The playful, botanical-inspired surface patterns by Sara Boccaccini Meadows will transport you to a luscious garden where you will frolic carefree within the fresh blooms and trailing greeneries.
At least that is what we felt when we first encountered Sara’s illustrations, which often depicts a botanical wonderland filled with the intricate details of mother nature. Drawing inspiration from the tiny details in her everyday surroundings, Sara was able to combine her trained skills as a commercial pattern designer with her love for nature.
Originally from the north of England, Sara pursued formal training in art at West Yorkshire’s Leeds College of Art with a specialization in Textile and Surface Patterns. After graduating, she spent many years travelling the world, finding inspiration through different cultures as she searched for her own painterly style. After doing some freelance work as well as an internship at the Karolina York print studio in Sydney, she eventually settled in Brooklyn, New York, where she finds balance from the greeneries and nature in surrounding neighbourhood parks.
The long road of self exploration led to her eventual style - vibrant, cheerful and feminine. A deeper look into her illustrations and you might find yourself lost in the intricate details of fluid lines, dots and patterns.
We had the pleasure to conduct a short interview with Sara Boccaccini Meadows for some insight into her inspiration, upcoming projects, and advice for emerging artists.
S - Sarah Boccaccini Meadows
P - Pendulum Magazine
P: What inspired you to become a pattern designer and illustrator? Was it always something you’ve planned for or did it happen naturally?
S: I studied textile and surface pattern at university and I really enjoyed the process of illustrating repeat patterns. After graduating and working in the industry I learned the skills of a commercial pattern designer, and this is what led me to my own style of illustration that I primarily focus on now. It’s been a pretty natural process - it never feels like work when I’m painting.
P: How would you describe your style and how has it evolved over the years?
S: My style is feminine, elegant and detailed, and tends to focus on the natural environment. Like any form of expressive art it inevitably changes over time, I used to do more line work in black and white, before I became much more settled with colour. Experimenting with new materials, such as gouache, helped lead me to this.
P: What advice would you give to illustrators looking to develop their own style?
S: Don’t be afraid to experiment. Look at elements of style you like and try to interpret them in your own way. Combining inspirations and styles can lead to something fresh and new. For example, looking at Matisse and Frida Kahlo, you could draw inspiration from the simplicity of Matisse and then the detailing and depth of Kahlo.
P: Where do your inspirations come from?
S: I find a lot of inspiration from travelling to new and old places. Often landscapes, buildings and botanicals will inspire paintings in my sketchbooks, which I may develop into a bigger painting or pattern later on. I also love to wander around art galleries and sculpture parks to see work from old and new artists.
P: Tell us about the project that has given you the most satisfaction thus far? Why?
S: I would probably say my book, Botanical Painting. It was a totally new type of creative project and I put a lot of work into the writing and research. I was in control of making my own projects and got to share my techniques and process with people. It was very different from just working on a design for a client where the end piece is all that matters.
P: What would be your dream design collaboration?
S: I would love to collaborate with Liberty London, because they have such iconic patterns, and to have something I had created among that would be amazing.
P: What are you working on at the moment? What’s next?
S: I am working on an exhibition with my sister, which will be in New York this Spring. It is inspired by the effect climate change is having on the environment, looking at what this means for our generation, future generations and when the human race as we know it no longer exists. It is always exciting working on a project with complete creative freedom.
Of course, we cannot wait to see what Sara will be brewing up next in her upcoming exhibition in New York! We want to thank Sara for taking the time to share her story with us, and the daily dose of inspiration from her playful illustrations that puts a smile on the viewer’s face. To learn more about Sara Boccaccini or to see more of Sara’s work, visit her site here.