Flower Friends is an ongoing personal illustration project consisting of simple characters brought to life with nature. Although the subjects are plain and simple, they are each accentuated by flora and fauna, giving them new spirit with more animation and energy. This collection of images happened unintentionally, quick illustrations to practice color built up over time, and easily became my favorite go-to subject to draw.
I often aim to make art that’s driven by feeling, and I liked the idea of having plants be an extension of one’s emotions. If I feel embarrassed and my face burns up, I articulate this eerie emotion into something beautiful, with flora blooming from the face instead. If I feel anxious and want to hide, the subject will wear a dress overflowing with flowers, covering her in a more kind way. But if I’m feeling good and light, a simple bouquet of flowers placed in a pocket will suffice.
Because I also like to have traditional textures in my digital work, I mainly use the ever-amazing Kyle T. Webster Gouache Brushes for Photoshop. I have a variety of poses I thumbnail in either my sketchbook or a PSD scratchpad. I bring that pose to a more detailed sketch if it suits what I’m feeling at the moment. I then block out the colors, revising the subject through shapes and silhouettes, and continue to paint in details until completed.
I was very surprised by people’s positive response to Flower Friends! I really appreciate how people find a sense of beauty and warmth from these simple characters even though they can come from a place of melancholy. While I’ve always followed this line of thinking, now more than ever do I feel like art is one of the best and healthiest ways to express emotions. And for me, the illustration doesn’t have to be overly-complicated or dark to be cathartic.
If you would like to see more Flower Friends, I will definitely be making more illustrations for this project as time goes by! Maybe even turning it into a zine in the near future? I will also be working on more flora and fauna-themed projects. You can find me on Instagram and Tumblr @eychristine.