Where the Wildflowers Grow is Sydney illustrator Adriana Picker’s second colouring book with publishing house Hardie Grant. It comes just after the release of The Garden of Earthly Delights, which came out in November last year. Picked up by retailers such as Urban Outfitters and Barnes & Noble in the United States, it has already sold more than 25,000 copies. “Before the launch of the first book, we knew we would release a second, so the book came together in a number of very focused weeks,” Picker says.
You’ve probably noticed the rise of adult-oriented colouring books. “I think the trend gives way to a more social activity than people think. I have friends who sit together at the table with a glass of wine and their crayons – drinking, chatting and colouring,” she says. Personally, Picker likes to use Copic Markers from Japan, “for their accuracy and the soft pastel colourways” they come in.
Unlike The Garden of Earthly Delights, which depicts a botanical wonderland, Picker’s second book features exclusively native-Australian flora and fauna. Picker wanted to celebrate her own environments and landscapes, as well as provide a distinct aesthetic in a saturated market.
Where the Wildflowers Grow is filled with spiralling eucalyptus leaves, and kaleidoscopic depictions of cicadas. Cockatoos with finely detailed feathers perch on flowering gums, and banksias spread their papery leaves across pages. It’s a visual journey through the Australian bush that resonates with Picker – she grew up in the Hunter Valley, and went bushwalking in the Blue Mountains with her mum often. “I sometimes illustrate flora from Mum’s expansive garden. I will call her and be like, ‘Send me a photo of pumpkin tendrils from your backyard’, and she does!”
Where the Wildflowers Grow is out now, in selected stockists and directly through Adriana Picker’s website.