Steph Hardy’s abstract illustrations tell the secret inner lives of plants
Following a background in branding and packaging design, the Sheffield and Leeds-based creative has built a body of illustrations that pay homage to her love of greenery.
- Olivia Hingley
- 16 January 2023
For the illustrator Steph Hardy, nothing is as big of an inspiration than the leafy world of plants. Working both digitally and with analogue, painterly styles, her work is a heady yet deeply satisfying mix, unified by its dedication to depicting the vast and varied beauty of plants.
What Steph most endeavours to transmit throughout her drawings is plants “really living a life”. She uses swift lines and shadow to create a sense of movement, “growing, swaying or chatting”, Steph says. “I love thinking about them communicating with each other and wondering what that would look like, in their own secret natural way.” Moreover, Steph also sources inspiration from learning and reading about other people’s personal connection with plants and nature.
Importantly, Steph also outlines that, while she does reference real plants, she often likes to simplify them. “I love how an abstract form might make you have to look for a little longer,” she says. For plant and art lovers alike, Steph’s work is a dream to spend a quiet, meditative moment with.
Steph Hardy: Asparagus and Nasturtium (Copyright © Steph Hardy, 2022)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.