this milestone exhibition was going to be a very tough act to follow.
de Jager fine bulbs
June 12, 2022
This was a very special project with de Jager fine bulb company for their Autumn 2022 catalogue cover, focusing on a drift of lovely, violet Chionodoxa spring flowers ("glory of the snow") . The 154-year-old company has a Royal warrant and stands for exceptional quality and longevity of bulbs for the finest gardens.
The commission was offered to me as a student of the Society Botanical Artist's Diploma course. I was honoured to be chosen and jumped at the chance to be mentored through a rigorous commercial process with tight timescales. I was delighted to see my work in beautiful, glossy print!
I learned so much about composition and layout, meeting an exacting brief, and working with my SBA mentor and the client's design agency. The owner spoke with me to say how happy he was with the digital design and is now the owner of the original painting.
Luxury Home Fragrances
November 6, 2021
I was thrilled to be asked to illustrate a new candle by Romaine London, a luxury fragrance brand I have admired for some time.
Sarah, the founder, has created a truly gorgeous candle scent, Grand Fir and Eucalyptus, that conjures up crisp wintery walks. The collaboration felt perfect, combining my love of nature, art, and beautiful fragrance.
I designed the label to align with her brand aesthetic - celebrate the forms of her high-quality botanicals, in detailed monochrome, maintaining an uncluttered composition for a sophisticated feel.
View the time-lapse video of my painting process below.
"Katy's talent at capturing the patterns, shadows and intricacies of flowers and foliage is incredible. The forensic detail combined with creative flair in her botanical artistry is truly remarkable." ~Sarah